May 15, 2024

Effective Leaders Never Stop Learning

Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.
– Emily Dickinson, 1830-1886, American poet

“If you ever think to yourself, ‘ok, I now know everything,’ then you have just stopped being an effective leader. There are always new things to learn and everything is also constantly changing, so it is imperative to have a lifelong passion for learning,” according to the Himama blog, which continues, “A leader needs to thoroughly understand all aspects of their organization, so always keep an open mind to educate — and re-educate — yourself on anything and everything.”

In the Exchange Essentials article collection, “Fostering Positive Organizational Culture,” respected ECE leaders share some of their most important learnings, including:

Kristie Norwood:
I see a change coming for early childhood. I have always tried to lead with compassion, but now I am so much more tuned into each person on my team as a unique individual. And I am so much more flexible than I used to be…[R]ecent challenges are calling us to re-evaluate possibly antiquated work systems and to ask what might be better for everyone. I believe we will be able to sustain this more people-centered approach if we are intentional about it.

Rukia Monique Rogers:
Relationships are at the core of all we do. This belief has influenced the way we design our environment, routines, traditions, and celebrations we develop for our school culture. Drawing on Indigenous and African wisdom, we mentally try to tear down the walls of our classrooms and think of ourselves as a village, rather than individual classrooms. We have moved past thinking of ourselves as professionals who do not get personal in our relationships with families, because how can we be in relationship without making connections with families in very deep ways, knowing their hopes and dreams, their ancestors, and so on?

Pam Boulton and Kirsten Haugen:
No matter how efficient or hard working, leaders do not get things done alone. It is through relationships that we move things forward. Effective leadership culminates in impacting and inspiring others, but it always begins within. Reflective practice is not something we do when we have time. It is something we must make time to do.

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