Intro -- Sherry Gould LO6656

Sherry L. Gould (
Sat, 13 Apr 1996 10:05:28 -0400

My professional development has followed an interesting path. I was a
troubled kid who came of age and reached out to help other troubled kids.
Over time I have been progressively recognized and promoted to positions
of increasing responsibility, primarily in the area of residential
services for adolescents. The recognition of my achievements have always
been coupled with advice on how I must toughen up as a manager. In days
long past I eagerly strove to understand this "toughen up" management
style I was instructed to follow. I have learned much from many people
along this path.

I currently am Program Manager of Antrim Girls' Shelter for Lutheran
Social Services of NE, Inc. We provide an alternative to lock up for
adolescent females in a staff secure facility, (Victorian home on Main St.
NH). We employ 16.88 ;-) full time staff, 15 substitute staff and 6
program consultants within the larger framework of LSS of NE, (800
employees around NE).

I have spent the last several years, probably since the completion of my
Master's Degree, searching for a leadership framework/theory that matched
my style. Seminars, workshops and books on traditional management theory
had useful pieces, but this was not me, in many ways. I looked to church
leadership/Christian models, some nice stuff, no hits. I looked at
education models, snippets, no meat. "Quality Without Tears", Crosby? had
some great stuff, and I struggled to apply it to the work I do, with both
clients and co- workers. Then, a couple of months ago, I was browsing
through the discount bin at the bookstore and I found a book that looked
promising. I have lent it out to staff and can not recall the title. It
is a collection of "articles" regarding changing paradigms in business.
There is an extraction of the Fifth Discipline contained.

I felt that at last there was an emerging model that I could relate to in
a meaningful way. I came to see an important piece that was missing for
my staff. We lack a common direction generated by the whole. People have
a lot of freedom to exercise their power without "being on the same page"
(as our Kitchen Manager put it). When I shared my discoveries and self
realizations with the staff at the next staff meeting, my boss stated that
he had the Fifth Discipline and that LSS was working with a consultant
along these lines. It is exciting to find something that feels like it
fits AND find that it is in line with where the larger organization is

I recently attended the "Finding Better Ways, Working With High Risk Youth
and Families" conference in Cambridge, Mass that offered a workshop
entitled, "Moving Toward a Learning Organization: A Practice Workshop",
presented by Malcolm C Burson. My objective was not only to learn, but to
check Malcolm out as a potential consultant. I was pleased with the
workshop and am in the process of setting up a retreat for all staff with
him. He recommended this mail list to me. Thank you so much Malcolm!

For the last several weeks I have read with interest the many articles you
all have provided. I am motivated to join in on some of the dialogue,
though I feel like I'm stepping off the porch to run with the big dogs!
Thus the lengthy intro. I am aware from previous Board/committee work
with executive business folks that I have a different perspective. It is
my hope that this intro will help bridge the differences that will

When I read the previously mentioned book, I was not sure I believed that
business would actually take the directions mapped out. In reading what
you all are doing I am encouraged that the prevailing work environment we
have all come to know and hate may indeed have a new shape in days,
(years?), to come.

Sherry Gould

-- (Sherry L. Gould)

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