Executive Reads: Stacey Petersen

Stacey Petersen, RSW, is the Executive Director of Fresh Start Recovery Centre in Calgary. His ability to always see the “bigger picture” and his passion for community initiatives have not only helped position Fresh Start as a leader in the field, but  have also helped raise community awareness. Recognized for his level of professionalism, creative leadership and charisma, it has been said that without his contributions the sector would not be where it is today. His innovative leadership style has garnered such honors as being chosen as one of Calgary’s top “40 under 40”, a 2011 McKillop Award, and an invitation to feature Fresh Start in the new season of Intervention Canada, which is currently airing on Slice. 

Good to Great by Jim Collins
I enjoyed Collins book for a number of reasons. In his writing he speaks about “getting the right people on the bus,” I have used his terminology with a bit of a twist. If you have someone who loves broccoli and another who hates it, why would you feed it to the one who dislikes it?  There are a number of jobs on any “ship,” find the right people to do the right job. There are a number of powerful lessons in Good to Great that, if exercised, can bring about great things for your organization. You can and will achieve greater success for all involved.  

Stake your Claim by Emmet Fox 
Essentially this is a 1932 writing about the power of intention, faith and trust. The power of gratitude will bring about incredible events, abundance and healing for those in need. Whatever we focus on will grow; if we wake up every day in a lack or damage control mode then we will find a ton of problems in the day. If we are grateful for the day and the possibilities that lay in front of us, there will always be something to be grateful for. Gratitude and the power of “knowing” is faith in action. I particularly enjoy Fox’s work because there is an incredible amount of wisdom in each of his page to page and a half writings that show positive results put into practice.

Servant Leadership by James Autry
Autry’s book is an affirmation of a number of personal beliefs. Autry says “Leadership is a calling. And servant leadership — the idea that managing with respect, honesty, love, and spirituality empowers employees — helps individuals answer that calling.” I believe every individual has the innate power to do amazing things even if they don’t know it. If we empower people to be the best they are, they will do the best job possible. When you encourage people to take ownership of their work, they feel good about the work they produce and ultimately feel better about themselves. Imagine a workplace where everyone feels good about themselves; can you imagine how that will translate to other co-workers and customers regardless of how the customer comes across?  Even if beginning in a negative environment, if you keep on that course, the atmosphere will change, staff retention will heighten and your productivity in whatever you do will soar.