Second Quarter Highlights from the Lead with Empower Podcast

We have entered the “Second Quarter” of the Lead with Empower Podcast review. Last week we identified the Top 3 Leadership Lessons from the Green Bay Packers’ Tim Boyle, Xavier High School’s Dan DeConti and Mike Cunningham, the Programming Team from New Britain Parks and Recreation, Coach Kevin Loney from Bowdoin College, and Jeff Pugliese from the Middlesex Chamber. This week’s review will feature six new guests – including tremendous leaders in the classroom, community, and in sport!

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Dr. Lisa Hill: Teacher, Department Chair, and Director of Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity at Hamden Hall Country Day School

  • “Life is a buffet and most poor bastards are starving” (Auntie Mame)! Great leaders are tremendous self-coaches – courageously embracing new experiences as learning opportunities.
  • Leaders have the confidence and sense of adventure to dive into the unknown and thrive in “stretch zone” environments.
  • Leadership requires one to open up to her/his environment, analyze information, and think critically before making a decision.
    The development of trusting relationships enables leaders to inspire those that they lead to believe in themselves and achieve what at first seemed impossible!

Sam Rector: Rising Junior (Class of 2022) at Xavier High School and Creator of the American Sports Blog and Podcast

  • Failure is only a failure if we allow it to prohibit us from our future successes. Great leaders take measured risks and, in moments of failure, are able to evaluate why they feel short and transition that moment of failure into an opportunity for development!
  • Identify that which you are passionate about and relentlessly pursue that dream
  • Relationships are the foundation of leadership and, oftentimes, those relationships are formed when you step out of your social comfort zone and involve yourself in the opportunities that are available to you. Great leaders never settle for doing “just enough” in school, on the field, at home, or in the workplace!

Sarah Cody: Weekend Anchor at News 8 in Connecticut and Three Time Emmy Award Winner

  • Mental toughness, grit, perseverance, and patience – the journey to achievement of your goal will be full of bumps, turns, and surprises – focus on your goal and do not be afraid to put your all into it!
  • Authenticity is extremely important in leadership! Those being led will always be quick to identify a “leadership facade”. Knowledge, humour, and empathy are great ways to showcase your authentic leadership!
  • Leadership in service to those that you lead – the great leader does that which contributes to their surrounding community, not that which is for self-gratification.

Patrick D’Amato: Sales Representative in Northern and Central New Jersey for the Robert E. Morris Company

  • You do not need to be the smartest, most athletic, or most gifted person in the room to outwork the competition with enthusiasm, passion, and energy; however, that work ethic requires a tremendous level of self-coaching and self-leadership!
  • The great leader is selfless – putting her or his ego aside for the successes of TEAM!
  • Leaders challenge themselves and, anytime a person is challenged, failure is a possibility. Failure is not seen as “the end of the road” by great leaders – just another opportunity to further develop her/his skills!

Nick Cerreta: Dean of Students and Varsity Baseball Head Coach at Xavier High School

  • Leadership should not be viewed as a “large project”, rather a compilation of smaller daily actions that build relationships and sense of community, that bring out the best in those around you, and pave the way for personal growth and development. A small action to one individual is often seen as a significant action by another!
  • The ability to make decisions is a critical leadership skill. Evaluate the pros and cons of a situation then act decisively. You may not always make the right decision; however, with self-reflection that “miss” will lead to further development!
  • Those that you lead may have similar goals, but their journeys are often very different. Great leaders never lose sight of their values (both personal and organizational) but are able to treat those that they lead as the unique individuals they are.

John Vigue: Manager of the Lady Alliance Elite Travel Softball Club and Former Professional Baseball Player/College Baseball Coach

  • Setting clear expectations, accountability standards, and norms is only the first step in leadership. The tremendous leader is then able to communicate those expectations, standards, and norms in a timely and professional manner; leading to a culture of understanding and accountability.
  • You are either all-in or all-out! Leaders don’t do things just to “check the box” – great leaders are passionate and intensely invested in all that they do!
  • When it is time to make the tough decision, leaders receive input from those that they lead, evaluate the input, and make a confident decision in the best interest of the team, group, or organization.

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