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Leadership in Action: Getting clear about what you want

From our friend and inspiring leader, Bryan Tanner of Tanner Autism Services of Colorado:

The Issue: I work with children with autism across Colorado. One of the agencies I work with asked me to drive great distances to support clients, which I am happy to do, but my time was inefficiently spent with those clients, as the appointments were geographically and temporally spread out with empty hours in between. The result was a substantial opportunity cost to my company, and I was returning home late at night. I knew the agency could not fix the problem - the greater issue is there are not enough behavioral consultants to meet the demand in the state - but I was getting burned out and taking more than my share of responsibility for the issue.

The Shift Move: I used the technique of getting clear about what I wanted and did not want, and using the unarguable truth to speak to the head of the agency I was working with.  Rather than assuming nothing could be done, and just "accepting," I spent time thinking about what I did want, and then had a healthy conversation with agency director. I didn't blame, and I did say how I felt.

The Impact: Personally, I felt good about expressing what was not working for me, rather than assuming nothing could be changed. And as a result of the conversation, we agreed to change the schedule and utilize technology to make much of the driving unnecessary, so my needs are being met.

If YOU have stories of inspiring leadership in action, we'd love to hear them! Email Nancy at



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