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B165: Leadership & Learning: Leadership and the Weight We Carry: Navigating the Murky Waters of Lea


Ever found yourself being asked to leave your life behind as you step into your leadership role? Or perhaps you’ve experienced the burden of working for a leader whose personal anxieties cast a shadow on the entire team. Maybe it’s a bit of both?

The truth is, regardless of our title or the number of people we lead, we all carry our own ‘stuff.’ It could be as enduring as anxiety and depression or as fleeting as the discomfort of a bad night’s sleep. The common advice often falls into two extremes: 1) ignore it and leave it at the door, or 2) fully embrace it, even if it means dragging others along in the name of authenticity.

In this conversation, I’ll share insights from my personal journeys of leadership and anxiety, self-sabotage, and persistent negative self-talk. Over the past year, I’ve collaborated with counselors, coaches, and friends to navigate these murky waters and discovered the power of trust and curiosity as essential tools to lead authentically. Join us as we explore the middle ground—where leadership meets life—and discover how cultivating trust and curiosity can guide us through the “stuff.”



  • – Investigate the limitations of the common advice to “leave it at the door” for effective leadership.
  • – Examine the impact of authenticity when it goes too far, casting a shadow on the entire team.
  • – Discover the potential of trust and curiosity as the cornerstone of healthy, authentic leadership.
  • – Discuss with others about the interplay of personal challenges and leadership in diverse contexts.

INSTRUCTORS: Ryan MacTaggart, PhD, Associate Director, Professional Learning, EDUCAUSE

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