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Leadership With Latoya Podcast

Leadership With Latoya Podcast

By Latoya Dixon
This podcast is for Leaders on the Grow! Come learn with Latoya as she explores a variety of topics on leadership. Interested in enhancing your leadership ability? Are you an aspiring leader? Aspiring or Experienced-this podcast is for every leader who desires to be the best and grow!
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S3E2: Challenges of Communication For Leaders

Leadership With Latoya Podcast

S6E5: Family Lessons-Joy Is A Gift To Share
Latoya tells the story of her first bicycle and what it taught her about joy!
February 27, 2022
S6E4 Family Lessons-Everyone Needs A Soft Place To Land
Another great story about my Mom and the significance of her dinner table.
February 27, 2022
S6E3: Family Lessons: Be Who You Are
Latoya discusses how her Momma’s push to do her best has made a difference in her life.
February 27, 2022
S6E2: Family Lessons: Watch Your Words
Latoya recalls memories of her Grandmother Moa and lessons she learned from her.
February 27, 2022
S6E1: Interdependence Matters
Latoya introduces a new series, Family Lessons, and tells stories of what she’s learned from her life experiences.
January 29, 2022
S5 E7 Quality Matters
In this episode Latoya chats with Mike Patrick, North American Sales Leader for Education Markets at Milliken and Company. Mike's 12 minutes of leadership wisdom will not only inspire you, but spark your thinking on how you can become a better leader for the people you serve. Mike makes it clear that quality matters and our purpose as leaders is to support, inspire, and grow the people we serve in ways that make a difference. This is one of the best episodes of this season. Don't miss it! Press play!
July 31, 2021
S5 E6 Equity is an Action Verb
In this episode, we welcome Dr. Rosa Perez-Isiah, a 27 year veteran of public education and a fierce advocate for equity and social justice. Dr. Isiah helps us think through what leaders can do to create a more equitable educational experience for students and to grow themselves in our ever-changing world. Finally, she gives us some insight on her new book, Beyond Conversations About Race, and challenges us all to take action to make equity a reality for every student in our care. Press play!
July 31, 2021
S5 E5: Hire for Value. Train for Skills.
In this episode, Latoya welcomes Dr. John Hodge to the show. Dr. Hodge reminds us that great leaders remain true to their core values and are able to rely on them for direction and clarity in the most challenging of circumstances. His practical insights and advice are sure to leave you thinking about how you can grow in your leadership. Press play!
July 31, 2021
S5 E4 Future Focused Leadership
In this episode, we welcome president and CEO of the Aurora Institute, Susan Patrick. Susan's candid conversation regarding the global implications that the pandemic has had on leaders and the need for leaders who are able to transform the system of public education in ways that honor student voice, agency, and authentic demonstration of mastery is sure to get you thinking. Together, we take a look back at the past year, and more importantly, a look forward in hopes of giving leaders some additional insights as they work towards a brighter and better future for students in the public education system. Press play!
July 31, 2021
S5 E3 Passion and Impact
In this episode, Latoya chats with Dr. Chuck Ambrose about passion and impact. From the systems level to the individual level, effective leaders strive to make a difference in the lives and experiences of others. Chuck offers practical advice on how leaders can make sure they remain open to learning, take calculated risks, and empower others in ways that make an incredible difference. Press play!
July 31, 2021
S5 E1 Leadership With Latoya is Back!
In this preview to Season 5, Mike and Latoya provide a glance into the various topics they’ll tackle this season. From authenticity to courage, leaders of every discipline can find some practical things in this season to apply to their work and lives! Press play! Leadership With Latoya is back!
July 31, 2021
S5 E2 Courageous Leadership
In this episode, Latoya and Mike chat about what it means to lead with courage. From making decision with fear in play to finding the bravery to putting your vulnerability on display, courage is never absent from the work of the world's most impactful leaders. This conversation is sure to give you some things to think about. Press play!
July 31, 2021
S4E6 Educational Leadership in the Era of COVID-19
In this episode, Latoya invites two colleagues, Tonya German-a high school principal in North Carolina and Mike Waiksnis, Executive Director of Middle and High Schools in a South Carolina district on the podcast to discuss how school closure due to COVID-19 has impacted educators, students, and families. Press play for an insightful and heart wrenching conversation!
April 26, 2020
S4E5 Courage: The Ultimate Challenge of Leadership
Courage is the ultimate challenge of leadership. Do you have it?
February 08, 2020
Mini-Podcast: The PD Gap
Quick questions and wonderings about professional development. Listen and let me know what you think!
