Early childhood Performance Task

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What You Need

TO LEAD an Early Childhood Program

Emotional Intelligence in Practice

Holly Elissa Bruno

National Association for the Education of Young Children Washington, DC

National Association for the Education of Young Children 1313 L Street NW, Suite 500 Washington, DC 20005-4101 202-232-8777 • 800-424-2460 www.naeyc.org

NAEYC Books

Interim Editor in Chief Derry Koralek Director of Creative Services Edwin C. Malstrom Senior Editor Holly Bohart Design and Production Malini Dominey Assistant Editor Elizabeth Wegner Editorial Assistant Ryan Smith Permissions Lacy Thompson

Through its publications program, the National As- sociation for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) provides a forum for discus- sion of major issues and ideas in the early childhood field, with the hope of pro- voking thought and promot- ing professional growth. The views expressed or implied in this book are not necessar- ily those of the Association or its members.

Permissions “To a Robin in Lent,” from THE WAVE-MAKER by Elizabeth Spires. Copy- right © 2008 by Elizabeth Spires. Used by permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. Finding Strengths Exercise © Dr. Claire Forest. Used with permission from Dr. Katie Palmer House and Dr. Claire Forest, Empowerment Skills for Family Workers: Instructor Manual. To order the original publication, see www. FamilyDevelopmentCredential.org/publications.php. The National Family Development Credential Program is located at the University of Connecticut, Pediatrics Dept.

Credits Cover and inside photos: copyright © by Ellen Senisi Contributing editor: Catherine Cauman Copy editor: Lisa Cook

What You Need to Lead an Early Childhood Program: Emotional Intelligence in Practice Copyright © 2012 by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.

Library of Congress Control Number: 2011943664 ISBN: 978-1-928896-80-7 NAEYC Item # 363

Holly Elissa Bruno, MA, JD, attorney and keynote speaker, hosts the online radio program Heart to Heart Conversa- tions on Leadership: Your Guide to Making a Difference on bamradionetwork.com. She teaches graduate leadership and law courses at Wheelock College and National Louis University’s McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leader- ship. Having served as assistant attorney general for the state of Maine, assistant dean at the University of Maine School of Law, and dean of faculty and associate profes- sor at University of Maine–Augusta (UMA), she was named UMA’s Outstanding Professor.

Holly Elissa’s keynotes engage and inspire audiences from Reykjavik, Iceland, to Budapest, Hungary, and from Honolulu, Hawaii, to Anchorage, Miami, Chicago, Austin, San Diego, Tulsa, and Spearfish, South Dakota. She believes early childhood leadership is one of the most powerful positions anyone can hold.

