Three Traits of Servant Leaders

What is Career and Technical Education?

Nichole Thiel
Nichole Thiel

An active member of the National Education Association, school administrator Nichole Thiel previously served as a vice principal and dean’s assistant in elementary school and higher education. Nichole Thiel graduated with a master’s degree in career and technical education (CTE) and spent more than a decade helping students navigate their post-school career options as a CTE teacher.

CTE programs have regained popularity in secondary and post-secondary institutions as a reaction to the need for technically-skilled workers and the rising number of students who enter college but leave before obtaining a degree.

Effective CTE programs offer a rigorous curriculum aligned with up-to-date industry needs. High school programs usually combine technical training with core academic subjects, while CTE certification programs enable students to specialize in specific subjects. CTE programs may offer concentrations in engineering, business, cosmetology, or welding.

Most CTEs partner with the local private sector to arrange internships, hands-on experience, and post-program employment opportunities. According to federal data, the number of high school students enrolled in CTE courses rose by nearly one million between 2007 and 2017. Most CTE post-secondary training programs are cheaper than a traditional four-year degree. However, graduates can make equal to or greater than their college-educated peers.

The Importance of Leaders Making Employees Feel Safe and Trusted

Nichole Thiel
Nichole Thiel

A longtime Coeur d’Alene, Idaho resident, Nichole Thiel has experience with the Idaho Leadership Institute and has informed education policy and planning in her work with several schools. Results focused, Nichole Thiel enjoys watching TED Talks and gleaning insight from thought leaders in business and academia.

A 2014 presentation by management theorist Simon Sinek on the topic “Why good leaders make you feel safe” drew attention to the necessity of, and challenges inherent in, creating a circle of trust, particularly in uncertain economic times. He contrasts the military sphere, where people are given medals for “sacrificing so that others may gain,” with the business sphere, where the opposite often occurs.

If one looks back over human history, what Sinek terms “a circle of safety” was a critical element in safeguarding against outside dangers. Within the business sphere, dangers are not elemental, but related to competition, new technologies, and other disruptors.

These variables are not going away, but one way of exposing the organization to much greater risk is to neglect the dangers from within. One major indication of employees not feeling safe is over-adherence to the rules, as there is a sense that sticking one’s neck out or acting independently could result in loss of employment.

At the core of this is a lack of trust in the leaders. The time and energy expended in protecting oneself from other members of the same team works to the detriment of the operation as a whole. The leader who makes employees feel safe allows them to naturally combine strengths and talents in ways that benefit the group will also often see his business or organization prosper as a result.

Successful Leadership in a Complex, Globalized World

Nichole Thiel
Nichole Thiel

Nichole Thiel is a respected presence in the Coeur d’Alene, Idaho community who has extensive experience in organizational leadership. Having been active with the Idaho Leadership Institute for three years, Nichole Thiel has a particular interest in the experiences that have informed successful figures in business.

Speaking at a TED event, one veteran strategy consultant described leadership development programs that are based on past models as being a significant detriment to success in today’s business world. Conducting a study that spanned 4,000 companies, she found that a majority of businesses experienced major gaps when it came to filling critical leadership roles. This came despite significant expansion in leadership development expenditures.

A major reason turned out to be that, within a world of increased digital communication and transparency, a complex matrix approach is required to successfully navigate the intricacies of globalized workplaces and marketplaces. Traditional 360 performance assessments and performance criterion often result in a blindsiding, as core realities are ignored and false positives generated.

One effective approach involves bringing together different, often geographically diverse teams from within the organization to hash out the specific issues they are facing and place them within the corporate context. The end result is one of proactive course correction that addresses potential market shifts and organizational failures, before these challenges undermine the company’s core mission.

USPS’ Unique Tracking Service

A Brief History of United States Postal Service Stamps

As a former athletic trainer at the high school and university levels, Nichole Thiel has worked with world-class athletes, such as John Friese of the Seattle Seahawks and Mark Schlereth of the Denver Broncos. After a successful career in collegiate athletics, Nichole Thiel recently obtained a position with the United States Postal Service (USPS), which pioneered the postage stamp system.

The US Postal Service released the first federal stamp in 1848. From the inception, stamps featured prominent people, including Benjamin Franklin, who served as the country’s first postmaster general.

Before the advent of postage stamps, recipients paid for postage on arrival. However, this resulted in countless returned letters and unpaid delivery fees. Prepaid postage stamps effectively solved this problem, though the public was slow to take up the new practice until Congress made stamps compulsory in 1855.

The USPS earns hundreds of millions of dollars each year from stamp sales. The 1993 Elvis Presley commemorative stamp alone sold more than half a billion copies.

The USPS has released special stamps honoring famous historical figures, artists, musicians, cities, natural wonders, and notable inventions. In 2019, the USPS will commemorate R&B singer Marvin Gaye and the children’s television series Sesame Street.

How Bullying Affects Adolescents

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho-based education administrator Nichole Thiel has served in high-level school leadership positions at the university, high school, and middle school levels. Nichole Thiel has previously taught family and consumer science courses at the University of Idaho and is trained in the Wessler anti-bullying approach.

Bullying can take many forms, including physical violence, cruel rumors, and insults. Severe bullying not only affects the target but can also have a negative impact on witnesses and the classroom environment.

Teenagers are particularly sensitive to the opinions of their peers, and bullying can have a profound effect on a teen’s self-esteem and self-worth. Adolescents who become outcast at school can experience stress, anxiety, depression, and even develop suicidal thoughts.

At schools with severe bullying problems, students often underperform academically. This may be due to teachers spending much of the class time managing behavioral issues rather than teaching. Additionally, teens may be too preoccupied with bullying to put forth their best effort or may miss days of school to avoid confrontations.

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