the way As we rise into leadership roles, it’s not always easy to navigate the leadership path. After all, there are as many leadership traits as there are leaders. LKN Woman talks to area leaders in the hope that we can learn from each other’s successes and failures in confronting leadership challenges. BARBRA BRYAN, On-Site Owner, The Goddard School of Mooresville
Too often business is all about doing what your head tells you to do rather than your heart. But Barbra Bryan, the on-site owner of The Goddard School of Mooresville, knows that a great leader is only as good as the team around her. As such, she leads with her heart, knowing that the key to unleashing a team’s full potential is to put people first. Leading heart first isn’t always easy, though. After all, it requires the courage to say “no,” the courage to stand alone at times, and the courage to stick to your principles, no matter what. But according to Barbra, good leaders will not only face those challenges head on, they will tap into their own courage to help their team members see the big picture and overcome their own fears. And, she notes, a truly courageous leader doesn’t seek the spotlight, instead giving others the opportunity for accomplishment and growth by allowing them to perform tasks that they could do better. She adds: “They quietly know they are making a difference in the lives around them and get great personal satisfaction from that knowledge.”
H E R DE F IN ITION OF LEADERSHIP:
A leader is someone who creates an environment that allows others to accomplish things they may have thought were impossible by inspiring, coaching, challenging, providing vision, and clarifying purpose.”
life as a leader w
I found my passion, early learning, and in following it, built a successful preschool.
| JANUARY 2019
As a role model for the children at her preschool, there is a lot of pressure on Barbra to get leadership right. After all, her attitude and example have the potential to affect their habits and perspectives throughout their lives. But, according to Barbra, they have just as much of an impact on her own perspective. “When, on a daily basis, you see children laughing until their bellies hurt, and then a little bit more, you learn not to take yourself too seriously!” she explains. Of course that doesn’t mean that Barbra isn’t aware that her role is an important one, which is why she makes certain to learn from the experience when mistakes are made. “I’ve learned to understand before I could be understood; to create a work environment that inspires; to listen. And perhaps most importantly, I’ve learned to lead by going first—to feel the fear and do it anyway!” w
IN THREE WORDS I’M: passionate,
curious, a builder. BIGGEST WORK PET PEEVE: Lack of
persistence. Oh, and passwords. I hate having to remember all those user IDs and passwords!
MY HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS WOULD DESCRIBE ME AS: Smart,
but an underachiever; stubborn and creative. WHEN I PUNCH OUT:
I ride my horse and spend time at the barn with him. WRITER DANA NIETERS
I WISH I HAD MORE TIME TO: Spend at the barn,
learn to paint, and travel.
FIRST LEADERSHIP POSITION: Distribution
Center and Area Sales
PHOTOGRAPHER TONI LOVEJOY
Lake Norman Woman Magazine - January 2019