Don’t miss this incredible interview with Dr. Lillian Lowery, a distinguished leader in education. Dr. Lowery has an impressive and storied career in a variety of different roles that range from secondary school English teacher, principal, superintendent of schools, Secretary of Education in Delaware, and State Superintendent of Schools in Maryland. Currently, Dr. Lowery is the Vice President for P-12 policy for The Education Trust, which is a national nonprofit advocacy organization that promotes high academic achievement for all students at all levels, particularly for low-income students and students of color.
Lillian brings a ton of her own personal experiences to this interview, leaving us in awe of her passion and desire to ensure that all students succeed. This is beyond an interview on leadership, it’s a testament to what it takes to lead with energy and enthusiasm. You can’t miss what she says about how to be caring and nurturing while also being disruptive.
- She tells us how the leader has to know what the salient work is and always remember who she or he is serving. She hones in on how to be a thoughtful and caring leader who remains sensitive to the needs of individuals through listening and how that is what creates energy and enthusiasm in the organization. She even references some of the ideas from our blogpost on employee motivation and retention as a way to energize the people.
- Listen to her describe the power of working with great leaders who come with an “equity lens,” like Dan Domenech, now the Executive Director of AASA.
- She talks about the power of listening to really hear what people are saying and how that makes the difference in our daily endeavors. Treat people as trusted advisors.
- She tells us that we have to market and brand what we do so that our story is clear, honest, and fair.
- She discusses the importance of spending time in the field, despite your position, how getting into classrooms is critical to remaining sensitive to what is happening and what is important regarding school improvement and student success.
- She used to think that making a case with data was the primary factor for instituting change, and although it’s important, she says that it’s far more about hearts and minds than she once realized.
This interview is powerful and humble at the same time, and you simply can’t miss all of the other critical pieces of leadership learning that it provides.
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