And We’re Back: Finding Courage in Uncertainty - Sage B. Hobbs

August is always a reflective time of year for me. The end-of-summer-return-to-school season brings up BIG feelings, and more anxiety, for my family (and, I’m guessing, many of you as well.) Lots of opportunities to find courage in uncertainty.

This week, I dropped my “baby” off at high school for the first time. Whether or not you’re a parent, try to remember your first day of high school (though I’m sure many of us would like to forget!)

I gave him a discreet wave through the car window as I drove away, and was thrilled by the slight head nod that he returned to me as he stood outside this huge, historic building with one of his few friends that is continuing on to the same school.

I spend a lot of time thinking, learning, and teaching about Emotional Intelligence. Not as an abstract, academic topic… but, as an actual tool and resource to support our personal happiness and professional success.

(I offer some questions that are really helpful for me in transitional moments in “How to Deal with Transitions: Excitement and Anxiety”)

Obviously, if I sent my 14 year old son off to high school with a pep talk about EQ, the eye rolling would be extreme.  

However, I thought about how this period of his life is about the beginning of emancipation, self exploration, figuring out what’s important to him, and building a new community for himself. ALL of which requires a lot of Emotional Intelligence.

So, what wisdom could I offer?  

  • How could I remind him to be aware of his own feelings and those of other awkward, searching teenagers around him?
  • How could I help him manage lots of conflicting emotions and still find his own inner compass to lead himself through new situations?

These questions aren’t dissimilar to those I ask school and community (adult) leaders to consider. Growing our EQ, in whatever area we lead in our lives, is ongoing work. Forever.

I simply reminded him that he is capable, kind, and interesting. That he can do hard and brave things. (And that his “fit” looked “sick,” LOL)

As you move through transitions — whether new roles in your career or your home life…

How can you harness your own EQ to support yourself and others? 

How can you really pay attention so you can make choices that serve you and the things you care about?

With courage, curiosity, and the endless pursuit of true connection,


P.S.  If you (or your organization) are interested, here are 3 ways that I can help. Please email me with any inquiries.

  • “Communication for Connection: The Untaught Piece to Success” Keynote speaking on campuses, conferences, and companies.
  • Leadership coaching that supports you in leveraging your strengths and building your capacity. 
  • Team training and development that builds trust and connection, leveraging Emotional Intelligence.

P.P.S. A personal public service announcement… for some insight on the state of teachers and principals please read “What if No One Wants to Lead Anymore?”.