The Spark Behind the Book

Flashback to 2015 – I’m writing a doctoral thesis for the Doctor of Education degree I earned through the Executive Leadership Program at the Ralph C. Wilson School of Education at St. John Fisher College. My thesis – “Leading for Good in the Impulse Society” – examined the complex role of an executive at a time in history when technology is advancing, social strata are shifting and corporate agendas are changing. Expectations are heightened for executives – and their positions were already mentally, physically and spiritually taxing.

“The Impulse Society” was a phrase I borrowed from Paul Roberts, a journalist who wrote a book which examined the short and long term effect of a society whose actions weren’t based on reasonable and rational thought, but rather reactions to momentary impulses (think about your desire to immediately respond to every ding on your cell phone, or every comment on social media).

Roberts projected over time the collective impact of this social trend – instant gratification and satisfaction for self, without consideration for a shared “common good” – would be the erosion of many institutions and principles that served a necessary societal function.

Perhaps as a result of my area of study – and the fact that I had just accepted an appointment as President and Chief Executive Officer at Loretto – this subject fascinated me. I was not only able to understand this “impulse society,” but also became very empathetic and passionate about the “common good” that Roberts projected may be lost.

While the spark continued to play a role, the purpose of the book shifted as time went on. As I spent more days in my position at Loretto, I realized just how connected the team at Loretto is. We all depend on each other in a very real way. And it doesn’t stop within the walls of Loretto – it extends into the community. Suddenly, the initial “survival guide for management” I envisioned started to fade away and was replaced with a woman, a human being, wanting to make a real and sustainable impact. Of course, success in business is important – which is why you’ll find that theme in my book. However, at the end of the day, I’m determined to do my part to ensure the “common good” won’t be lost – not just at Loretto, but wherever my book, Lifecircle Leadership, will go.