What Moves Us

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Positioning Yourself to Serve

“You are most powerfully positioned to serve the person you once were.”
Rory Vaden, NY Times bestselling author, entrepreneur, podcaster, coach and speaker.

This past week I was in Baltimore, and I saw a beautiful thing happen…I saw this very quote lived out. I facilitated a small group discussion with community members, Community Health Workers and a few public health folks who were defining key messages needed for a specific population. Once I opened up with questions, the feedback poured in – not just with words, but with confidence and conviction. The community members knew what was needed, because once they were in the same position as the moms and families they’re now trying to help. They didn’t need a textbook, a podcast or a 50 PowerPoint slides to tell them. They knew what was needed – and what was not needed – and in what order things need to happen. They were perfectly positioned to serve the person they once were.  

The community members and Community Health Workers around the table knew what it was like to not have dental insurance, to be unable to find a dental home, and to be treated unkindly by providers. They know what it takes to move from being the victim of a system to becoming an advocate for their own health and that of their children. The most effective way to get anything accomplished is for those closest to the issue to create solutions and find pathways that will work. They were doing just that.

Where are YOU most powerfully positioned to serve the person you once were? 
Is it in a board room? Is it at a soccer field? Is it in a leadership role? Find it, and you’ll find the place you can serve with success and passion. Sadly, too many board rooms and conference tables are missing individuals with lived experience. It’s time not just to ask those folks to serve, but to wholeheartedly welcome them, listen to them, and even to let them lead the way. After all, they’ve walked this road before. (And please, whatever you do, pay them… life is hard enough already.)

Holly Hayes

Holly Hayes, President & Founder
ISI Consulting