Welcome & Introduction
I am listening, friend. I hear the hurt, frustration, disbelief and even anger at the absence of moral leadership in our world today. This moral bankruptcy is fracturing the very basis of our communities. The people we trust to lead us are ill-equipped to lead us forward and we’re searching for an answer, for solutions to pull us out of this madness.
I am listening. I am listening to the words that you are speaking and those left unspoken. You may have chosen a career with a heart full of passion to care for people in need. The structures you have no control over internally and externally may have left you feeling burned out, frustrated, doubting your worth and questioning if you made the right career choice. A few years ago, I chose a career full of life giving rewards, wholeness and a commitment to excellence. Unfazed by the stereotypical image of an insurance agent, I believed I singlehandedly had the strength and conviction to overcome any self-doubt planted by systems that did not reflect my real, meaningful work. If I shared what I really felt, even a thread of doubt or authenticity, I would lose the trust and credibility I worked so hard to build. So, I kept plugging along until I felt neither the pain or joy as the toxicity ate me from the inside out. Burnout so deep it took years to fully heal.
Through this burnout stage of life, I discovered the paradigm of Servant-Leadership. The toxicity of my career followed quickly by the premature birth of my son just 1131 grams (2lbs, 8oz) in 2009 led to a search for answers. My life purpose had fractured into irreparable pieces. Airlifted in critical condition in the midst of a blizzard at 29-weeks pregnant, my life changed, and I had to adapt. The dysfunction of organizational teams I experienced in my career were so different from the magic I witnessed near out-of-body as my critical care team seamlessly provided intensive transport and care. I later described it on the front page of our local newspaper as witnessing, “The Nutcracker Ballet” in seamless, integrated fashion. This planted a seed in my inquisitive mind and I gave in to their care for the first time trusting myself to people that seemed so much better equipped and wiser than me.
Throughout our journey in the NICU, Early Intervention for my son’s extensive developmental delays and now special education, I began to connect to the heart of the work the world is calling me to do. As I peeled back the layers of what I believed my calling to be, I discovered my fingerprints on this work of growing healthcare leaders. This work of the true self comes from my professional business development and human resource management experience, my graduate school research, and the experience of working with healthcare leaders.
In the early years after my son’s birth and after our relocation 600-miles south, people hushed me saying that our experience was rare and probably shouldn’t be shared publicly. I developed a sense of shame and I discovered outside of the influence of our healthy, engaged hospital, the rest of the world didn’t see our NICU experience as positive. Some went so far as to become judgmental, rebuking me for even admitting my failure in pregnancy. As I began to see the fracture between my true self and the false self, so did the light turn on of my calling to use my experience to transform organizations and communities as a whole. As I healed from the trauma and my son became healthy, I recalled the night of being airlifted and began to seek answers to this integrated clinical leadership. And as I began to seek retraining into a new career, pathways opened for me to pursue a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership with a Concentration in Servant-Leadership. I began to hear the need for the work of transforming healthcare through Servant-Leadership using my story.
It feels as if our society is fracturing at a quicker speed then our ability to heal. I promise you that if you are committed to this journey of wholeness through growing as a servant-leader, you’ll become a much-needed staple in your organization. And, if your organization isn’t ready for the healthier you, an organization that is equipped and healthy will come knocking. Life is like that. We attract people like ourselves and as we change and become healthy, the unhealthy falls away and we become an even better version of ourselves.
This blog will be a place I will come to share stories of our journey and others who experienced the best of what healthcare has to offer. As an academic, I am committed to the most rigorous, trusted research available. As a fallible human, if my credibility is in question, send me an e-mail with corrected research and an invitation to dialogue. Collectively we can transform the world into a more caring place that changes lives.
Welcome to Courageous Steps Blog.