October 05, 2019
S4E4: Leadership Myths
In this two-part series, Latoya and Mike discuss myths surrounding school leadership. From "fake it until you make it," to "do it because I am the boss and I said so," they break down the real deal behind these skewed perspectives. You don't want to miss this episode. Press play now! Oh and leave us a review if you are so inclined! 
September 21, 2019
S4E3 Principal Development
In this episode, Latoya and Michael discuss ways leaders should experience professional development and robust mentorship. What can leaders do to spur their professional development? How should they be mentored? Press play!
September 07, 2019
S4E2: Intentional Leadership
The challenge of leadership is our ability to be intentional, remain focused, and deliberate in all that we deliver to those we serve. This week, Latoya and Mike discuss how they use a key tool to help them meet this challenge as instructional leaders who provide high-quality feedback to support and enhance the practices of teachers. You don't want to miss it. Press PLAY!
August 31, 2019
S4E1: Instructional Equity
In this episode, Latoya and Mike discuss practical ways school leaders can work to reduce the variation in student achievement by focusing on adopting a set of evidence-based instructional equity practices. They share practical tips and pose questions to push your thinking. Press play now!
August 17, 2019
S3E11 Professional Learning Communities Part Three
In this episode, Mike and Latoya tackle the 3rd and 4th critical questions: What do we do when our students have not learned? and What do we do if they already have mastered it? Additionally, they give listeners some critical insights regarding instructional feedback and the implications that can happen when core instruction is not solid. Listen in for several resources and then go to to download the Instructional Leadership Mini-Workbook! Press play.
March 29, 2019
S3E10 Professional Learning Communities Part 2
In the third episode of the Instructional Leadership Series, Latoya and Mike tackle the second core question of Professional Learning Communities. The conversation touches on assessment and the power of teachers immersing themselves in the process of designing aligned and rigorous assessments prior to planning instructional lessons. It's power packed with goodness. Press play!
February 23, 2019
S3E9 Power Up With Professional Learning Communities Part 1
In this episode, Latoya and Mike identify what a professional learning community isn't, and clearly define what a PLC is-teacher teams who collaborate via inquiry and action research to improve their instructional practices and student outcomes. They go further and give principals some things they can put in place to take the journey to establish true Professional Learning Communities. Press Play! 
February 16, 2019
S3E8: The Instructional Leadership Series
In this episode, Latoya and Mike kick off their Instructional Leadership Series. Episodes 8-12 will focus on helping educational leaders enhance their instructional leadership support. We're talking about everything from clarity and focus, to PLCs, feedback and more. If you are a leader who wants to improve your ability to help others improve their practice, educator or not, this series is for you! Press play!
February 09, 2019
S3E7: Authentic Leadership
In this episode, Latoya and Mike discuss the challenges and joys of embracing authentic leadership. Leaders who want to release themselves from the pressure of feeling that they have to be perfect, know all of the answers, and can't demonstrate a vulnerability in the presence of those they serve should give this a listen. In the words of Latoya, "The best thing we all could ever be is ourselves!" Be you! Be True! Be a hope builder! Press play!
January 27, 2019
S3E6: Making Feedback Matter
In this episode, Latoya welcomes guest Chris Chandler (@chrischandler24), a practicing assistant principal, to discuss how the leadership team at this school is making feedback matter. From being transparent and consistent about expected instructional practices to sharing collective feedback via video snapshots, the episode is full of ideas you'll want to put into practice right away! What are you waiting for? Press play!
October 06, 2018
S3E5: From Idea to Execution: A Leadership Challenge
In this episode, Mike and Latoya explore the challenge that leaders have sometimes moving from the idea stage to execution or vice versa. Their discussion leads them down a path of interesting insights and thoughts about how leaders can improve their abilities on either end of this spectrum. For tools you can use right now, press play!
August 25, 2018
S3E4: 5 Key Lessons for Aspiring Leaders
Are you an aspiring leader? In this episode, Latoya and Mike discuss 5 key lessons for those who aspire to lead. Leading isn't just about managing, evaluating, and directing the work of others. It's about serving, influencing advocating, developing your self and others, and asking the right questions. For tips on the top 5 lessons we believe are most important for aspiring leaders in any field give this episode a listen.
July 14, 2018
S3E3 Leaders As Learners
In this episode, Latoya and Mike explore the role of leaders as learners. They provide insight into how leaders can create time and opportunities to learn and self-direct their own development. Far too often, leaders find themselves ignoring their own development as they work to develop others. Latoya and Mike offer practical suggestions about how leaders can develop others and themselves to add value to their organization as well as improve their ability to lead. If you are trying to figure out how you might find the time to contribute to your own development while leading others, this episode is for you. Press play!
