Saturday, May 16, 2015

Resilient Leadership

Oklahoma State Superintendent Conference February 2015
Dr. Robert Romines
Resilience skills apply to every aspect of life: personal and professional.  Imagine if you were stepping into a new work position during a natural disaster- your responsibilities include the safety of children, teachers, and communicating calm to parents. This is the story of Dr. Robert Romines, Superintendent of the Moore, Oklahoma school district.  In February of this year I had the honor of meeting this “ordinary hero” who demonstrates resilient leadership.

On May 20, 2013 an F5 tornado impacted the community of Moore, Oklahoma and the 23,000 students in Dr. Robert Romines' care. 

He was a first responder to the school buildings destroyed by the storm and helped rescue teachers and students from the disaster sites.  Within moments of learning of the 7 student deaths in the Briarwood school, Dr. Romines was called upon to speak to the media. He communicated reassurance and realistic hope. 

The tornado ended the school year only days away from the planned summer dismissal.  Within the week Dr. Romines assembled a team to provide safe spaces for every student to return for their first day of the next school year.  From May 21 through August 16, 2013 Romines led with the mantra “Anything is possible.”

Understandably, two years later he is still tearful and managing emotions speaking about the events of the Tornado and the rebuilding/recovery effort that followed. Dr. Romines' leadership continues in his Monday email sent out to every family in his district with a “weather update” for the week.

Ordinary people can do extraordinary things utilizing resilience skills: Support, flexibility, decisiveness, and perspective. 

Are you leading your personal life with resilience? 
Are you practicing resilience in your parenting?