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Learning Center Experience
Schweikert is the chief operating officer of Lightbridge Academy, a successful
franchise in the child care industry. In my interview with Gigi, I was
particularly impressed with her high level of energy and ability to communicate
a message, both key traits of a successful leader. Gigi suggests in her
interviews, articles, and books that leadership characteristics aren’t solely cultivated
from the offices of presidents, CEOs, and directors.
They can also spring forth
from the everyday occurrence, such as being the first person to push the button
in an elevator, the first to say “hello” when entering a room, or the first to
raise a hand to answer a question. Gigi says you may already be a leader, but
just not know it.
that the advice given to artists who want to perform at Carnegie Hall also
works for someone who wants to foster a leadership mindset—just practice,
practice, practice. Practice can help you take notice of your own leadership style
and recognize which characteristics to nurture. The key is to look for the
opportunities of everyday life and start practicing immediately. For example,
students can pursue a leadership role in a university organization or club like
the Collegiate Entrepreneurs, Ambassadors, or Golden Key. Or they can ask to be
project manager for a class assignment. Women with children have numerous opportunities
to hone their leadership roles as a class mom, den mother for scouts, coach or
assistant for their child’s sport team, or volunteer in the community. Taking
on these everyday leadership tasks will help identify those skills you excel
at, and which ones to develop.
From the Top” provides inspiring examples of effective women leaders. For some
of them, leadership came naturally. But for many others, you’ll find that they
too had to work at their leadership style. A common misconception is that great
leaders are born. It’s more apt to say that anyone has the ability to become a great leader. You can start the
process by taking notice of the traits and skills from respected leaders that
you want to develop. And then make sure to keep your eyes open every day for
the chance to flex those leadership muscles. See you at the top!
Gigi suggests in her interviews, articles, and books that leadership characteristics aren’t solely cultivated from the offices of presidents, CEOs, and directors. They can also spring forth from the everyday occurrence, such as being the first person to push the button in an elevator, the first to say “hello” when entering a room, or the first to raise a hand to answer a question.Martin J. McDermott, Full-Time Faculty
Gigi suggests in her interviews, articles, and books that leadership characteristics aren’t solely cultivated from the offices of presidents, CEOs, and directors. They can also spring forth from the everyday occurrence, such as being the first person to push the button in an elevator, the first to say “hello” when entering a room, or the first to raise a hand to answer a question.
Martin J. McDermott, Full-Time Faculty
Schweikert is the chief operating officer of Lightbridge Academy, an educational
child care franchise. She is a noted keynote speaker on the topics of education,
leadership, parenting, and work/life balance.
Gigi has written 18 books in three languages. Her most recent is titled Being a Supervisor. Over the years, Gigi
has developed and operated employer-sponsored child care centers as well as
created and delivered leadership training for Fortune 500 companies and educational
institutions. Other notable achievements during Gigi’s 25 years of experience
include directing the United Nations Early Childhood Program in New York City
and developing the Johnson & Johnson System of Family Centers. Gigi is a vice
president with Children's Choice and consults to Fortune 100 clients. Gigi also
hosted the television show Today’s Family.
Gigi lives in New Jersey with her husband, four children, three dogs, many
chickens, and one turtle.
The best piece of advice that she can give is...
will always be there, so let your kids come first. I have a heart for the
struggles of working parents. Never forget that children grow up very quickly,
and no matter what age, they always need you! As a parent, it’s your job to
guide them through the journey of life.
Stay focused to maintain a clear purpose in any personal or
professional settings. This will help keep schedules organized and prioritized
and make sure stress doesn’t weigh you down, no matter how much there is to get
2. Setting realistic expectations
Figure out what you must complete and give yourself a reasonable amount of time to accomplish it.
3. Continuous evaluation
Assess your goals continuously. Keep track of your progress toward your goals so that you know when you need to shift gears.
4. Being a good listener
Good listening is key to learning and leadership. Too many people focus on speaking as the key to communication. It is often not what you say but what you hear that is the key to unlocking potential and creating solutions. Good listeners are good leaders because they are sought after for counsel, open to new ideas, and easy to approach.
1. They are trustworthy.
A good mentor should be someone you trust and who will
hold you accountable. Often a mentor will pass on responsibility to you because
you have built a bond over time.
2. They are candid.
A good mentor is not afraid to tell you the truth and
deliver difficult messages. Everyone messes up, especially when starting out in
a new position. In order to learn from your mistakes, you need to feel
supported and even inspired to make the necessary changes.
3. They will push you.
A strong mentor encourages you to discover things on
your own. Allowing you to experience the task firsthand and make it over a few
bumps on your own will build your confidence.
4. They are
Good mentors make themselves available when needed. Although
they will be focusing on their own schedules, good mentors will never consider
it a burden to offer advice or help.
5. They will encourage and nurture.
The best mentors are the ones who create a relaxed and
comfortable environment for positive learning. A mentor who is overly harsh and
aggressive will often teach you what you don’t want to ever emulate. Seek a
mentor who is empathetic, kind, and easy to communicate with. If they are
fun….it’s a bonus!
1. Stay calm.
You cannot control those around you but you can control
your response to them. Staying calm will make it easier to recognize the
problem and create an effective solution.
2. Find the silver lining.
Things could always be worse and by changing your
perspective, you can find a positive aspect to any situation. The worst
situations can sometimes teach you the best lessons and cause you to stretch
and grow as a person.
3. Take risks.
Life inside a box is boring. Dare to push barriers and
buttons; you will find that life is much more exciting and rewarding.
4. Be comfortable in your skin.
Stop worrying about what other people think—everyone is
different. Just be yourself. It’s not worth letting others get under your skin
just because they have a problem.
5. Focus on health.
Fueling a healthier you, whether physically or mentally,
will translate into a more productive you at home and work.
6. Balance work and play.
Balancing work and life is always a challenge, but you
must keep both in check. Achieve at least one goal a day in both work and life,
no matter how small, and commend yourself for having accomplished both.
7. Celebrate life.
Take time to enjoy life, laugh, and have fun both at
work and at home. Most problems are not worth the stress. Find the happiness in
the commonplace and enjoy the journey, not just the destination!
Chapters and Organizations
Continue Your Education
Leadership and Mentoring
Student and Alumni Profiles
The views and opinions expressed in are solely those of the creators and are not attributable to Kaplan University. Any reference to a product or service does not constitute an endorsement by Kaplan University.
The contents of these podcasts are presented for informational purposes only.
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