Third Quarter Highlights from the Lead with Empower Podcast

We have completed the “first half” review of the Lead with Empower Podcast; sharing leadership insight from fifteen of our tremendous guests, including teachers and coaches, student athletes, a news anchor, four recreation coordinators, and young professionals! The third quarter review includes highlights from our episodes with:

  • Kevin Gilbride, Head Coach of the XFL’s New York Guardians
  • Anne Drewry, Dean of Students at Mercy High School
  • Kim Longobucco, Principal at Newtown High School and fellow Springfield College alum
  • Jim Warnock, Physical Education Teacher and Coach at South Windsor High School and fellow Springfield College alum
  • Natalie Nyerick, Peace Corps Guatemala Volunteer and former Empower Leadership facilitator

Enjoy their top 3 leadership insights and visit for full episodes!

Coach Kevin Gilbride: Head Coach of the XFL’s New York Guardians

  • Relationships, authenticity, and conviction – be resolute in your beliefs and personality and do whatever it takes to help those that you lead develop the skills they need to be successful at their craft!
  • The importance of having a unified front in leadership. Without unificiation, communication will not be productive and success is very difficult to come by.
  • Leaders are lifelong learners – keeping an open mind and perspective to be influenced, motivated, and excited by great instruction.

Anne Drewry: The Dean of Students at Mercy High School

  • “When you react, you will probably regret.” Anne discusses the importance of leading in a thoughtful and proactive manner vs. an impulsive and reactive manner!
  • In order to effectively lead, the leader must develop deep and trusting relationships and connections with those that she/he leads. Those relationships, formed through authentic interactions and experiences, create an environment of open conversation, accountability, and connectedness. 
  • The accomplishment that a person truly values and is passionate about achieving requires hard work! If one wants to achieve something, she/he has to work at it every day!

Kim Longobucco: Principal of Newtown High School

  • Great leaders do not shy away from “positive risk” experiences that will serve as confidence building opportunities. These opportunities may be challenging and may push leaders out of their comfort zone; however, they are necessary for growth and development!
  • Self-reflection, self-accountability, and life-long learning – great leaders never “turn-off” their inner student, are able to reflect on their actions and decisions and make necessary changes, and, when they fall short, they do not place blame on others.
  • Leadership is not a “large project” – it is a compilation of the little actions and decisions we execute each day. Those actions that may seem small to the leader may be of great significance to those being led!

Jim Warnock: Teacher and Coach at South Windsor High School

  • “Create a connection before you give a correction.” Once again, relationships are key in effective leadership. To truly lead people to be their best selves, the leader must have established meaningful connections with those that they lead.
  • Leadership is not about academic, athletic, or artistic prowess. Leadership is often defined by “the intangibles” – the ability to grind and persevere, to treat others kindly and respectfully, and to always be prepared. 
  • Results matter (the product); however, great leaders find balance between valuing the results and the journey (the process). The journey is often times more meaningful, powerful, and impactful than the actual result.

Natalie Nyerick: Peace Corps Guatemala Volunteer and Empower Leadership Team Building Facilitator

  • Evaluate the potential rewards and the potential risks and, if the positive outcomes outweigh the negative outcomes, step out of your comfort zone and enjoy the challenge and personal/group development associated with positive risk taking
  • Once again, we hear from a tremendous leader about the importance of forging meaningful and trusting relationships.
  • Increases in self-confidence do not come from doing that which is easy! Our confidence is boosted when we adventure out of our comfort zone, experience the adrenaline rush from time in our stretch zone, and safely return to our comfort zone at the conclusion of our “stretch” experience!

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