Are we creating school environments that allow us to see the “assumed awesomeness” in everyone? Now, more than ever before, school leadership is about modeling hope, resilience, and a sense of possibility, so we can support our communities in developing their collective superpowers.
School leadership has never been easy, but at this moment in particular, there are new challenges and opportunities that could completely transform school, for better or worse. What is the role of a leader at this point in time? What are the practices that will help school leaders navigate the ambiguity and uncertainty ahead while staying true to a vision for their communities? This year, and the years ahead, are going to be a test of resilience, trust and courage. And to pass the test, CEO coach, author, and executive director of the Fuqua/Coach K Center on Leadership and Ethics at Duke University Sanyin Siang believes we’ll have to make a fundamental shift to prioritizing relationships in our schools.
In this episode, hosts Tim Fish and Lisa Kay Solomon invite Sanyin Siang to apply her learnings from working with top leaders from the military, athletics, and global entrepreneurship to the school setting. What are the essential understandings, skills, and practices school leaders can adapt from other settings to create dynamic and supportive environments for students and staff? How can we learn from the legacies of great leaders like Coach K to transform our own teams and live lives of significance? It’s a big topic to tackle at a time when many are focused on just getting students back to school and back to the traditions and systems we recognize. But Sanyin argues that in this moment of transformation, we have a unique opportunity to adapt our practices to help our schools thrive in a rapidly changing world.
Examining resilience through the lens of leadership, Sanyin explains how individual resilience must give way to a deeper understanding of collective resilience. She offers insights into the difference between developing learning environments for transactional education—such as knowledge acquisition—and developing learning environments for relational education that recognizes the personal contributions each person can make to a team. And she vividly paints the picture of leadership as an art form that chips away all but the “assumed awesomeness” in each person, leaving every student and staff member ready to develop their own superpowers.
Some of the key questions Tim and Lisa explore in this interview include:
In This Episode:
About Our Guest:
Sanyin Siang is on a mission to discover and enable greatness in others. Whether it’s in her work as a CEO coach, educator, startup advisor, or author, she teaches individuals and organizations to find the champions within themselves and gives them the tools to keep on winning.
Sanyin co-founded and leads Duke University's Coach K Center on Leadership and Ethics at its Fuqua School of Business and is a professor with Duke's Pratt School of Engineering. The center is a leadership laboratory that convenes think-tank gatherings across sectors to explore today’s complex leadership challenges. Sanyin has worked with four-star generals, world-class CEOs, athletes, and Nobel laureates.
Her ideas on leading innovation, storytelling, culture in an age of disruption, and sports business have been featured in The New York Times, Fortune, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal. She was named to LinkedIn’s Top 20 Global Influencer Voices in 2017 and 2018. She is a member of the 86th Joint Civilian Orientation Conference, the Department of Defense’s oldest civilian program. Her book, The Launch Book: Motivational Stories for Launching Your Idea, Business, or Next Career, inspires readers through stories of different leaders and gives them an action plan for leveraging change using behavioral science concepts.
She is also an advisor for GV (Google Ventures) and Sports Innovation Lab, a faculty member with Story Lab at Duke, and serves on the boards of the Emily K Center and North Carolina Museum of Life and Science.
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