July 04, 2018
S3E2: Challenges of Communication For Leaders
In this episode, Latoya and Mike tackle the big C-Communication! It can be a challenge for all leaders, but it is a vital skill in helping accomplish organizational goals and objectives. This episode will give you some ideas about the practical methods you can use to communicate with those you serve effectively. You'll finish with ideas and tips to improve your communication skills as a leader. Press play!
June 09, 2018
S3E1 Positive Advocacy
In this episode, Latoya and Mike discuss Latoya's new book, Burned Out, Beaten Up, Fighting Back: A Call To Action For America's Public Educators and how educators can practice positive advocacy! Press Play to learn about the #call2action4ed April Challenge and gather ideas about how you can make positive advocacy a regular part of your work life! Welcome to Season 3! It's going to be epic!
April 13, 2018
S2E12: Are You Really Listening?
In this episode, Latoya and Michael discuss strategies for leaders to become better listeners. Listening with intention isn't easy, and is a skill that must be practiced. Get ready to learn about some great listening techniques you can put it into practice today! What are you waiting for? Press play!
February 03, 2018
S2E11 Creating Conditions for Success
In this episode, Latoya and Michael discuss the critical conditions that leaders must work to create in order to be successful. From building trust to listenting, leaders have a responsiblity to reflect and adapt their behaviors as needed to maximize organizational productivity. If you're wondering if you've built a strong foundation for future success as a leader, listen to this episode and reflect on your own leadership experiences. What are you waiting for? Press play now!
January 13, 2018
S2E10: Best of Leadership With Latoya 2017
In this episode Latoya and Michael recap some of their favorite episodes from 2017. They take their discussions on focus and clarity, why good ideas fail, and accountability and support one step further. If you liked any of these past episodes, you'll love this recap. It's stocked full of ideas that are sure to get you thinking about how you might grow in your leadership this year! Press play!
January 07, 2018
S2E9: The Complexities of Leadership
In this episode, Latoya and Michale tackle the idea that leadership, although sometimes mistakenly boilded down to something simple, is really a complex operation. They specifically dive into the idea of how leaders sometimes mistakenly over simplify the idea that their work is simple and how that narrative can dismantle understanding and public perception of what the leader is doing in the organization. This episode is packed full of tips you can use today! Press play!
November 18, 2017
S2E8: Inequity In Education
In this episode, Latoya and Mike discuss the inequity that still plagues the public k-12 school system and ways we can begin to address the root causes of it instead of the symptoms. They suggest a straight forward approach, that is comprehensive in nature, and collective in accountability. If you're interested in ALL meaning ALL when it comes to our children getting the very best education, press play! You'll be glad you did!
November 11, 2017
S2E7: Future Focused Leadership
In this expisode, Mike and Latoya challenge listeners to think about how they are preparing the next generation of leaders in their organization in ways that ehhance the capacity of future leaders and support the sustainablity of accomplishments. From education to business, leaders have a responsibility to work collaboratively with their team to set a vision, develop talent in others, and put the pieces together for success! What are you waiting for? Press play!
November 04, 2017
S2E6: Rethinking Principal Leadership
In this episode, Latoya and Mike discuss the changing nature of teaching and learning, the push for a more future focused teaching and learning enviormnment, that conflicts with the traditional structure of school leadership, which remains in its orginal form, in spite of the conditions of the job having changed. Is there room to rethink the structure of the principalship? Are the conditions of the principalship impacting longevity in position? These questions and more are explored in this episode. Press play!
October 22, 2017
S2E5: The Impact of Unconscious Leadership
It's easy for leaders to get bogged down in the routine and habitual activities related to their work. Sometimes, those routines and habits lead us to being less aware of how our actions and leadership style is impacting those we lead. In this episode, Mike and Latoya discuss ways to avoid this leadership pitfall, by encouraging leaders to be reflective about thieir practice and purposeful in their planning. You don't want to miss this episode! Press play!
October 07, 2017
S2E4: Advocacy Leadership
In this episode, we discuss the role of a leader as an advocate. Great leaders advocate on behalf of the folks they serve. Advocacy is a central part of leadership. How so, you might ask? That's because leaders have a responsiblity to advocate in order to communicate the needs, accomplishments, and obstacles they and their organization face. If you're interested in advocating with passion and perseverance as your fuel, listen to this episode!
September 30, 2017
S2E3: Leading With Equity In Mind
Of all the things leaders have to keep in mind, equity is certainly one of them. Meeting people where they are to support them appropriately and in an equitable manner is a challenge for every leader. In this episode, Latoya and Mike discuss ways leaders can make sure they are leading with equity in mind by setting an example and modeling this for those they serve. Press play now!
