The Bank of Experience

In April of 2009, I was getting ready for work and watching the TODAY show as usual. Katie Couric was interviewing Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the pilot who landed that incapacitated US Airways flight on the Hudson River after geese had knocked out both engines. Sully’s split-second judgment and calm demeanor saved all one hundred fifty-five passengers and crew members on board. While his story is about grace under pressure, it’s also about the value of hard work..  “For forty-two years,” he told Katie, “I’ve been making small, regular deposits in this bank of experience. And on January 15th the balance was sufficient so that I could make a sudden, large withdrawal.” I gave great thought about this statement. What a profound leader he must be, and so confident in the work that he does each and every day.

When we think about being early childhood leaders, what deposits are we making in our bank?  We interact with children, parents, co-workers, community members and staff every day and we are banking our knowledge and expertise to use in every situation. Experience and practice are key. Sometimes hard work and good timing intersect. Sometimes they don’t. But they likely will at some point, and when they do, like Sully—you’ll be ready!

4C for Children is committed to helping the administrators and leaders of our early childhood community feel successful and inspired. The 10th Annual 4C Leadership Conference will take place on October 11 and 12 at the beautiful Oasis Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.  We encourage you to attend and take time for yourself to fill your cup with some inspiration and motivation. Make some of those small deposits in your bank…you never know when you will need to make a withdrawal!