“Who Is In Your Personal Boardroom?” is filled with wonderful content, as long as you have the patience to overlook the bad editing throughout. It would be a great tool to use while in the Buell Early Childhood Leadership Program to give you some assistance/mentorship along your leadership journey.

The authors give you the option of reading the first chapter for a high-level overview, or the entire book for a more in-depth look at the concepts and reasoning. It would depend on the amount of time you have to dedicate to this concept of a “boardroom”, but overall, it is easy to understand and a quick and worthwhile read. Below is the quick overview of the book.

The authors point out 5 easy steps to creating your personal boardroom:

1.     Define what your boardroom is for?

a.     Do you want to become the best leader you can be?

b.     Do you want to pursue a specific challenge/problem/or transition?

c.     Define what your purpose is as a leader?

2.     Choose 6-12 people for your boardroom

a.     Ask yourself 3 questions

                                               i.     Who should be in my boardroom? Obvious to include

                                             ii.     Who could be in my boardroom? Identify as valuable

                                            iii.     Who might be in my boardroom? Unusual possibilities

3.     Assign roles to the members of your boardroom

a.     Customer Voice: helps  you understand markets, customers, and business opportunities

b.     Expert: gives advice based on their sector, or challenge-specific expertise

c.     Inspirer: Inspires new ideas and brings fresh thinking

d.     Navigator: tells you what you need to know, who does what and how things work

e.     Unlocker: provides access to resources

f.      Sponsor: One that speaks out to endorse you and your ideas to important people

g.     Influencer: Works behind the scenes to win support, helps you get things done

h.     Connector: Makes introductions and connects you with people who can help you

i.      Improver: Gives candid, constructive feedback on your performance/development

j.      Challenger: questions your decisions/thinking and assists you to see your mistakes/blind spots

k.     Nerve Giver: Strengthens your resolve when things get difficult, gives you a sense of purpose

l.      Anchor: Keeps you grounded, reminds you to have balance in your life between work and your personal life

4.     Have conversations

a.     This book does a great job of giving examples of how to start conversations with each person/role within your boardroom.

b.     It should not be tough to sell people on being in your boardroom. They should believe in what it is that you are doing or trying to accomplish, ultimately, they believe in you.

5.     Give back

a.     Offer to help others, be an initiator of generosity.


What Does it Mean to be A Localist Leader?

The Buell Early Childhood Leaders Network (BECLN) listens to its members. Feedback received indicated that events offered to Alumni are Denver-centric. This led BECLN to offer Regional Buell Leader Jamborees this past spring. Areas visited were: Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, Edwards, and Littleton.

The focus of these events was to provide Buell Leaders with an opportunity to re-connect, learn about what it means to be a “Localist Leader” from the work of Deb Frieze, and generate leadership knowledge and practices together.

While each of these events was different, each provided new learning and rejuvenation for participants. Alumni shared their local context, challenges faced in their organizations and communities, and commiserated around our own exhaustion factor. As we all know, the work in early childhood education is never ending. There is the struggle to do what’s best for the children and families in Colorado and the balance to have our own personal lives with our own families.

In her TED Talk, Deborah Frieze talks about systems change and what roles are needed to make change happen in your community or organization. She describes the roles as: Trailblazer, Illuminator, Hospice Worker, and Protector. She goes on to say that: “the change we wish for will happen with small local actions.” We must remember, that we can’t do it alone. The “Hero Leader” is not the answer today. It is working as a collective force around an area of passion.

Alumni had the opportunity to participate in Art Journaling using various materials to represent their reaction to the question: “What does it mean to lead as a localist?” Buell Leaders interpreted and discussed the question and their artwork from the perspective of being an individual leader, as a leader within their organization, and as a leader within their community .

The Jamborees wrapped up by having Buell Leaders give feedback on notecards about the event. Most  appreciated the opportunity to get together, share, learn, and not have to drive to Denver. The Jamborees offered a provocation with the TedTalk and time to reflect and make a connection to their own  community or organization. Buell Leaders left feeling re-energized and encouraged to be agents for change. Participants noted that they would like more opportunities to get together and for the venues to be fun and more casual (like someone’s home).  It was also mentioned that it would be nice to get more alumni involved.

For more information on how to become a Localist Leader, check out:

Or visit the website: http://berkana.org/