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Diary:August 15, 2003

BBC News | AMERICAS | Bush cabinet profiles
DHHS Secretary Tommy Thompson

What an incredible several months I’ve gone through. Not only me, but my co-workers, my family and friends as well. Last Friday, August 8, 2003, Department of Health and Human Services Administration Secretary Tommy Thompson thanked me at a dinner in Anchorage for agreeing to facilitate the Region X Tribal Consultation.

This was a huge honor to hear and be a part of. When I was a little girl living at our trapping cabin, my dad would tell me that I would accomplish more than he or my mom ever did. When he said this to me, I wanted to cry. I remember the feeling like it was yesterday. And I say yesterday, because today that conversation no longer makes me want to cry. Today I understand that wish is one that a parent should aspire to for their child.

Today I believe that I have fulfilled my father’s prophecy for me. And today I am greateful that is is alove to know that. Because in my success, freflects my father and mother’s success as well.

I believe as parents, it is our job to leap frog the next generation beyond ourselves for the survival of our being.

I am truly blessed to have a mother who is the strongest and smartest woman as a role model. I am equally blessed to have the most eloquant, insightful, and caring father as a role model.

I pray that those traits are reflected in me as I strive to be an inkling of a human as each of them are and to make as much as an impact on my children’s lives as they have on mine.

Without my family I would not exist.

No matter what I do externally, I get to go home and call my parents and be a child again. What a joy. What a privilege. This is my prayer and hope for all, children and adult.

By Trudy Sobocienski

My blog, "Beyond Leadership" is a creative place to share my personal feelings and thoughts while working in leadership roles for a variety of Alaska Native organizations, both for and not-for profit entities.

An incredible leader and mentor of mine once asked while we were in Washington, DC, "What happened to you between the ages of 7-10 that motivated you to serve in a native leadership capacity". I was struck by that poignant thought and as such, include actual entries from my mother and my diaries beginning in the early 1970's.

I enjoy sharing these excerpts because it captures the parallels she and I were experiencing throughout life, from two separate worldviews. Hers as a young mother of four and mine as her eldest child.
I have never came across a book on leadership that lays bare a leaders personal feelings, thoughts, hopes, fears and dreams they were experiencing.

So for me, my goal is two-fold:

1. Share the incredible life my parents created for my siblings and I growing up in remote Alaska; and,

2) Sharing my humanity, through my personal diaries and journals, while serving as the youngest-ever President/CEO for the Alaska Native Health Board.

There are passages that will include significant policy issues I was working on throughout my career and travels. There are many more passages that do not.

I cannot speak for my mom's passages, because I am reading them as I share them here, with you; with her permission of course.

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