September 23, 2017
S2E2:Equity In Education
In this episode, Latoya and Mike begin their conversstion about equity. They specifically address the difference between equity and equality and talk about how access and opportunity play a critical role in equity being a key element in any organizatiion, but especially in education. If you aren't sure how you can help advocate for a greater degree of meeting the needs of all of those you serve as a leader, this episode is for you. After you listen, tweet us your thoughts using the #leadershipwithlatoya hashtag! We want to hear from you!
September 16, 2017
S2E1: Standardization vs. Personalization
In this episode, Latoya and Mike kick off season two with a conversation about the tension that leaders sometimes face in trying to meet standards of performance, while personalizing their support of those doing the work. They specifically discuss this tension between accountability being measured in a standardized way, while trying to transform the K-12 education system into one that is centered more in personalization of learning for every student and innovation that supports the skills and traits students need to be successful in life. This conversation pushes the envelope on how we meaure school quailty and it's one that is sure to get you thinking as well!
September 09, 2017
E18S!: Lessons In Leadership: Why Good Ideas Fail
In this episode, Latoya and Mike explore further her latest blog post, The Gap Between Knowing and Doing: Why Good Ideas Fail. They discuss the importance of planning for implementation of good ideas, altering organizatonal or operational structure to support good ideas, designing and using the right strategies for idea implementation, and providing the right kind of support for those who are charged with taking an idea or concept from vision to reality. Ever wonder why something that seemed like a good idea at the time didn't work? Then this episode is for you! Listen now!
August 05, 2017
E17S1: Leadership Lessons in Accountability and Support
In this episode, Mike and Latoya tackle a challenge that many leaders face: How do you hold members of your organization accountable, but balance it with support? They discuss what makes holding others accountable challenging at times, how to couple accountability with support, and the consequences for tolerating poor performers or prolonging tough conversations. This episode is certainly for leaders of all disciplines and is sure to get you thinking about how you can balance accountability with support to maximize the potential of the folks you serve and deliver peak performance as a leader.
July 29, 2017
E16S1: Leadership Lessons From The CoPrincipalship
In this episode of the summer series, Latoya and Michael discuss leadership lessons learned from being co-principals. While leaders often demonstrate a belief in the value of collaboration, the position of leader is often held by a single person. Mike and Latoya debunk the single leader superhero myth, and talk about how their shared leadership position as co-principals brought many benefits to those they served, improved outcomes for their organization, and themselves as leaders. Their conversation pushes the traditional thinking that leadership positions must always be a solo venture. This episode is packed full of insights and lessons learned through the coprincipal model! You'll be glad you listened!
July 15, 2017
E15S1: Leadership Lessons in Instructional Leadership-The Summer Series
In this episode, the summer series continues, as Latoya and Mike tackle the topic of instructional leadership. While this is packed full of great practical information that you can use now, don't let the title keep you from listening if you're not an educational leader. We discuss the importance of focus and clarity of communication, ways to provide quality feedback to improve practice, and more in this episode! You don't want to miss this one! For links to some of the tools discussed on any of our podcast episode visit the resources and tools tab on our site at!
July 08, 2017
E14S1: Leading Innovation: The Summer Series
In this episode, Latoya chats with Virgil Hammonds, @VirgelHammonds, Chief Learning Officer at Knowledge Works, about lessons in leading for innovation. They address key elements that must be present for leading with innovation, how leaders of innovation are different from leaders in general, and what innovative leadership might look like in the future. This is an episode you don't want to miss. If you're interested in being innovative rather than traditional in your leadership, this episode is for you!
July 01, 2017
E13S1: Lessons in Resilient Leadership-Summer Series
In episode 13 of the Summer Series on Leadership Lessons, Latoya and Mike tackle the topic of resilient leadership. So often leaders struggle to move forward after an error is made or the need for course correction is revealed. Mike and Latoya talk about why being a resilient leader is neccesary to grow your own leadership capacity, how leaders can improve this skill, and the dangers associated with an inabliity to be resilient. For a quick, yet thought provoking conversation, give this episode a listen and start improving your ability to be a resilient leader today!
June 24, 2017
E12S1: Leadership Lessons-Summer Series Kick-Off
This episode, Leadership Lessons, kicks off our summer series. Mike and Latoya chat about some of the toughest lessons they've learned in leadership, including how to use critical feedback for your growing your leadership abilities and ways leaders can turn failures into powerful lessons to improve their leadership capacity. In this summer series, we'll be discussing lessons for leaders in innovation, building great teams, resilience and more!
