Tuesday, January 05, 2016

How Was My First Day?

Yesterday was my first day on the new job.  Even though I had spent about 10 hours with the CEO last week in one-on-one training, that had been  my idea so that I could hit the ground running.  So yesterday, it all began.

It started with me arriving at the office before anyone else and not having keys to my office, but that was soon resolved.  I then got settled, checked email, and got ready for a 9:30 Residential Care Staff  Meeting.

To provide a bit of clarity, my title is Chief Program Officer.  Someone suggested I should figure out a way to put a 3 in there so I could be C3PO instead of CPO.   Maybe it should be because I oversee the three main programming components of the organization.

The first is Patrick Henry Boys and Girls Home, which I will be blogging much more about in the future because it has some really cool implications for the adoption world.  But first I have to get grounded and really understand my job and what is happening there.  But basically this is a Group Home on the beautiful final planation that Patrick Henry owned.  It has room for 40 children in 5 cottages and at this time we are not at capacity. About 60 percent of the kids are adopted.

The second program is Hope for Tomorrow Counseling.  This is a group of Christian counseling centers that not only serves our population but the surrounding communities.

The third program, which should be up and running in 6-8 weeks, after the state passes the bill, is Safe Families for Children.  If you aren't familiar with this program you should check it out.  If the bill passes, Patrick Henry Family Services (my new employer) will be the only organization in the state with permission to offer the program.  We will pilot it in 5 counties for two years and if it is successful, move it throughout the state.

As I begin my duties, I have a dual role.  I will be serving as the Director of Residential Care as well as the Chief Program Officer as we determine next steps.  So back to answering the question about my first day.  At 9:30 I was able to stand before the Residential Care Staff... people who live, work, and interact with kids every day.   There was plenty of anxiety in the room.  People wondering how the changes I would certainly bring might effect them, because really, that is how we all first respond to change.   

I was able to share this devotional which hopefully helped people to see the kind of adventure I want to lead them on.

The rest of my time at work was spent getting "oriented" in HR and learning of many of the staffing challenges in the organization.  After work Dominyk made us Brats for dinner and then he whined about how board he was until I put down everything I was doing to spend time with him so that I could watch him instantly fall asleep.  He had a very boring day yesterday.  Fortunately today there are some folks who have volunteered to entertain him up in Lynchburg while I'm meeting with the Chief Officers today in that office.

So it was a good first day.  There is much to do here.  There is culture change needed.  There are paradigms that need to be shifted.  There are perceptions that need to be realigned.  There are gifted people who need direction.  Trust needs to be rebuilt.  I have enough to do to keep me busy for a decade.

So that's how my first day was.  Instead of being overwhelmed, I just keep reminding myself of one of my life's mottos:  "The Bigger the Mountain the Better the Climb."

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