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Thank you to the 1,400 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions!
I hope reading

7 Questions with Dave Mullen

helps you in your leadership.



Jonno White

7 Questions with Dave Mullen

Name: Dave Mullen

Current title: Interim Head of School

Current organisation: Wye River Upper School

In my 42 years in education I have served 30 as a Head of School in addition to serving as an Admissions Director, Band Director, Fine Arts Chair, and teacher of music, religion, photography, digital art, and psychology to students grade 4 through adulthood.

7 Questions with Dave Mullen

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader in the education sector?

Managing employees expectations.

2. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

Commute, coffee, meditation, email, hang with students, meetings, sit in classes, meetings, hang with students, student sports, dinner, TV sports, read, bed.

3. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?

The importance of being a non-anxious presence.

4. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

Failure of Nerve by Edwin Friedman, applying Bowen Family Systems Theory to an organization. Allowed me to see patterns in the emotional system that are universal rather than particular.

5. How do you find and keep great leaders in the education sector?

Give them new, interesting and challenging work, remove compensation as an obstacle to creating a career.

6. What's most important as a leader in the education sector for developing a culture of wellbeing in your staff and students?

Mindfulness practices for everyone, understanding emotional systems for teachers and board members.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader in the education sector so far?

Conversations on the front porch of the school with individual students about life.

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