070: Dr. Ellen Braaten on Success Through Adaptation

adaptationDr. Ellen Braaten is associate director of The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), director of the Learning and Emotional Assessment Program at MGH, and an assistant professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School. She earned her Ph.D. in psychology from Colorado State University, has published four books, and is an educational leader and advocate for mental health.

Click to tweet: .@ellenbraaten is sharing her story to inspire you on Women Taking the Lead today! ▶

Playing Small Moment

Ellen was asked to start a new program to assess children with a wide variety of differences. She didn’t take on the role of a leader like she would have; she didn’t think of herself first.

The Wake Up Call

When Ellen’s oldest child entered middle school, she realized her daughter needed her in a different way. She had to start working part time and had to pick and choose parts of her job that were more important. Like many times in her life it took adaptation, responding to what was needed in the situation, that kept her moving forward.

Style of Leadership

Ellen tries to hire good people and let them do their best. She gives them freedom and confidence to do a good job.

What Are You Excited About?

Ellen is writing multiple books with different partners right now and is feeling very inspired and motivated.

Leadership Practice

Ellen leads with empathy. It helps her understand where people are coming from. It can be an Achilles heel but it’s also very powerful. Looking at a problem through their eyes can be helpful in all partnerships.

Book to Develop Leadership

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

What Would You Change?

Ellen would tell her younger self: don’t worry, don’t hurry. Your career path is much longer than you think it is.

Inspirational Quote

“Bloom where you are planted” ~ Ellen Braaten

Interview Links

The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Mass General Hospital: 


Twitter: @MGHClayCenter 

Ellen’s handle: @ellenbraaten 

Google +: 


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