Leadership & Mindset Shifts from an ECE Veteran

Pamela Piekarski is the President and CEO of Exploring Minds Academy, which has two programs in two different states: Colorado and Kansas. Pamela joins the show this week to discuss her journey into ECE as a Kindergarten teacher in 1978, and share a few amazing golden nuggets of advice and wisdom she has gained from a long and successful career. Pamela talks about her work in Bilingual studies, the value of a coach and mentoring peer group, and how we can feel confident about raising tuition rates. She and Kris also talk about the foundational pieces to have in place before delegating, and how to get out of overwhelm to work on your business instead of in it.

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Here Are the Key Takeaways From This Episode:

  • Exploring Minds Academy has two locations, one in Colorado and one in Kansas. This showed Pamela the different needs for each culture, and her responsibilities as the operating director fluctuate according to the two different locations.

  • Pamela opened her first child care center in 1985 and used her bilingual resources to connect even further with the children and their families.

  • Having a good coach and mentor helps us see outside of ourselves and shines a light on our blind spots.

  • Our leadership is inside of the culture, and when you view your job as an “occupation” you want not only yourself but others around you to succeed and reach their goals and dreams.

  • Pamela had a mindset shift that gave her the confidence to raise her tuition rates, which she had not done in several years. It is important to have strong communication with families so they know the value that comes with the rates, and why your school and programs are worth it.

  • Leaders must delegate so they aren’t in the weeds all the time mowing the grass. This means you must trust the people around you and honor the skills and talents that they have.

  • Pamela defines a child care rockstar as someone who can be flexible to adapt to new circumstances. A rockstar is different, according to the community, environment, and culture, but they always have passion and drive.

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