Kate Ross kicked off the first of our new regular team meetings by telling us a bit about herself and how these five things relate to her leadership style.
1. Kate grew up on a farm in Ontario, where she lived until she moved to Alberta at age 18 when her family sold their farm. The family farm primarily produced eggs and had 5500 laying hens. Kate’s work hard/play hard attitude began at an early age. In fact, at age 5 Kate had an egg route. Her mother dropped her off in town and Kate made her way around her route delivering eggs. Once she was school-aged, Kate and her siblings came home after school and helped grade eggs till bedtime. This was also the basis for her love of service and how as a leader she is in service to others.
2. Kate is the middle child in a family of 7 children and one of only two girls; the other being the oldest sibling. Her family dynamics meant that she became a natural and practised collaborator. Kate’s approach is always to bring people together to solve problems, identify solutions and work in tandem whenever the opportunity presents itself. She learned the meaning of service at a young age.
3. Kate loves soccer, and began playing when she was six years old. She continues to play today, although (since suffering a career limiting injury a few years ago) she now sticks to the indoor pitch. Kate follows Ghana and the German team, which she began following after going to the World Cup in Germany in 2006.
One reason soccer resonates with Kate is that it is a team sport. While everyone has a set position, it’s how the team works together that is ultimately most important. Winning is not the only measure of success. Even more important is how effectively the team works together. Sometimes you need to fill gaps, and play another position. Sometimes you are in the leadership role, and often someone else leads and it’s your turn to follow.
4. Kate loves good food and wine as it allows her to be creative and curious. It’s also something that gives her a sense of completion and accomplishment. Kate endeavours to have fun while working hard. She wants staff to be hard on problems, not each other and stay curious in finding effective solutions.
5. Kate earned her Doctorate in Educational Leadership. Her dissertation focuses on the effects of merit based aid on student motivation. She is a strong advocate for life-long learning and believes that leading and learning go hand-in-hand. Taking responsibility for your own development is essential to growth.
Short term goals
Before the holiday break, Kate’s goal is to spend time with each unit. Her hope is that she will foster a level of trust and openness throughout ES to enable us to be change savvy and focused on continuous improvement of the human experience.
Stay tuned for information about the date and location of our new ongoing ES team meetings.
Staff spotlight series
Our spotlight on Kate is just the first in an ongoing series. We aim to regularly profile staff on both the Okanagan and Vancouver campuses so we can all get to know each other a bit better.
Is there someone in your unit you would like to shine the spotlight on? Let us know!