This month we are featuring Instigator Eileen McDargh, CEO and Chief Energy Officer of The Resiliency Group and a motivational speaker who calls herself a hope merchant and truth teller. Focusing on resiliency, Eileen has found great synergy with health care audiences and long term care, educators (as an award-winning educator, she went from teaching kids to grown-ups—who are still like kids), and women’s leadership groups.
Eileen has a BA in Speech Communication from the University of Florida and did graduate work at the University of California, Irvine.
Career wise, Eileen taught everything from preschool to adults at a rural community school, was the Director of Marketing at Amelia Island Plantation, served as the Corporate Communications Manager for a health care company, became a public relations consultant handling multinational accounts for a PR agency and then, as she puts it, “I HAD it. I quit and never looked back. That was 36 years ago!”
When Eileen reflects on her best professional moments, she talks about leaving a stage and feeling a deep connection with the audience. She found it intensely gratifying to know her presence mattered. She continues, “It was also wonderful to receive the Speaker Hall of Fame award from my peers. The reasons are obvious but the best part was saying thank you on stage to people whom I dearly love.”
When asked about a leadership lesson she learned from her first job, Eileen replied “I think I learned what not to do: treat employees like slaves. Micromanage. Watch their every move. Make sure you are brusque, don’t ever smile, and for Pete’s sake … NEVER say thank you. Once I left that store as a clerk, I never walked back in again and discouraged everyone I knew from going there. I was only 16 but I KNEW better.”
The best advice Eileen has ever been given was: Life is precious. Don’t miss it.
On the topic of the most important qualities in leaders, Eileen believes that leaders must be honest and have the abilities to deeply listen and clearly communicate, along with the willingness to admit error. They should demonstrate their integrity through their words and deeds.
When asked about a subject that is not currently taught universally in school but should be, Eileen commented on the importance of education about ethics.
On the topic of books she has found most helpful for her professional life, Eileen replied, “I love Jesse Lyn Stoner’s book, Full Steam Ahead!. Also, Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh remains a steady favorite.”
One of Eileen’s favorite quotes is “If not you, who? And if not now, when?” The source of this saying is uncertain, but it motivates and inspires nonetheless.
In response to the question “if money were no object, what would you do all day?” she responded, “I’d be outside. I’d play with children. I’d write. I’d take Spanish lessons. And I would travel and produce a reality show called “Our World and Welcome to it” featuring all the GOOD things people are doing.”
When asked what hashtag she would apply to her life, Eileen suggested two choices: #MakeADifference and #LifeIsAJoyfulJourney
You make a difference and bring joy to our community, Eileen. We appreciate having you among us!
Editor’s Note – You may ask, “How does one get chosen to be a featured Instigator?” The answer is simple. If you are already an Instigator, fill out this form and continue to engage with the Lead Change Group on a regular basis. If you are not yet an Instigator, sign up. There are many benefits to being an Instigator – email us if you want more information.
Previous 2016 Featured Instigators:
11/2016: Ann Van Eron
10/2016: Will Lukang
8/2016: Susan Mazza
7/2016: Mike Henry, Sr.
6/2016: Mary Schaefer
5/2016: Kevin Eikenberry
4/2016: Chip Bell
3/2016: Eunice Parisi-Carew
2/2016: Chris Edmonds
1/2016: Marcella Bremer