Mission and Bio
Hi friends – Paul Behrman, here. Would you like the abridged or the unabridged version of my bio? “Both” you say? Okay!
Paul Behrman • Abridged Bio
I use this type of bio for conferences, workshops and keynote presentations.
Paul Behrman is a consultant, trainer and administrator with expertise in leadership, management, and organizational development. For more than 20 years, he served as Director for Champlain Valley Head Start in Vermont, and as Chair for Vermont Head Start Association. Paul has served in consultant and mentor roles at the federal and state level, provided guidance and expertise for the federal Office of Head Start in Washington, DC, participated in national workgroups with National Head Start Association, worked as an attorney on behalf of low-income clients, and provided pro bono work. He was also a Gubernatorial Appointee on the Vermont Blue Ribbon Commission on Financing High Quality, Affordable Child Care. Paul was a Johnson & Johnson Management Program Fellow at Anderson School of Management at UCLA. Paul received a Juris Doctorate degree from UCLA School of Law, and B.A. degree in English and Communication from State University of New York at Albany.
That’s all you needed? Okay then, we’re good.
Paul Behrman • Unabridged Bio
The longer version of my story, and my mission.
When I was about 22 years old, I was going to college full time and working part time waiting tables at a local restaurant. I’m not sure if I was aware of it at the time, but years later I reflected back on that job and realized that I got great fulfillment and satisfaction in serving people and in providing them with an enjoyable experience. It occurred to me that serving others is deeply important, and it became a lifelong value in my work and personal life.
I’ve been in leadership roles for almost the entirety of my 30+ year career. I’m not completely sure of why I’ve found myself in leadership roles, but I have been very fortunate that people have deemed me trustworthy and have put their faith in me to provide support and guidance as a leader in various endeavors. This began in the early 1990s when I was a young lawyer working at a large law firm, and senior lawyers – partners – trusted me to lead particular projects and to supervise and mentor newly minted lawyers joining the firm. Fast forward to my 20+ year career in leadership as a Head Start Director, where I was also selected by my peers to lead the Vermont Head Start Association as Chair for more than two decades, and my service in regional and national capacities to support the development of early care and education systems for young children and their families.
Although I’m not a leadership scholar or researcher, over the past many years I’ve been fascinated with the somewhat amorphous concept of leadership, and the attributes that, in my view, inform and support great leadership. As my thinking began to evolve on this topic, I began to formulate a framework or matrix of concepts to describe these elements. I have drawn on many different sources in this work, and I try to be transparent in giving credit to those who have had seminal thinking or work on various aspects that I highlight. What I consider my contribution is an effort to synthesize and organize a lot of this work into what I hope is a coherent and actionable matrix to support all of us in our journey of self-actualization and leadership, as I believe that, at our core, we’re all leaders and the world needs us.
My mission is to make this world a better place.
I hope that this is the guiding mission for all of us, and especially for those in formal leadership positions. In order to make the world a better place, we need to:
- Support and promote the well-being of humanity; and
- Support and promote the well-being of our planet, its ecosystems and environments, and living things.
This is a humanitarian and ecological mission of love and peace.
The Prime Directive is COMPASSION.
Early Care & Education, and Head Start.
Full disclosure, I do not have a degree or licensure in early care and education. What I do have is 22+ years as a Head Start Director managing high-quality early care and education systems and services for thousands of children and families. I came to this work because of my deep commitment to service, and have gravitated over the course of my career toward the human services, particularly for the most vulnerable in our society. Among the most vulnerable are our children, and it is our children whose lives largely determine the future of our civilization.
As I was immersed in the world of early care and education, and Head Start, for more than two decades, I was deeply engaged in systems-level management which enabled me to understand the local and national situation with early care and education, and to think deeply with many leaders, professionals and families, about how we might optimize these systems for the future. I welcome you to consider my vision for the future of early care and education, and my vision for Head Start’s leadership role in the continued evolution of the field.
And, I welcome you to reach out to me if there are opportunities to work together around leadership, early care and education systems, or Head Start. Let’s make this world a better place.