About the Author

Thank you to my mentors: Michael Gonta, Nelle Smither, Arthur LaFrance, Madeline Birmingham, and each of my students from West Charlotte Senior High School. With appreciation to the guests on my radio program, Heart to Heart Conver- sations on Leadership: Your Guide to Making a Difference, beginning with Louis Cozolino in 2010. Thank you, inspiring and steadfast colleagues: Kay Albrecht, Lorna Backus, Sue Baldwin, Ruth Ann Ball, Paula Jorde Bloom, David Bloomfield, Joanna Booth-Miner, Pam Boulton, Suzi Brodof, Beverlyn Cain, Vicki Calderone, Mary Cecchinato, Hooray Childers, Neila Connors, Doreen Dubuque, Bess Emanual, Virginia Epps, Marcia Farris, Robin Fox, Cynthia Gamez, Janet Gonzalez-Mena, Marsha Hawley, David Heath, Luis Hernandez, Joyce Holman, Gwen Hooper, Cathy Jones, Liz Kendall, Otto Kroeger, Marie Ellen Larcada, Dawn Lui, Michelle Manganaro, Evette McCarthy, Kiki McWilliams, Barb Milner, Gladys Montes, Gwen Morgan, Bonnie and Roger Neugebauer, Sue Offutt, Kyra Ostendorf, Bjork Ottarsdottir, Sandy Owen, Betty Pearsall, Rae Pica, Peter Pizzolongo, Helen Post Brown, Donna Rafanello, Hile Rutledge, Jorge Saenz De Viteri, Alicia Smith, Errol St. Clair Smith, Jo-anne Spence, Debra Sullivan, Barbara Tacchi, Alan Taylor, Julie and Larry Thorner, Ann Terrell, Kim Tice & team, Nancy Toso, Susan Twombly, P. Gail Wilson, Vernon Wilson, and Nancy Witherill. With gratitude for the support of Adrienne Beaupre, Catherine Cauman, Marina Colonas, Judy Conway, Joyce Dattle, Gita Devi, Douglass College alumnae, Wendy Dun- ning, Akimi Gibson, Jane Gottko Marcozzi, David Hoffman, Derry Koralek, Jay Manning, Jo Obin, Jan Patten, Cindy Popp-Hager, Jacqueline Raicek, Brian Roach, Ronni Rowland, Karen Vivieros, Brandy Ward, and Caitlyn Williams. With a smile to mia famiglia, Nick and Lily Bruno-Hymoff, Richard Harrison, Lynne Bissonnette Pitre, Louise Riggs Bruner, Vincenzo Bruno, the Gorg family, Karen Bruner Hull, Art and Concetta Bruno, Susan Bruno, Toby Grapelli, and Walla.

Acknowledgments

For Michael Gonta, who, in two months, 56 years ago, made this moment possible.

Contents

Preface.........................................................................................................................................................................vii

Part I—Forming: Setting Up the Program and Yourself for Success.........................................................................1 Chapter 1 Five Essential Leadership Competencies: You Heard It Here.......................................................3

Chapter 2 Smart Heart-to-Heart Leadership: Honoring Emotional Intelligence.........................................15

Chapter 3 Making Tough Decisions: The Art and Science of Decision Making..........................................31

Chapter 4 Leading on Purpose: The Road to Making a Difference...............................................................51

Part II—Storming: Identifying, Preventing, and Addressing Resistance to Change...........................................77 Chapter 5 Getting Started: Wherever You Are Is the Place to Begin............................................................79

Chapter 6 Partnering with Change.....................................................................................................................95

Chapter 7 Preventing Legal Issues: Policies and Procedures......................................................................115

Chapter 8 Creating a Community of Problem Solvers: Winners, Not Whiners.........................................129

Part III—Norming: Establishing Management Systems..........................................................................................147 Chapter 9 Supervision and Staff Development: Social EQ in Action..........................................................149

Chapter 10 Financial Management: Holding the Purse Strings...................................................................173

Chapter 11 Do No Harm: Building Safe, Sustainable, Healthy Learning Environments..........................193

Chapter 12 Curriculum Choices: Roots and Wings......................................................................................217

Chapter 13 Marketing and Development: If You Build It, They Will Come...............................................233

Part IV—Performing: Putting Principles into Practice.................................................................................249 Chapter 14 Every Child’s Family: Building Partnerships.............................................................................251

Chapter 15 Quest for Quality: Professionalism Isn’t Just a 15-Letter Word..............................................269

Part V—Re-Forming: Renewing, Refreshing, Dreaming of What Might Be........................................................293 Chapter 16 Leadership Principles to Take with You: Learning to Love the Questions...........................295

vii

Preface

What do you need to succeed as a leader?

