emBOSSed Leadership

Rise up.


Stand out.


“Take massive, determined action.”


Amber D. In Education

Education is a world of systems and processes.  It has to be, because we are also a world of public entity.  Everyone owns a little piece of public education and wants to know that what we are doing is measurable and repeatable -- and to accomplish this we must have systems and processes.  As a teacher, instructional coach, and principal Amber thrives in this world, because she functions very much like this. Show her what to do and she’ll do it. Tell her the research and she’ll learn from it and apply it to her work.  Give her the steps and she’ll systematically work through them.

But what Amber noticed over time is most people don’t thrive in environments like this.  Leaders who have good intentions and who care about people were perceived as cold-hearted and unaware because they were following this orderliness, and teachers were frustrated. 

You see, similar structures are important, however, Amber eventually recognized that a lot of the methods were aligned to answerability instead of aligning to the needs and growth of people.  These systems are often about the big picture rather than the paints and paint brushes that create the big picture. No one wants to admit it, but the messiness of humanity is often neglected in our industry of building people, or at least of building teachers.

It is common to hear that leaders need to build relationships with their staff, but there’s no system for that, and because there’s no system it’s easier for leaders to rely on the structures that are in place. Evaluation Systems.  School Improvement Plans. Decision Rules.  Best Practices. The list goes on and on, and Amber flourishes as she works through these systems … but the teachers don’t.  At least not with this alone.

This notion is now what leads Amber through her work as a principal everyday.  She follows the systems and processes, but she weaves the important work of humanity throughout it.  Amber focuses on teacher strengths rather than weaknesses, recognizing that every teacher interprets best practice differently in their classrooms.  She recognizes that the frequency of her support can sometimes trump the quality, not relying heavily on the annual evaluation. She’s always seeking ways to appreciate others, and to encourage her staff to do the same, because school improvement means a lot more than just student performance on high stakes tests.  And what was once just a simple #MondayMindset email to her staff each week, which included a positive way to approach the upcoming five days, has evolved into a podcast called Monday Mindsets that people across the world now subscribe to.

Amber was once branded as an instructional leader, and though many would still consider her that, she has evolved into a leader brand that is about much more than instruction. Amber could quite possibly be branded as a mindful leader now. 


Listen in to Amber’s personal leadership story:


Through her journey Amber has learned to develop, inspire and empower — and her work with other educators focuses on these three elements:


Maximize your effectiveness in the workplace by understanding the different ways people function, communicate, and respond to feedback.



Learnlead, and live positively. Tap into the deepest awesomeness within your work. Teach others how to reach their highest potential, and in the process, tap into yours as well.



Elevate your work by creating a culture of trust stemmed from strength-based leadership. Increase accountability without any negative feelings about it. And create a team that is effective, confident, energetic and successful.



Amber continually amazes me with her positive attitude and energy. I didn’t realize how much impact I have on the daily energy of my team until I started working with her. She has helped me hone into how to purposefully lead by example.
— Lee
Amber has been a breath of fresh air and I can’t tell you how much I am enjoying my job after implementing her strategies! Everything she shares is actionable and has made a remarkable difference in our culture.
— Michelle