September 24, 2015

The Learning Curve

In our industry, we are experiencing a significant transition in multiple organizations, as many Executive Directors are retiring and are tasked with finding their replacement.  If this is not handled well, it can create a significant leadership void in any organization.  At Open Options UCP, I was very fortunate to have worked for the organization in the Director of Community Living role for three and a half years under Bruce Scott, our former President/CEO.  In that time, I was able to increase my knowledge base of the Community Living program, our largest program, while also learning some new skills specific to the President/CEO position.  Stepping into the role in March 2014, I knew it would be a learning curve.  What I have found is this position is unlike any other I have ever held. In their recent book “The Executive Director’s Guide to Thriving as a Nonprofit Leader” Mim Carlson […]
September 10, 2015

The Right Way

Very early on in my professional career while serving as a live-in employee at a group home, I remember waking up around 6:00am and the overnight employee telling me, “I already passed all the morning medications so you don’t have to worry about it!”  It was her first day, and she seemed very eager.  As I started helping people get dressed and ready for their day, I noticed she was not calling people by their actual names.  She called Rudy “Buddy” and Marvin “Steve.”  I corrected her each time, but quickly realized that all ten residents had received someone else’s medications.  With some individuals receiving eight to ten different medications, there could be some significant medical issues.  After figuring out who had gotten which medications and spending about an hour on the phone with an emergency room doctor, we were able to determine that everyone was okay but needed follow-up […]