• Proper academic credentials

• 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. Unless we can build effec- tive teams, our carefully crafted vision statement will gather dust. Unless we inspire our staff’s trust, we cannot bring out their best. Unless we earn the respect of families, our business plan will never be fulfilled. Without people skills, even the most stellar aca- demic credentials are just capital letters after our name. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” With these words, poet Maya Angelou reminds us of how invaluable it is to build connections with the people we en- counter. This ability to put people at ease, earn their trust, and inspire their dedication to quality is called emotional intelligence (EQ). What You Need to Lead an Early Childhood Program: Emotional Intelligence in Practice is the first and only early childhood leadership book anchored in what matters most: 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 informa- tion wisely. Each chapter begins with a case study that features richly complex, every- day challenges facing early childhood program directors. Alongside case studies are EQ theory and principles, pointers and problem-solving steps to help you practice and hone your leadership skills. 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

viii Preface

to a new approach? Leading an early childhood program requires learning the unspo- ken language of every individual and team. Valuable as rational analysis is, logic cannot translate these languages. Author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Little Prince explains: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” Emotional intelligence is not magic, nor is it “soft” science. EQ can be measured and learned. Current research in the growing field of neuroscience documents the physical, neuron-to-neuron impact we have on one another. For example, without one word being spoken, the human heart electromagnetically communicates a “Great to see you” or “Keep your distance” message to people within five feet of us. In addition, research shows that the brain’s ability to make effective consecutive decisions declines after three or four hours. Yet, how many of us forge ahead, unaware that our brain has hit the snooze button? Sixty-five to ninety percent of human emotion is communicated without words. Leaders need to listen with the heart as well as the mind. Our leadership practices, informed by neuroscience research, can be sharpened and polished to greater effectiveness. Thanks to f MRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging), research on the adult brain is now as compelling as research on the newborn to three-year-old’s brain. Knowledge liberates. When we know how the brain func- tions, we can partner with its idiosyncrasies and not feel restrained by uncomfortable thoughts and reactions. To lead with EQ is to lead with confidence and integrity. As we build and refine our EQ capacities, our confidence as leaders grows commensurately. What You Need to Lead an Early Childhood Program: Emotional Intelligence in Prac- tice covers the entire realm of a leader’s responsibilities, from financial management to marketing, supervision to assessment, and health and safety to preventing legal troubles. What makes this book unique and engaging is the human focus in each of these areas. What You Need to Lead is the new edition of Leading on Purpose: Emotionally Intelli- gent Early Childhood Administration. This edition incorporates the latest research, theo- ries, and practices a leader must know, while retaining the best of the original book. Examples of new and updated topics include:

• Research findings by Adam Bryant on the five essential skills of successful leaders

• How to avoid legal troubles in the age of social networking

• Courage: What is it, where do we find it, how do we use it?

• QRIS: New evaluation tools to assess our leadership and our programs

• Using the brain to stay cool under pressure—the neuroscience of button pushing

• Eliminating whining in the workplace

• New practices to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as Amended (enacted January 1, 2009)

• Working with immigrant families, legally and culturally

• Gender issues in leadership

• When should a leader apologize?

• What do you do if your boss is the problem?

• Managing Millennials, Gen-Xers, and Baby Boomers in the same workplace

• Building teams where women predominate

ixPreface

The new edition also features podcasts of interviews with a variety of early child- hood professionals. Starting in 2010, as the host of the online radio program Heart to Heart Conversations on Leadership: Your Guide to Making a Difference (bamradionet- work.com), I have had the pleasure of conducting live interviews with experts, authors, practitioners, and futurists in the field of educational leadership. Interviews with Neila Connors (If You Don’t Feed the Teachers, They Eat the Students), Meg Wheatley (The New Science and Walk Out, Walk On), Adam Bryant (The Corner Office), Phyllis Chesler (Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman), Robert Sutton (Good Boss, Bad Boss), Stephanie Feeney (Professionalism in Early Childhood), Roy Baumeister (Willpower), and Rick Kirschner (Dealing with People You Can’t Stand) are a click away! Their answers are revealing and thought provoking. Thanks to those interviews, What You Need to Lead shimmers with direct quota- tions and insights not found anywhere else. I ask the questions most of us want to ask but feel we shouldn’t; my guests open up and tell the truth. The links to the podcasts of these interviews are noted in the page margins, so you can follow them online. Telling the truth is the core of What You Need to Lead. As you turn each page, you are invited to resolve sticky dilemmas, identify your underlying gifts, activate your sense of humor, illuminate your blind spots, apply the latest leadership theories, and be the best leader you can be. This book honors your individual learning style through a variety of print, online, and hands-on resources. The following resources are conveniently featured in the mar- gins and highlighted in the text:

