Expanding Our Lens: Conversation on Embracing Leadership and Change
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Kjirsten Mickesh. Kjirsten Mickesh has been a student of human and organizational behavior for over two decades, having led all aspects of Human Resources at global companies with a focus on talent, learning and development, Diversity Equity & Inclusion, and change and transformation. She is a speaker, consultant, and certified coach with specialized training in social and emotional intelligence. Currently, Kjirsten is the CEO of ConnectHuman a company focused on improving the well-being of individuals, families, and organizations.
Since recording this conversation, so much has happened. The racism and inequities so many of us have been fighting to acknowledge and rectify within our schools, communities, and country are finally being seen and examined on a larger scale. The pandemic, whose spread was hoped to have plateaued or dropped by now, continues to increase at alarming rates. States and school districts struggle to decide the best way to start the upcoming school year. This time is unprecedented. This time is daunting. And yet we are still here, school social workers.
This time is unprecedented. This time is daunting. And yet we are still here, school social workers.
As Kjirsten points out, there is a wisdom that comes from those who work the frontline, those who know what is happening and know the points of pain. The leadership that can be offered through this experience holds value and power. We have a unique position to serve as a liaison among the systems within the schools we serve. We hold the perspective of our students, their families, teachers, and paraprofessionals.
As school social workers, we can be the leaders that connect the multitude of perspectives with our administration.
Kjirsten identifies 5 elements that leaders should bring to the table. The last of these elements is ‘ask for help.’ What better way to seek help than by digging into a great book! Below are the 6 books Kjirsten shared, those that have shaped her perspective on leadership and change.
Orbiting the Giant Hairball, Gordon MacKenzie
Leadership from the Inside Out, Kevin Cashman
The Speed of Trust, Stephen M. R. Covey
Outcome Thinking, Anne Warfield
Crucial Conversation, Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, & Switzler
Presence, Amy Cuddy