Lessons in Resilience: Angie Wood


Please enjoy this blog featuring my leadership coaching client Angie Wood and her resilience journey. Angie is the Executive Director of the Augusta Levy Learning Center (ALLC). ALLC is the first intensive autism treatment program in West Virginia. They utilize methods in Applied Behavior Analysis.

I had an opportunity to train the leaders of ALLC in person in September 2022. In 2023, all the leaders will attend the Career ReCharge webinar, thanks to Angie’s leadership and belief in the Benatti Resiliency Model®. 

Thank you, Angie, for sharing your personal insights. You have had an impact on my career as a leadership coach.

Of the five strategies of the Benatti Resiliency Model—well-being, self-awareness, brand, connection, and innovation—which has resonated with you most? Why and what did it lead to?

Of the five strategies of the Benatti Resiliency Model—well-being, self-awareness, brand, connection, and innovation—which has resonated with you most? Why and what did it lead to? 

Each of the five strategies have resonated with me at different times, but I found well-being and self-awareness key to being the best I can be in my career and to balance that with being present as a leader, mom, and wife. I had my third daughter in February 2023 so having this practice has been so important to manage all the moving pieces.

Every day, I practice being present and practice equanimity. During stressful times, I have many tools to help me remain calm and center myself. I practice breathing, positive self-talk, and letting things go that I can’t control. I learned these from Beth in the beginning of my coaching engagement and they are now a regular habit. I am excited for all the leaders at the ALLC to have a resilience tool box.

What have you learned about yourself by focusing on resilience?

I have learned that resilience does not mean trying to do everything myself. I have learned to ask for help and have seen many positive changes in my life because of it. 

I used to think that I had to do everything myself and if I didn’t, then I was failing in some way. I thought that asking for help meant that I was weak but what I learned was that trying to do it all myself left me exhausted and frustrated. I have a husband who wants to help and when I started asking him, I found that we could spend more time together as a family and enjoy each other’s company. I also found that when I delegated job responsibilities, my co-workers could utilize their own strengths and that things were done at a high quality and in a more productive fashion. I realized that my tank wasn’t as empty.

How do you recharge yourself?

I schedule time to take care of myself. I am a nurturer by nature and love to take care of others. However, I can turn this into a task list where I will only take time for myself as a reward for getting everything else done. I am learning to make time in my day for me and have seen such positive changes in my own mental health. I also recharge by adding leisure activities back into my life such as reading, painting, and exercising.

How has focusing on your resilience led to career success? 

In early 2018, I took a new position as the Executive Director of the Augusta Levy Learning Center and three weeks later, I lost my dad. Six months after my dad passed away and a week before my daughter’s first birthday, the center burned down. The past five years of my life, I felt like I have been running on adrenaline to make sure that our center stays afloat. We moved into a temporary space and then a new forever home in January of 2021. We continued to develop our programs as these transitions took place. 

I am often asked what is next for our center and how we will grow in the future. I am learning that sometimes “no” is the best “yes”. The quality of our services is what separates our center from many other services and if we grow too fast and don’t finish projects completely before moving to the next item, our quality could suffer. When you are responsible for helping children learn, quality cannot be compromised. Therefore, I am learning that sometimes saying “no” is okay if it means better services for our students. If I did not have my resilience toolbox, I would have been at the bottom of the burnout escalator. The center is now thriving in our new facility, and we are building resilience into our training for all new teachers and staff.

What is the ‘why’ of resilience for you? 

I want to be the best leader I can for our school and resilience provides me with strategies to manage the daily challenges and make sure we provide the best services to our students.

What is a specific resilience habit you’ve formed?

Every Friday, I complete the Friday 5 activity where I answer the questions provided by Beth. When I do this, I can make sure I celebrate my small wins and set a goal for resilience for the next week. I highly recommend this strategy and I have seen the impact it has had on my own personal career recharge!

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