Radical Transparency, Compassionate Leadership, and Embracing Failure: An Interview with Superintendent Dr. Quintin Shepherd

In this episode of Opportunity Thrives, Jason Mitchell sits down with Dr. Quintin Shepherd, a true visionary for the future of education, and the Superintendent at Victoria Independent School District in Victoria, Texas.

Throughout this fascinating conversation, Dr. Shepherd shares his views on education and the new approach that he’s bringing to his district, including what he calls radical transparency and putting the public back in public education. He describes radical transparency as the direct connection between the communities we serve and providing unprecedented levels of accessibility to information and people – being transparent with absolutely everything.

But Dr. Shepherd’s primary focus stems from his practice of compassionate leadership and expressing vulnerability, and he believes that’s why radical transparency works. It’s built on the foundation of compassion. He also shares his perspective of the terms complicated vs. complex and how his district is using crowdsourcing to foster open communication and identifying whether a challenge is complicated or complex.

He has also shares how he believes it’s important to create a culture of innovation. One of the first steps he took to achieve this is by reducing the cost of failure to increase value. He believes that in too many education systems, failure is equated with blame. Innovation cannot or will not happen within in a culture of blame. He believes in embracing failure to foster a culture of innovation.

This is episode is filled with inspiration, hope and valuable insights about how we can transform the way we lead school districts by modifying our approach to some of the most basic leadership practices.