June 17, 2017
E11S1: Leading in Transition
In this episode, Latoya and Michael tackle the topic of how leaders can succesfully transition from one leadership role to a new one or from leading in one organization to leading in a different organization. They specifically adress the challenges, transferability of skills, and lessons learned when transtioning as a leader for listeners. This episode is sure to get you thinking about how to best transition to your new leadership role or your new organziation as a neo leader or a veteran one! Great resources are also included at the end of this podcast episode and on!
June 10, 2017
E10S1: Teacher Leadership Matters!
In this episode, Latoya chats with Dr. Mary Hemphill, @ScholarVlogger, about the value and importance of teacher leadership in school improvment. Excellent leaders are not only skilled at leading, but also sufficiently skilled at building leadership in others. Whether you are an education professional, or work in a different field, this episode is sure to inspire you to build capacity in others to be leaders in their own right! Don't forget to leave a review on iTunes and check out our new website,!
June 03, 2017
E9S1: Who's In Charge of Your Professional Development?
In this episode, Latoya, and co host Mike, chat about the importance of leaders taking charge of their professional developmet and growth. They discuss the dangers of waiting to be developed by others versus strecthing yourself and addressing your own opportunity gaps. There's a mention of great resources that they've used to grow professionally at the end. Quick, insightful, and full of tools to add to your leadership toolbox, this episode is one of the best of season one. Listen now!
May 27, 2017
E8S1 Transformational Leadership
In this episode, Latoya and Michael take a chance at trying to define transformational leadership. In addtion, they discuss core elements of transformation as well as the difference in the leadership behaviors leaders of transformation need to execute versus leaders in general. This episode will definitley get you thinking about how to be a better leader of transformation. Leave a review on iTunes so we can continue bringing you the best in leadership podcasts.
May 20, 2017
E7S1: Effective Leadership Behaviors For Success
In this episode, Latoya welcomes back Dr. Mike Waiksnis, @mwaiksnis, to discuss the key behaviors of effective leaders. They discuss how excellent leaders respond to critical feedback or constructive criticisim, how they deliver praise versus criticicism, and how they view positional power. It's a power packed episode full of key insights sure to push your thinking and leadership development. You'll be glad you pressed play!
May 13, 2017
E6S1: Value Added Leadership
In this episode, Latoya chats with Dr. Michael Waiksnis about the importance of leaders adding value to their organizations. Value added leadership means leaders reflect on how their efforts are contributing to the success of the organization. Adding value starts with a committment to life long learning. For more on how to demonstrate value added leadership, give this episode a listen! Don't forget to leave a review on iTunes for us as we work to bring you the best in educational leadership.
May 05, 2017
E5S1: The Power of Shared Leadership
In this episode, Latoya welcomes Dr. Lynn Moody, @lynn_moody, superintendent of Rowan Salisbury Schools, in Rowan County, NC to discuss the value and benefits of shared leadership. Dr. Moody provides her insight on why shared leadership is necessary to build a great organization and talks about what seperates excellent leaders from average ones. This one is sure to get you thinking, and better yet, doing some awesome things to improve your leadership capacity! Please be sure to leave a reivew on iTunes so we can keep bringing you the best in educational leadership with your feedback!
April 29, 2017
E4S1: Strategy Matters: Why Working Hard Should Not Be Confused With Delivering Results
In this episode, Latoya welcomes her thought partner, Dr. Michael Waiksnis,@mwaiksnis, to discuss the importance of not confusing effort with delivering results. They highlight why strategy and structure are essential to helping folks work smart. This is an episode you don't want to miss! Listen for some great tips and tools you can use NOW!
April 22, 2017
E3S1: A Real Life Accountability and Thought Partnership: Practical Tips You Can Use Tomorrow
In this episode, Latoya welcomes special guests, Shawn Berry Clark, @shawnblove, and Brady Venables, @bradyvenables to discuss practical ways they thought partner around their work. Shawn is the author of Using Quality Feedback to Guide Professional Learning and Brady is a Technology Integration Specialist at the district level. This episode is full of practical tips and practices that you can start using tomorrow! You don't want to miss this one!
April 13, 2017
E2S1: The Value of Thought Partnership
In this episode, Latoya explores the topic of thought partnership and cognitive collaboration for leaders. Give it a listen if you're a leader who's feeling "lonely at the top" for some quick tips on how to find a valuable thought partner and why it's important.
April 08, 2017
E1S1: The Gap Between Knowing And Doing
This podcast is for Leaders on the Grow! Come learn with Latoya as she explores a variety of topics on leadership. Interested in enhancing your leadership ability? Are you an aspiring leader? Aspiring or Experienced-this podcast is for every leader who desires to be the best and grow!
April 02, 2017