Holly Elissa Bruno responded to questions and comments during an online event from May 7–11, 2012. Read the questions and her responses below!
What do you need to succeed as a leader? Proper academic credentials . . . a solid business plan . . . articulated vision and mission . . . budgeting expertise . . . knowledge of the latest leadership theory . . . well-designed buildings with green play areas . . . mastery of health and safety standards . . . time management expertise.
You may have all of these capacities and still be struggling as an early childhood leader. What are you missing?
You know the answer: Relationships.
Unless we can build and maintain honest, productive, and dynamic relationships with everyone we encounter, we cannot be excellent leaders. My book What You Need to Lead an Early Childhood Program: Emotional Intelligence in Practice is anchored in what matters most: Emotional intelligence (EQ), the art and science of building relationships.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to read people as well as you read books and to know how to use that information wisely. To lead with EQ is to read the story behind the story. Can you hear the cry for help beneath a parent’s outburst? Or the unstated fear that sabotages a teacher’s openness to a new approach? Leading an early childhood program requires learning the unspoken language of every individual and team.
This conversation is intended to give you an opportunity to share your questions, ideas for change, and stories on leadership.
- What is your biggest "people" challenge at work?
- Are you okay with teachers babysitting for children in your program?
- What is one thing you have learned about teams. What makes some successful while others fail?
I look forward to hearing your questions and learning about your work on behalf of young children and their families.
— Holly Elissa Bruno