SAIC President Elissa Tenny was recently interviewed by Thrive Global, a well-being and productivity platform started by Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post. In the interview President Tenny shared several lessons she has learned from her experience in the role. President Tenny is the first woman to lead the school in its 150-year history and credits the process of discovery and the validation of self for her success.
President Tenny is a first-generation college student and admitted that despite her current role, a career in higher education was not always anticipated. It was not until working through her master’s degree that she developed a love of learning and found herself working a series of jobs that would eventually lead to her role as president. Part of her success is in large part thanks to the team that brings complementary skills and creativity to the entire organization. “As president, these truths become abundantly clear. You are no longer responsible for a discrete part of an organization; you are accountable for all of its operations. You should cultivate and nurture your team, as individuals and as a working unit, to make sure they have opportunities to do their jobs in ways best suited to them as individuals,” said President Tenny. With regard to implementing change, President Tenny advised concentrating efforts on those who are eager to do something new. She refers to this as “the gray middle” and asserts that these people have the greatest potential for new energy in designing and realizing change. Read the full the profile here.