I have written extensively about Aspire’s strategic plan and guiding principles in recent months, in an effort to share the vision we have for the Aspire Community and my expectations for all of us and the work we are striving to accomplish in the next several years.

It is not lost on me that leading from a person-centered perspective will be challenging. We work for and with a diverse group of stakeholders who bring with them different experiences, perspectives, and priorities. Our challenge is to lead with compassion, recognizing stakeholder priorities and balancing our commitment to person-centered service.

In a recent parent meeting, I was reminded of how important service with compassion is to ensuring the goals of our strategic plan come to fruition. For many of the people we serve, parents are at the center of the care team—bringing with them extensive knowledge, understanding, and love for the person receiving care and support from Aspire. At the same time, when a parent reaches out for help or needs assistance, it is often because they’ve reached a point where their knowledge, understanding, and love isn’t enough. This is a vulnerable place and it is our job to meet them where they are at, hold them compassionately, and build trust. All the good work that can and will happen with the supported person, happens only after compassion is shared and trust is built.

To lead compassionately, demands that we suspend our own bias, experience, and priorities in service to the person in front of us. This starts with the people we support and with our fellow employees. And it certainly includes parents and guardians.

I can’t thank you enough for the work that you do—balancing the needs of the people around you. Your compassion and love for each other and the work that we do is inspiring, and I believe makes this world a better place for all of us.

- Lou

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Lead with Compassion