Leadership development is about being intentional and deliberate. Diane Egbers, CEO of Leadership Excelleration, joins host Carole Dorn-Bell to explain further and discuss the development of district leadership teams.

Carole starts the conversation by asking about Diane’s passion for leadership development.

“We work in education and across multiple industries. And what’s true is that 32 percent of organizations are satisfied with their senior leadership teams (according to the Association for Talent Development),” Diane says. “And it’s at the core, the center of our passion, to support leadership teams, district leadership teams and education. Our work is so satisfying because when we work with the districts, we support them to become more aligned around their strategic goals and then their district’s operational priorities, to work more collaboratively, to get to higher collaborative levels of performance, to build trust and relationships, to then really meet the needs of the staff and team in districts in a more comprehensive way.”

Carole asks how to be sure that their team is meeting the needs of a district. Diane says it has to do with interviewing individual leaders—and providing a listening session for the leadership team.

“What’s important is for each district to know that they’re in a unique journey because no two teams are alike,” Diane says. “And so we like to interview and understand where they are so that we only offer those things that are vital to their success and not just an off-the-shelf program that may have some elements that aren’t as important to them. So we really prioritize what we offer based on what we learn from the leaders and what their experience is and what their aspirations are.”

Asked about what these leaders gain throughout the process, Diane refers to the book One Mission by Chris Fussell.

“We really help them with the mindset of being ‘one team.’ And the idea is that work only happens optimally when we break down the barriers and there’s not a “we” and ‘they,’” Diane says. “What we try to do is break down those barriers, have the team see themselves as one team, to be more engaged as leaders, to achieve more strategically with goals, to have the districts better aligned on operational priorities and to get more done and have more fun. Part of that is nurturing and building that understanding of one another and relationships amongst the team.”

Carole asks what she’s learned from working with school districts over the years.

“Well, what inspires us is the dedication of leaders and education to the mission. They are the most mission-driven sector of businesses and organizations that we’ve worked with,” Diane says. “We really respect and admire educators. And we feel like there are a lot of best practices we have to bring to the table to help them to optimally experience high-performing teams. We just have high, high regard for the selfless nature of what it takes to serve students every day, day in, day out. And that’s part of our passion to serve in education.”

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