As I evaluate the word of the week, Leadership, I try to incorporate many different aspects of what makes a great leader and the roles where leadership exists today. I feel a responsibility to channel my passion into this blog as it is derived from a place of sadness over the current discord between leaders of this country and between the political polarizations in an effort to find a greater solution. With that said, my first true evaluation (as it should be with everyone) is with my own leadership roles, as a Mother, Business owner, Christian, Social Worker, Woman, and fundamentally as a human. While recognizing my own human frailty and acknowledging my own imperfection daily, I choose to fight to improve areas that need to be strengthened, to acknowledge mistakes, to seek guidance from other leaders, and to pray and share with those who I am leading, my understanding for each of them and their struggles.
My utmost higher calling in life is my leadership role as a mother. This leadership role should be given more praise and respect in our society, as parenting of today’s youth shapes the future leaders and citizens of tomorrow. It is often a humble and sacrificial role where action is the key element of leadership in teaching our children how to treat others and how to live with integrity. This teaching role, to me, has been spiritually inspired and beneficial in my personal journey, as I am honored to see my boys grow into young and intelligent men of integrity, faith, compassion, and loyalty. As I look at some of my friends who stay home as full-time mothers and educators, I am inspired by their creativity, love, care, and dedication to their families, which is often over-looked by many as there are no raises, promotions, or materiel rewards. However, as I see it, each of them shines bright in beauty and inspiration for their roles as a mother. Psychiatrist, Carl Jung, eloquently states, “One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.
I have the pleasure of being the President and Owner of South Orange County Detox and Treatment. I have the honor of leading the staff and clients in a much-needed field of addiction recovery. I never aspired to be a business owner and the more years I have been in the role of leadership, the more I empathize with the complexities of leadership that I never before considered. I have always been flexible with following God’s path for my life, but I never saw it being in leadership. Leadership is something I learned from both of my parents, and from having an independent spirit, that was often rebellious and eccentric in nature. To me, a true leader needs to be independent, strong, creative, optimistic, invested, and this is often the outcome of individuals who are leaders long before given that role. I never saw my own strength until this role was given to me, and I felt compelled to forge a path and make it my own.The opiate epidemic and the rising tide of those who suffer from addiction has become a war we are losing whereby people all over America are experiencing a horrific tragedy that is taking too many lives. Families of sufferers are in a state of perpetual post-traumatic stress with limited answers to quench their thirst for solution. With passion, purpose, and love for saving lives, I found a place of leadership that I felt worth leading. It has been a painful journey and I have sat with many parents and loved ones as they grieve the loss of their child, sibling, friends, and partners; brilliant and beautiful people lost in the depths of addiction too soon for all of us to understand. For the many who have been able to find themselves, their higher power, their passions and vocations, and their sobriety, the fight has been worth struggle and leadership has been natural as I have a passion for this divinely inspired path of trying to save as many people suffering from addiction. The honor of this leadership role comes not from self-exaltation but from seeing people’s lives transform because they were willing to allow me to help them.
If more leaders, specifically political leaders, would take the time to remember why he or she first got into politics, rekindling the passion that led him or her to serve as leaders of the people, the self-driven and selfish desire to be powerful may dissipate and a greater vision emerge for America. Hate corrupts the heart, and never solves problems without war, death, and pain. I have found myself having to discuss the honest truth about current politics with my sons where hypocrisy, hatred, and corruption seem to take precedence over the real issues that need to be discussed, debated, and resolved with intellect, understanding, and resolution. If we stopped to listen to each other and stopped trying to prove points by attacking others, more of the problems may be solved with less solution sacrificed. Too often, there are news stories of mass shootings and the aftermath of hateful debates on how to solve them, it seems like we are far from providing a solution.
My daily efforts in practical and pragmatic solutions in my other leadership roles of life, often leaves me indifferent towards politics at times. In that way, I myself haven’t been part of the solution. The TV debates and criticisms of the left and right, leaves me so overwhelmed that I often find myself avoiding it at all costs. Martin Luther King stated, “Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.” Dr. King’s statement encourages all of us to start showing more love, justice, and strength that is necessary to create the change that needs to happen within America, despite the outcome of any election or any media event, so we can all be part of the solution and not part of the problem.