Season 4, Episode 9 of the FocusED School Leadership Podcast with Lainie Rowell

by | Feb 24, 2023 | 0 comments

6 min read

Evolving with Gratitude with Lainie Rowell  

This is Season 4, Episode 9 of FocusED, and it features our guest, Lainie Rowell. It was originally recorded live for a studio audience in Delaware, and provided as a professional development experience in collaboration with the Delaware Department of Education, the Delaware Academy for School Leadership, and The School House 302. Don’t miss what Lainie says about evolving with gratitude as a school leader, increasing baseline happiness, ways to practice gratitude…and so much more.


Lainie Rowell Brings Tons of Experience to FocusED Listeners

Lainie Rowell is an educator and international consultant who specializes in working with other educators to find innovative and sustainable ways to transform teaching and learning. Her areas of focus include community building, learner-driven design, online/blended learning, and professional learning.

During her 25 years in education, Lainie has taught elementary, secondary, and higher education. She also served in a district-level leadership position supporting 22,000 students and 1,200 teachers at 33 schools.

As a consultant, Lainie’s client list ranges from Fortune 100 companies like Apple and Google to school districts and independent schools. Lainie is a TEDx Speaker with more than 15 years of experience presenting at regional, national, and international conferences, including Learning Forward, the Digital Learning Annual Conference (DLAC), Building Learning Communities (BLC), and the Leadership 3.0 Symposium.

Her work has been highlighted in many publications, including Edutopia, OC Family Magazine, ASCD K-12 Leadership SmartBrief, Getting Smart, and PBS NewsHour.

Since 2014, Lainie has been a consultant for the Orange County Department of Education’s Institute for Leadership Development, facilitating professional learning for administrators.

Learn more about Lainie at and see highlights of her work at You can also subscribe to her newsletter at

FocusED Show Notes with Lainie Rowell 

Lainie talked about her first book launching right at the start of COVID and what she began to feel as a leader as she recognized the immense weight of the crisis. Everyone needs gratitude. 

Lainie talked about the science that backs the practice of gratitude. When we work on our ability to feel gratitude, we release “happiness chemicals” into our brains and bodies. 

Don’t miss what she says about increasing your baseline happiness. 

Joe brings up Todd Rose and equifinality. Don’t miss Lainie’s response to this. 

Her “how to” is inspiring because there are so many ways that people can practice gratitude. 

Listen to what she says about her career: I changed lanes without a turn signal.

Because of our work with feedback, we really connected to what she says about praise. We need to ensure that our ratios of praise to correction are balanced. 

Gratitude works best when it’s natural. 

With 20 examples from 18 contributors in the book, school leaders are bound to find the first, second, and third steps to creating a culture of gratitude. 

Lainie calls out Dwight Carter and Joshua Stamper for their examples from the book as well as the need to be authentic with our gratitude. 

If Lainie could improve anything in schools, she would work on the praise-to-correction ratio. 

Lainie talked about CASEL’s three signature practices

Laurie Santos, James Clear, Robert Emmons, and Katie Milkman are four people who Lainie follows outside of education. 

Big reveal at the end: Lainie’s next book! 

Lainie Rowell Quotes from FocusED

The best way to change someone else’s behavior is to change our behavior first. ~ Lainie Rowell 

Next time you’re working with someone who you want to change, consider what you’ve noticed that they do well first. ~ Lainie Rowell 

Thanks for listening to FocusED, an educational leadership podcast brought to you by TheSchoolHouse302 @ where we publish free leadership content. Go to the site, subscribe, and you’ll get all of our content sent directly to your email. 


FocusED is your educational leadership podcast where our mission is to dissect a particular focus for teachers and school leaders so that you can learn to lead better and grow faster in your school or district with more knowledge, better understanding, and clear direction on what to do next.


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