Newsletter Greeting

Michele Robinson

I’m really excited to be part of the Leadership Institute of Nevada, where I get to support a fantastic group of Executive Leaders on their journey to reimaging the future of leadership. It’s so rewarding to witness those ‘Ah Ha’ moments when leaders start to question their thoughts and approaches to their important work. I’m also genuinely impressed by our alumni group, knowing that each of you is in your positions not just because of your mastery of crucial skills and strategic thinking, but also because you’ve delved into the deeper dimensions of competencies that form the foundation of education.

During my time as a superintendent of schools, I came to realize that effective leadership in education goes beyond subject matter expertise, administrative tasks, and strategic planning. It demands a deep understanding of the human element. Having a well-developed emotional intelligence is truly the cornerstone of successful leadership.

Emotional intelligence, often known as EQ, is all about recognizing, understanding, and managing our own emotions, as well as understanding and influencing the emotions of others. When you think about it, an important component of a leader’s job is to inspire and motivate. Having a strong EQ gives leaders the tools to do this, with a genuine focus on positively impacting the wellbeing of their classroom and school communities. It helps us navigate the complex web of relationships that make up the educational landscape, from working closely with diverse stakeholders to meeting the needs of our school and district communities. They say your IQ might land you the job, but it’s your EQ that really helps you excel in it.

At the core of EQ-driven leadership is compassion. It’s about being able to empathize with the challenges and successes of others and taking action to support them. When leaders foster a culture of compassion, they create a safe and nurturing environment where everyone can thrive.

Educational professionals, like all of us, play a crucial role in shaping the future of our society. Recognizing this, it’s essential that we prioritize wellbeing. This means providing resources and programs that address their physical, mental, and emotional health. This doesn’t have to be a financial burden. For instance, LION has developed a powerful program called “Healthy Minds = Healthy Schools.” It’s a six-week, grant supported series available to LION alumni. This program equips adults in our schools and districts with essential skills so they can better support their classroom and school communities. When we invest in the well-being of educators, we not only improve their own quality of life but also enhance their ability to provide the best education possible for our students.

To lead effectively, we must first lead ourselves. Self-care is not an indulgence; it is a necessity. Prioritizing your physical, mental, and emotional well-being is an investment in your ability to lead with clarity and purpose. Establishing routines that include exercise, mindfulness, and time for reflection can significantly enhance your capacity to handle challenges and make informed decisions. When leaders model healthy behaviors and provide resources for handling stress and tough situations, they set a powerful example for both staff and students. This goes a long way in creating a culture of resilience and equipping everyone with the skills they’ll need to navigate the challenges that inevitably come their way.

Leading in education is a complex and ever-changing journey that hinges on truly understanding people and their feelings. When we embrace emotional intelligence, lead with heart, and make the well-being of our educators and school community a priority, we set the stage for everyone to flourish.

Wishing you continued success in your noble endeavor.