Educational Administration, Department of


Date of this Version


Document Type



2009 Pro>Active Publications


Journal a/Women in Educational Leadership. Vol. 7, NO.4-October 2009 ISSN: 1541-6224


In the early 1970's, I was one of the youngest coaches in The Ohio State University Athletic Department. It was October 1972 when I took 26 women on the OSU Track team to compete in South Carolina. It is a night I won't ever forget. After the competition we walked into a restaurant for dinner at 6:30pm. Most of us had eaten when we walked out at 7:00 P.M. without paying the bill-because they refused to serve my Black athletes. Three important things happened that night. First, I received instant respect from my track team that night and for many years to come. Second-I almost lost my job. And third-I learned a very valuable lesson: not everyone be- lieved the same way I did or had the same values. It was one of many lessons I have learned-and am still learning-on my journey.

Dr, Marilyn Grady invited me to write for the Journal ofWomen Educa- tional Leadership. While honored, I realized I don't do research on leader- ship. I don't lecture on leadership or have files on leadership. But then I thought-maybe that's the whole point. Most of us don't. Most of us get up every morning and do what we are supposed to do; when and wherever we are supposed to do it. It's not rocket science or Mission Impossible. Rather it's everyday leadership. It's the kind of leadership you learn when you don't expect it-and the kind of lessons you teach when you don't even know you are doing it. And make no mistake-it is very powerful.