Pure Heart Leadership- An Authentic Approach for Higher Ed Leaders

Watch This Session

Watch This Session

Brief Abstract

Pure Heart Leadership™ is leadership model developed upon over 20 years of professional experience within higher education utilizing several key psychology theories of Maslow, Rogers, and Bandura  with a mindfulness approach to developing talent. This session will map out the pathway to moving your career forward in higher education.


Dr. Garrett began her career in education by driving the successes of two online graduate programs for Pepperdine University in Educational Technology, which has led to over twenty years of progressive administrator experience in both the online and ground platforms. Her administrator experience is supported by several years of faculty experience in both post-secondary education institutions as well as serving as faculty at the North Texas Council of Government-Regional Police Academy in Texas. Her business experience compliments her education service by bringing over thirty years of program development, management, and transformation to her knowledge of proprietary education as well as over eight years of experience as a paralegal. She presents nationally and internationally on topics related to authentic leadership, academic readiness, and student success areas. While education is her focus, she also has several years of experience within the counseling field, specializing in crisis intervention and trauma recovery. Dr. Garrett is a Certified Relationship Specialist, Licensed Professional Counselor and holds the designation as a National Certified Counselor. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Saybrook University, her Masters of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University, and her Bachelor of Arts in Counseling Psychology from the University of North Texas. Her passion for education is not limited to the interactions with faculty and students but also her investment in the human capital that resides in the education experience. Her twenty years as an educational leader has led her to develop a style she refers to as the “pure heart” approach. After several years of experience with developing teams, talent, and turnarounds, she has been recognized as an organizational leader and mentor to both new talent, those needing a change, and in elevating the talents of others.

Extended Abstract

Pure Heart Leadership™ is an approach that encourages an authentic style while recognizing the individuality and strengths of leaders. This leadership model was developed based upon over 20 years of professional experience within higher education while blending several key psychology theories of Carl Rogers and Albert Bandura into a mindfulness approach to working with others. This model is one of encouragement, empowerment, and truly rewarding in both self and team development. It provides both the leader and the mentee with an honest evaluation of how you present as a leader as well as connecting and leading others.  Techniques cover performance enhancement, coaching for development, as well as succession planning for the team.


At our core, we are a combination of our life experiences, coupled with how we perceive our experiences—combined with cultural influences and societal sway. Psychologically speaking, these pillars of our personality affect how we perceive stimuli and encrypt them into responses, or actions. These responses encapsulate each interaction, sensation, and life experience, both positive and negative. Our exposure to new experiences, new people, and new events enters our mind, heart, and soul to create our unique dialogue with the world. Based upon our earliest recollections, our most emotional experiences, and the familiarity of experiences to date, work to shape our perceptions of the world, and in turn, how we choose to respond to the world.

There are three key theorists that resonated with this work given their contributions to the foundation of PHL: Albert Bandura, Abraham Maslow, and Carl Rogers. While Maslow proposes the desire full self-actualization—with individual levels consisting of needs to be met in order to reach that desired end goal—Rogers held a similar belief while pushing for more authentic discovery. Rogers proposes by way of engaging in congruence, self-actualization, and positive regard, one is able to reach a destination of self-awareness. Bandura provides a structure around the power of influence and how we shape our behaviors and engagements as a result of social influences. These foundational components serve as the establishment from which we build upon through experience, engagements, and understandings.

Our leadership style encompasses who we are as individual—our strengths, weaknesses, and values—all applied behaviorally to how one lead others. Awareness of one’s leadership style gives a better working knowledge of how one operates, intermingles with folks, and communicate style. The greater understanding one has about who they are and how they present, the more empowerment experienced to solidify strengths, build development opportunities, and relate with others. Ultimately, it’s the ability to foster authentic leadership in others allows you as a leader to be of greater service.


Embarking on your personal leadership journey takes more than just a few comments, articles, or vicarious experiences. Discovering your leadership style includes three key components: self-evaluation for baseline; observations from others; and comparing your style against the organizational culture. This research provides a pathway to exploring individual leadership qualities, assessment in your current state of approach, as well as how to identify and collaborate with your organizational team members’ styles. Additionally, it provides guidance on how to apply these techniques to leaders on an individual level, team level, and the organization as a whole.