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7 Questions on Leadership with Michellea Millis Rucker

Name: Michellea Millis Rucker

Title: CEO

Organisation: Transforming Our Practice, LLC.

Michellea “Redbird” Millis Rucker, MSML, Ed. D. Candidate, ACC, DEIC, is the Founder and CEO of Transforming Our Practice, LLC., and BrownSTEM, INC. She has over 21 years in Education, 10 years in Non-Profit Administration, and 10 years as an Entrepreneur. She is an experienced Instructional, Leadership Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coach. She is an ICF ACC specializing in Transformational Leadership and Performance Coaching and Diversity Equity and inclusion Certification (DEIC). She is a member of the Founding Circle for the Cialdini Institute and is pursuing her Influence Coaching License and Certification. She has a BA Degree in Organizational Management, MS in Managerial Leadership, Harvard Graduate School of Education Alumni with a focus on Leadership and Data, and Ed.D. Doctoral Candidate in Leadership. Recently, she was featured in the September 2020 edition of the Excelligent Magazine as a Global Education Influencer. She also is a LEGO® SERIOUSPLAY® Methods Facilitator.

Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!

I hope Michellea's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

The most challenging aspect of being a leader is to scale my leadership to the next level. That means scaling the capacity and capability in my business to create outcomes that matter most, to cultivate, nurture, and sustain its desired optimal and viable future.

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

I started in my late 20s as a non-profit organization leader and had no clue what I was doing. I learned to fail forward and began getting promotions even when I pivoted into the educational leadership space. I became acutely aware of my biases and began working on becoming a transformational leader, which included the belief that I must always be fine-tuning my leadership identity to ensure I am the leader I want to be.

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

I start with prayer or reflection every morning. I then review my to-do list and calendar that I prepare every evening before I go to sleep. I use a time-block technique to ensure I give ample time to each priority while leaving 30-45 minutes of open time for family and spontaneous thought partnering. I have recently begun to put in breaks to ensure rest from virtual platforms and long hours of sitting.

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

I was recently reminded that every leader must learn from their fail-forward journey. I was being asked to give advice about a leadership move, and as I was about to share, I remembered that leadership is best learned when the leader embarks upon the journey themselves with little to no guidance. It builds stamina, tenacity, and intellectual humility.

5. 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?

One of the books is Good to Great, which I read over 10 years ago but still keep referring to. The impact of that book let me see that I was a good leader, but I wanted to be great at proactive leadership, people growth, and organizational effectiveness. I had a mind shift in thinking and how I lead in my work and company.

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

Skillfully listen to others as they give leadership advice but craft your journey and learn from it.

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

I was given some feedback from a boss that has stuck with me. The feedback was perception is reality. At the time, I did not understand and actually took it personally. Over the years, I have reflected on it and have come to fully realize that perception is reality, and it is up to me, as the leader, to ensure the perception is the correct reality I want those I lead to have.

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