• Opportunities to assess where you stand on issues

• Case studies to ponder and resolve

• Quotations to inspire you

• Podcasts featuring interviews with leadership experts

• Invitations to reflect on what you have learned from your own experience

• Choices about which steps you will take next

In addition, if you lead workshops or are a teacher educator, at the end of each chapter there are questions for reflection and team projects to engage participants in professional development sessions and to extend the learning of students in early child- hood education courses. Finally, as an attorney, I have given special attention to the legal conundrums early childhood leaders face: providing and acquiring authentic references for job applicants; handling custody disputes at pickup time; instituting no-babysitting policies; allow- ing smokers to work with young children; facing an intoxicated parent walking out the door with her infant; and preventing confidential or otherwise damaging material from appearing online. The text includes policies, procedures, and, above all, clear (nonle- galese) and direct information. With emotional intelligence and accurate information, you will find what you need to lead in each page you turn. Your response to What You Need to Lead matters to me. I value your feedback, insights, questions, and ideas for change. Contact me at hollyelissabruno.com. Now, read on to explore the uncharted territories of original leadership!

Forming Setting Up the Program and Yourself for Success

Part I

1. Five Essential Leadership Competencies: You Heard It Here

2. Smart Heart-to-Heart Leadership: Honoring Emotional Intelligence

3. Making Tough Decisions: The Art and Science of Decision Making

4. Leading on Purpose: The Road to Making a Difference

1 Five Essential Leadership Competencies: You Heard It Here

Case Study—Vanessa Director Vanessa is in a bind. She’s been nominated for president of her AEYC affiliate organization and is scared she will fail. Vanessa works well behind the scenes, loves getting results, and seems to please everyone. She knows, however, that as president she will have to address long-standing organizational power struggles and speak in front of hundreds of people. Both of these prospects scare her silly. At times, Vanessa feels like an imposter: “Everyone thinks I have it all together. If they knew the terrible mistakes I’ve made, they would kick my sorry self to the curb!” Should Vanessa run for president, given the internal and external challenges she is sure to face? Do leaders have to present a false image of perfection in order to succeed?

There is a close relationship between truth and trust. —Fred Rogers, You Are Special

3

Would you believe me if I told you that early childhood leadership is one of the most important jobs anyone could ever hold? Who else inspires children to love learning for the rest of their lives? Who else welcomes and embraces every child’s family—newly arrived immigrants, single dads, elderly grandparents, two moms, and teen parents? Who else squarely faces and addresses legal issues that set the precedent for every educational institution that follows? Who else goes home at the end of the day, exhausted for sure but knowing without a doubt that she or he has made a difference in someone’s life?

4 Part I Forming

Effective leaders are forever learning, both about their own strengths and chal- lenges and about what makes relationships work. Not every lesson we learn is neat or pretty; supervising resistant staff members can put us face-to-face with our own blind spots. We may not be able to help every child with special needs or prevent our budget from being cut to the bone. We can, however, choose our own attitude, whatever comes our way. In early childhood, we lead through relationships. We touch other people deeply, just as they touch us. Building healthy, happy relationships is both an art and a science. Beginning right now, shall we set off on a treasure hunt to discover what we need to lead, humbly and elegantly, powerfully and gently? We’ll stop to explore eye-popping neuroscientific studies, liberating theories of leadership, and the hard-earned wisdom of seasoned colleagues. Our quest? To uncover the hidden dynamics of effective rela- tionships so we can lead with savvy and authenticity, never leaving home without our sense of humor. Are you ready? Here’s the first clue.

