Steve Sparks… Platform in “Progress Leadership!”

by | Jan 15, 2022


Workplace Wellness

Leadership is at the center of my platform on the ballot for Lincoln County Oregon Commissioner in May. Remember to vote!

These are my highest priorities as your new Lincoln County Commissioner in January 2023. And, I’m starting now. There’s no time to waste.

  1. Behavior Health & Workplace Wellness
  2. Housing
  3. County Leadership & Administration
  4. Community Building
  5. Capital Projects
  6. Technology

Making progress & change work together…

Change is hard and scary too. Leaders who are not afraid of change,, make tsunami waves, like me.

Conquering fears of all sorts of stuff keeps us away from the threats of change. Think about your fears and how they impact your daily life, work, and play.

It’s simple, change is hard because making change means the unknown. Your comfort zone or silo is safe, we think.

But not so fast! Your place of comfort may not be as safe as you think. Take this story as a fictional example of the perception of safety where change appears to be threatening.

Change is hard

It was always tough for me as a leader going to my next assignment, usually to change something up or clean up a big mess.

Let’s talk about one such assignment awhile back. This one was scary.

I got a call from one of my favorite executive directors in our tri-county region about 2 years ago before Covid stopped us in our tracks. Let’s call her Mary.

When I got to her office she had already packed up all her personal stuff and was sitting at her desk, crying sobbing. I hugged her for the longest time, then we sat down and started talking and even laughing.

Mary loves to smile and laugh like me. We believe that laughing is healing. It sets the tone for a good day, at home, work or play.

Then, she told me what I knew before coming in, “I can’t do this anymore, Steve, he’s abusing me, and threatens to fire me.

I hugged Mary again. Told her a goofy story. We laughed about that.

Making progress…

First, I said, getting back to the chair of her board, “he can’t fire you Mary, you know that. He must get board approval to fire you, that’s a very tough bar.”

We talked about another way to fix the problem as a team. I’m most often hired as a leadership coach in my business. That’s what CFLAT is good at.

While we talked and agreed on a clever new strategy, she was putting her personal things back where they belong. Mary was staying to fight another day.

This is “progress leadership.” Losing you best people has costly consequences. The abuser stays and continues to abuse.

This story shows that Mary’s workplace was not a safe place to work or play. Not too long after that, the abuser left, not to be seen again.

Steve Sparks CEO Children and Families in Life After Trauma (CFLAT) & Candidate, Lincoln County Oregon Commissioner

About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
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