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10 Questions with James Bailey

James Bailey has spent a majority of his career in public education as a teacher, principal, principal consultant and superintendent roles in Texas, Colorado and Wyoming. His district was the first member in the state to join the League of Innovative Schools after reform efforts around personalized learning and social-emotional development. In San Antonio, he led the turnaround efforts for the Carpe Diem Schools. His deep-seated commitment to equity and supporting school leaders led him to training as an executive coach and founding the Leading Learners Institute focused on executive coaching and developing the social and emotional side of leadership. He is also an advocate for helping leaders and young people become more self-aware of their social and emotional needs, and develop the skills to work with others on a more human level. James has a PhD in Educational Leadership and Innovation, is a prolific publisher and presenter, and currently serves as a core faculty member in leadership at Walden University.

WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED AND WHY?
“Do what you love, the money will follow,” was taught to me early but not followed until recently. This lesson reminds one not to follow the usual path promoted by society but to listen to your passions.

WHO HAS INSPIRED YOU AND WHY?
My parents inspired my love of learning, but I have recently been inspired by the life of Congressman John Lewis who promoted getting into "good trouble".

WHAT IS THE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU COULD SHARE WITH OUR READERS TO UPLIFT THEM IN LIFE AND CAREER?
Not advice, but the right questions to consider are: What is my job on this planet? What is it that needs doing, that I know something about, that probably won't happen unless I take responsibility for it?

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK AND HOW DID IT INSPIRE YOU?
I am an avid reader, so it is hard to choose just one, but I was originally inspired by Viktor E. Frankel's Man’s Search for Meaning as it led me away from focusing only on happiness toward meaning in life.

WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX?
To relax, I like to meditate, mountain bike, read, and of course watch as much baseball as possible.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES YOU OR YOUR INDUSTRY FACES, AND HOW DO YOU OVERCOME THOSE?
In leadership development, many people are promoted because of their technical skills but learn quickly they need a different skill set based on social and emotional skills. Helping leaders see the need for a different skill set and how to develop them is the heart of leadership coaching.

WHAT IS ONE TREND IN YOUR INDUSTRY THAT EXCITES YOU?
In leadership development the focus on vertical development or helping adults develop further and understand their lives at a deeper level is a trend worthy of pursuit.

WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU DO EVERY DAY THAT ADDS TO YOUR SUCCESS?
I follow the same morning routine, and organize my day around 3-5 goals to accomplish that day.

WHAT TECHNOLOGY PRODUCT CAN’T YOU LIVE WITHOUT?
I have fallen in love with Noom, which is an award-winning weight-loss program designed by psychologists and scientifically proven to create real, sustainable results.

PLEASE, FINISH THIS STATEMENT: LEADERSHIP IS...
a calling worthy of one's life.

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