Heart-to-heart conversations on leadership Did you intend to become a leader? Some of us, without our planning it, discover we have to make a choice: Step up to lead, or forever after wonder what we might have missed. Late in 2009, I received a curious e-mail with an even more curious question: Would I create and host an online radio program for education leaders? BAM radio network’s Emmy award-winning executive producer, Errol St. Clair Smith, promised I could inter- view anyone I wanted and ask whatever questions I chose. Join us, he said, in pushing the envelope in educational journalism. Who likes to fail, especially publicly? Not me, that’s for sure. Yet how else would I learn unless I risked failure? Despite the steepest of learning curves, I knew I needed to step up. I accepted Errol’s challenge. As I often say, “Life’s too short to be boring.” Heart to Heart Conversations on Leadership: Your Guide to Making a Difference “went live” in 2010 on the Leaders Channel. Now, with one quick click at your computer to http://bamradionetwork.com, you can tune in to podcasts and hear leaders, experts, authors, and colleagues tell their truths and share their latest research on what leaders need to succeed. When people are asked to share what matters, they generally do. Each of my guests levels, “heart to heart,” about his or her hard-earned leadership lessons—what we need to leave behind and what we need to undertake. Those leaders’ experiences, research, and insights prove that effective leaders manage through relationships, not control. In fact, leading is relating. This book is for smart, heart-to-heart, everyday leaders—the relationship builders. It shines a light on the qualities of the best leaders and guides us in making our own light shine a little brighter.

Indispensable and unexpected lessons Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times journalist Adam Bryant wanted answers about what makes a leader successful. For his book The Corner Office: Indispensable and Unex- pected Lessons from CEOs on How to Lead and Succeed (2011), Bryant taped more than 70 interviews with leaders from disparate fields. Among them are Teach for America’s

Leaders aren’t neces- sarily the smartest people in the organiza- tion, but they are the best students of human nature. . . . A leader’s real job is to ask ques- tions, not to have the answers.

—Adam Bryant (podcast)

All sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story or tell a story about them.

—Isak Dinesen Out of Africa

5Chapter 1 Five Essential Leadership Competencies

founder and CEO, Wendy Kopp; the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s artistic direc- tor, Judith Jamison; Harvard University’s president, Drew Gilpin Faust; and Disney’s CEO, Roger Iger. In his interviews Bryant booted out the usual questions, like “What are the most important competencies leaders need?” Instead, he asked soaring questions: “How do you do what you do?” . . . “How did you learn to do what you do?” . . . “What lessons have you learned that you can share with others?” Bryant found the results—the five traits of successful leaders listed above—both “indispensable and unexpected.” As you manage through relationships, these strengths will serve you well. Let’s dive for pearls in each of Bryant’s findings.

u EXERCISE YOUR EQ n Which traits describe you? Which is your greatest strength? Which is an area for improvement?

Passionate curiosity Do you love learning more than you fear failing? Are you willing to set aside presump- tions and challenge your own thinking? Passionately curious leaders

wrestle with tough issues. . . . They ask big-picture questions. They seem like eager students who devour insights and lessons, and are genuinely, enthusiastically inter- ested in everything going on around them. . . . They wonder why things work the way they do and whether those things can be improved upon. They want to know people’s stories, and what they do. (Bryant 2011, 13)

The leader doesn’t have to be the smartest person in the organiza- tion, Bryant noted when I interviewed him. Instead, effective leaders are the “best students of human nature” (podcast). The mental agility fostered by boundless curiosity allows a leader to take risks and envision alternatives, even when the proven approach still works. Motivated by the desire to stay fresh and be more effective, passionately curious leaders question what others take for granted. They often lead first and analyze later. In his book, Bryant quotes the CEO of technology company Nvidia, Jen-Hsun Huang, as saying, “I ac- tually like making decisions with intuition. I like to validate the decision with analytics. I don’t believe you can analyze your way into success. I think it’s too complicated. You have to use intuition, which is everything—your artistic sensibility, your intellectual sensibility, experience” (2011, 15). Roger Neugebauer, cofounder with his wife, Bonnie, of the World Forum Founda- tion, carries his passionate curiosity to a global level. About wanting to see with his

He is educated who knows where to find out what he doesn’t know.

