I’m Good With Saying It: Group Therapy Made Me A Better Leader

Someone recently asked me if I believe I am a good communicator. I responded, “Yes.” He asked me, “Why?” I then shared a story that isn’t a secret, but I seldom share publicly.

I was in group therapy for 20 years. The group included a core of about 10 people from different walks of life:  from employed and unemployed business professionals to teachers to social workers. And every week, we shared our stories with each other. At the time, I faced personal challenges, including some family issues that prepared me for my current work at St. Joseph the Worker, and the group provided an objective sounding board. How could I do things differently? 

That laid the foundation for me on how to be a good listener for helping myself – but as importantly to be direct, transparent, and empathic when I provide feedback to others and to effect positive change. This helps me empower family, friends and colleagues to understand how they can reach beyond their own self-imposed limitations.

Then I received a follow-up question. “Do I consider myself a visionary?” How do you answer this question without sounding self-serving? So, I decided to share this story: 

We aren’t all born visionaries. Sometimes, it’s a skill we discover later in life. I consider myself a late bloomer. I was once stuck in a career that often didn’t resonate with me. I earned a living, raised a family but was averse to taking risks. Then I decided to become an entrepreneur and joined the leadership team of a start-up private equity firm investing in niche assets which at the time was a cutting-edge strategy (think music publishing rights, carbon credits, farmland and patents). My colleagues and I successfully grew the organization post the economic crisis of 2008-2009 by identifying unconventional asset classes and developing ideas for raising capital and investing that most others had not tapped into. 

Moving forward, it was that experience that led me to consistently re-imagine what is possible including moving my family cross-county, changing careers, connecting with new audiences – and eventually working at St. Joseph the Worker. Here, being a visionary means not only thinking about broadening our services , but also stepping back to figure out strategies for delivering our services thoughtfully and efficiently.

An effective visionary takes inventory of where an organization stands, looks into the future, leverages available resources, and deciphers what is possible consistent with the organization’s capabilities and opportunities:  Its mission. Its staff. Its financials. It’s about thinking of what’s not only possible, but realistic.

So, why is any of this important? It’s common for many of us, especially as nonprofit leaders, to hear about the importance of vision and communication. We hear these concepts so frequently, sometimes it’s valuable to take a moment, reflect and ensure we are achieving these objectives and not simply checking the boxes. Towards that end, I try to keep a mental scorecard every day.

Do you feel you’re a good communicator and visionary? If so, why? What led you to achieve those important goals?

In addition to his role as COO/Acting CEO at St. Joseph the Worker, Dean Scheinert is a member of the Phoenix Business and Workforce Development Board, and chairs the Governance Committee and sits on the  Investment Committee for the Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System – the second largest public pension plan in Arizona. He holds an MBA from The Wharton School.

Start Your Week With SJW

Subscribe to receive updates about new blog posts and client success stories every Monday morning. 

Subscribe Blog Footer

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin
Share on Pinterest

Similar Posts

Resume Tricks and Tips

Let’s talk resumes. What should my resume look like? How many pages should it be? What if I don’t have continuous work history? A resume can be the deciding factor between you and another candidate when applying to jobs, so you want yours to be the best it can be. St. Joseph the Worker is

Read More »
Save money scrabble letters over money

Budgeting 101

Finding a job is a feat, and we are proud of each and every one of our clients who do so. The hard part of maintaining a sustainable livelihood is understanding how to correctly budget your money. Keeping up with bills and expenses in this time can be difficult. Follow the guide below to help you stay on track and further your sustainable life.

Read More »

Getting a Job as a Felon

Everyone makes mistakes in life. If you’ve been convicted of a crime, don’t give up hope on getting a job. St Joseph the Worker can provide you with all the tips and tricks necessary to gain sustainable employment.

Read More »

7 Reasons Why Work Is Important To Addiction Recovery

To help those who are on the road to recovery, we asked addiction counselors and recovery specialists this question for their best insights. From establishing accountability to growing self-reliance, there are several ways that may help you understand how work helps build self-reliance and aid you in your addiction recovery.

Read More »

Without A Home: KTAR News

During this live interview with KTAR Morning News, CEO Carrie Masters discusses the current state of the community, faced with homelessness. St. Joseph the Worker is providing solutions to the source of this problem: employment. Listen to Carrie discuss the resources that SJW offers to clients to assist when it comes to getting a job!  

Read More »

Preferred Business Partner Spotlight: 

Awake Window & Door Co. Awake Window & Door Co. came to SJW in April of 2021, prior to opening its Gilbert facility, to discuss how it can be a Fair Chance Employer. The company began offering background-friendly, entry-level positions for $17/hour with benefits and room for growth. We referred clients looking for work and

Read More »

Long-Time Employee Daren Strunk Promoted to COO

After too many years shuffling papers and chasing dollars that left him unfulfilled, a bit of serendipity brought Daren Strunk to SJW nearly 10 years ago. And, that good fortune has continued, which is why we are excited to share he has been promoted to COO. Daren started as a volunteer before joining SJW full-time

Read More »

Leave a comment