Being a Good Example of Leadership

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by Paris Dancy |

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Leadership is very important to me. When I was little, my father taught me that leadership skills can be displayed in many forms. A leader is not always the loudest or the most talented person, and leadership is not about power or being able to control others. How do you serve others? How do you inspire them? When people are around you, do they get better? Are you a hypocrite, or do you have integrity? The list can go on, but this is the important question: Are you the example?

Last week, I had the opportunity to talk with four guys who I feel are a great example of leadership within their community: Kevin Schaefer, Michael Morale, Matthew Lafleur, and Ty Dykema. These men all have rare diseases and are all active in their communities, where they display certain intangibles that cannot be taught. Our conversation was centered around men’s mental health. One important topic we touched on is that men are not expected to show their emotions.

These four men demonstrate that just because you are dealing with a rare disease, it does not have to diminish your ability to influence others. In the most difficult times in our life, we will find that we are tested. You do not have to fall into the shadows, and you can become a voice. Far too often we let our circumstances control what our outcome will be. Instead, we can be leaders.

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As someone who leads by helping people to improve their lives, I have learned different skills that I feel are necessary in all leaders.

Compassion is one of them. Before the diagnosis of my pituitary tumor, it was hard for me to relate to people who struggled with pain, aches, and obesity. There are many gray areas in the world, and everything is not black and white for me anymore. I did nothing to cause me to have a tumor.

Afterward, I was managing a lot of changes. Unemployment, for example, was another issue I had to deal with. I was not and never have been lazy. From the outside looking in, it appeared that I was capable of working, but some of the lingering effects after the tumor’s removal made it difficult to complete my normal daily tasks. These changes gave me more compassion as a leader.

Another skill of leadership is being transparent and speaking from a place of freedom. For professional conduct reasons, I don’t share my story with clients, but I do always offer them encouragement. My being authentic can sometimes be the turning point in someone’s life. Today, we live in a world where people live out their lives online, and with that comes misinformation as well as manipulation. Dealing with a rare disease does not define me, but it’s a part of my testimony.

Don’t be afraid of the challenge that is ahead. There is someone right now who needs to hear your story. Remember to be the example. You can inspire, encourage, and lead.


Note: Cushing’s Disease News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cushing’s Disease News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Cushing’s.

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