—Georg Simmel

Bam!radio

“The 5 Traits of Successful Education Leaders”

Interview with Adam Bryant

Heart to Heart Conversations on Leadership

http://bamradionetwork.com

Bryant’s Five Traits of Successful Leaders Passionate curiosity: Deep sense of engagement with the world; burning need to

know “What’s it all about?” Battle-hardened confidence: Track record of facing down, learning from, and grow-

ing stronger through adversity. Team smarts: Bringing the best out of staff teams, by using or altering the organiza-

tion’s unwritten rules. Simple mindset: Ability to see through information overload to the heart of the matter. Fearlessness: Willingness to think differently, despite pressure or inertia, and risk

making changes for the better.

6 Part I Forming

Bam!radio

“Why Education Leaders Can’t Succeed Without Thinking Globally”

Interview with Roger Neugebauer

Heart to Heart Conversations on Leadership

http:/bamradionetwork.com

own eyes and hear with his own ears what early educators around the globe are doing for children, Neugebauer observed,

Children in our care right now will inherit a vastly different world. My grandparents grew up in South Dakota and never left their county. My parents didn’t travel outside the country until they were in their 60s. Bonnie and I didn’t travel internationally until we were 22. Our children, before they were 21, had traveled to Estonia, India, Turkey, Russia, China, and New Zealand. I can’t fathom what the world will be like for our grandchildren. (podcast)

Each time Roger and Bonnie prepare for the next World Forum, they travel the world, meeting and dialoguing with educators . . . from Afghanistan, Kenya, South Af- rica, Malaysia. In their travels, they are endlessly curious, passionate about discovering leaders who are making a difference and, as a result, forever learning.

u EXERCISE YOUR EQ n  What sparks your curiosity? Are you always on a quest to learn and understand more? What compels you to remain a lifelong learner?

Battle-hardened confidence Vanessa, in the chapter case study, has a track record of getting results. She is well respected enough by colleagues to be nominated for a vital leadership position. Yet Vanessa doubts herself and feels like “the great pretender.” What would it take for Van- essa to overcome her self-doubt and confidently lead her affiliate? Bryant discovered that successful leaders share a second trait: hard-earned con- fidence in their ability to learn from and face down adversity. Confidence is rarely the same as cockiness. Self-doubt, unlike humility, is not always productive. What kind of confidence in their abilities must leaders have? In his book, Bryant says of these lead- ers, “They have a track record of overcoming adversity, of failing and getting up off the mat to get the job done. They have battle-hardened confidence” (2011, 24). They may have faced adversity in their professional lives or their personal lives, or both. Wherev- er the difficulty is, leaders don’t run from it. Bryant quotes Nvidia’s Huang as observing, “There are some people who, in the face of adversity, become more calm” (25). Teach for America founder Wendy Kopp wanted to know the “personal character- istics that differentiate the people among our teachers who are the most successful” (Bryant 2011, 30–31). Kopp’s researchers discovered perseverance is a successful teacher’s most important trait. Kopp describes persevering teachers as

people who, in the context of a challenge . . . have the instinct to figure out what they can control, and to own it, rather than to blame everyone else in the system. And you can see why in this case. Kids, kids’ families, the system—there are so many people to blame. . . . And it’s so much about that mindset—the internal locus of control, and the instinct to stay optimistic in the face of a challenge. (Bryant 2011, 31)

Perhaps bleeps and bumps on a résumé indicate more depth than a résumé with a perfect record. Facing the worst and squeezing out the best hones …