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The Need for a Plan: September 2009

I returned back to Alaska with a better understanding and appreciation of the adversary controlling SNCT (‘He’).

My mentors in DC made the hairs on the back of my neck come to attention with their strong message to protect myself personally and physically.

Their warning held a lot of weight – a burden of weight – more precisely.

For the 10 years of knowing them, never did a conversation involve their concern for my safety. When I left DC the next morning, it was time to make a plan.

The driver for a formalized strategic plan was clear: safety. And there is safety in numbers.

I have a lot of self-confidence in a variety of situations. Heading home from DC, after not going to the meeting at the office which ‘he’ rescheduled from Friday to Sunday, made me feel like a weak failure.

I had to admit to my colleagues on the board the severity of the situation and I simultaneously had to set my own ego aside to have that conversation.

I woke up at the hotel in Anchorage after a few hours of sleep having landed at 1 a.m. from DC. I awoke from my phone ringing. It was an ER nurse. One of my teenage daughters was in the ER for drinking alcohol. My daughters were living with their dad in Anchorage at that time. (I was headquartered in Nome).

I went to the ER and talked with the nurse, who gave me a rundown on what led my daughter and her friend to being there.

I rescheduled my flight to Nome so I could talk with my girl, her friend’s parents, and her dad.

I was scared for her safety, well-being and happiness. This was new territory.

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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