Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A work in progress..

I have never wanted to be a leader. I believed you had to have charisma, be willing to take on more responsibilities that you could possibly handle and be a self-absorbed, power-mad jerk. At least, that was my experience with leaders in my youth. Less-than-angelic nuns, frustrated teachers and incompetent bosses seem to be expected in most arenas. In school, I wanted to help things run smoothly and efficiently and ran for student council secretary and vice-president. I was asked at a fraternity pledge interview if I was a follower or a leader. I confidently stated "reluctant leader," explained my position of not wanting the attention, glamor or glory but looked forward to the challenge and responsibility. Needless to say, I am not an Alpha.

One of my college buddies convinced me to run for student body president in the mid-eighties after I managed his campaign a year before. He lost but ran that year as my vice-president and we won. Little did I know that he saw something in me that I didn't. The following election, he parlayed his vice-presidential post to run again and won. Ah, the machinations of the power-hungry.

Since then, I have tiptoed through increasing and varied levels of leadership and management, trying not to step on those landmines common to supervisors. I have tried to keep things simple in what I do and say to balance what must be done to support my staff and what is expected of someone in my position. I strive to be as good a leader as I can and take comfort that I try harder than most. I believe I should be ready, willing and sometimes able to do anything and everything I expect from those I manage.

Being liked is swell. Being respected is great. But being appreciated is the best. Thanks to: Tracy, Kathy S, Anna, Janet, Toni, Emily, Andrea, Diondria, Vic, Eric, Sharon D, Afua, Sophia, Octavia, Connie and Rachel for making my managerial journey worthwhile.
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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Simple musing . . .

His baloney has a first name
It's A - N - T - H - O - N -Y
His baloney has a last name
Of W - E - I - N - E - R
He loves to tweet it every day
And if you ask me why I'll say
Because politicians have a knack for
A - B - U - S - I - N - G - P - O - W - E - R

Where could he possibly go and how long does it take to wash the stupid off?

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Truer words best spoken by another ...

I have struggled to start out the year with optimism, determination and drive and wanted to post something with heft. Then I received this from my colleague and could not have stated anything better.

The goal for this year is to continue to inspire HOPE.

Families are in such an economic crisis. Many parents are without jobs. Many homes are in foreclosure. The state has seen a rise in food stamps and Kidcare benefits provided to families. It is amazing, discount stores, second hand shops and smaller grocery chains like ALDI; business is booming. Families are more in need of social service support than ever before. Parents are depressed, children are depressed, lifestyle changes are everywhere. Families are going from having home life, to apartment life and living out of hotels and with other family members.

Families are showing up at the doors of hospitals. Partial hospital programs are in high demand. Alternative school placements are on the rise. All are looking for additional support from SASS.

Gone are the days of treating PTSD for DCFS wards with the need of SASS services. Today we provide services for the many with Conduct Disorder, Bi Polar Disorder and yes, Autism. Today is all about good case management support.

I am committed to offering families supportive services in their time of crisis. The challenge is to walk in the door and bring HOPE to what many families describe as highly dangerous and hopeless situations. I may walk into the crisis and meet a family in total shock and trauma, when I walk out the door I want to of had inspired HOPE. To say to families you are not alone, along with your new resources for food and medical benefits your state, this State of Illinois had provided to you supportive services for your family in this time of crisis.

My goal is to not stop providing that HOPE that life does go on and it is possible for it to get better. No matter what conflicts arise after the initial crisis. I cannot be distracted by the many outside conflicts of others who may not share the same principal as I in providing the best services using the best practices. I cannot be discouraged from inspiring each family with HOPE. I must stay focused on the challenges that we are faced with in today's culture where so many are in economic crisis. I want to continue to inspire HOPE.

This will also include taking better care of myself, staying healthy to deflect the stress of providing crisis services. Eating right, working out, ha ha, getting sleep. Most of all remembering that I also have a family and life to enjoy.

This month I began my 16th year as a SASS worker, along this journey I can recall many families saying thank you as I walk away from their crisis. Let this year be the year I inspire the most HOPE.

Melissa C.
SASS since 1996