About me

As I stated on my landing page – I have an acute need to nurture my personal resilience. It’s not a nice to have or option for me, its the equivalent of searching for water in the middle of Death Valley. Here’s some of my story to help you understand why:

Highlights from the The Early Years

  • My father was struck by a vehicle while walking on the side of the road. He spent a year in intensive care and then tried committing suicide twice when he was released. He was institutionalized (aged 42) for the next 27 years until he passed away at 69.
  • I was sexually abused by a family friend shortly after my father’s accident.
  • My mother passed away suddenly of heart failure (age 37) when I was just 12.
  • I was moved 2000 kms away from my life to live with my mom’s sister’s family.
    (I am the oldest of four children, so the above pieces of my story are also partly theirs).
  • Quit high school at 17 and moved away from home.
  • Got Married at 18.
  • Became a father at 18.
  • Dropped my wife off at her high school for her last 3 months of grade 12.

The Developing Years: Overachievement

  • During my early career I led the growth of a processing company. We grew from six employees to ninety-five while revenues grew over 1000% in eight years. Many people thought I was amazing – that felt nice.
  • Numerous requests to serve on boards and committees.
  • Later, I started and led a company incubator as a partnership between government, industry and university. And was introduced to the world of politics in an order of magnitude that was shocking for me.
  • Next I was asked to restructure a company that had been hemorrhaging millions over several years. Think complete brand, product, equipment, customer and distribution channel: overhaul!
    (I enjoyed the challenge but also felt overwhelmed at times – though you can’t share that part)

Transformative Conversation #1:

Coach: “Can we agree, before we start this first session, that you are 100% accountable for what you life is right now?”

David: “ummm” (Thinking, I am a victim – what are you talking about?)

The Maturing Years

  • Took on a 30-day contract that lasted 6 years – leading strategic change for a church
  • Completed a Masters Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Royal Roads University)
  • Columnist for a provincial business magazine for 12 years.
  • 15 years of private consulting assisting organizations with their corporate and leadership resilience.
  • While doing all of the above, I tried to fulfill an insatiable appetite for creativity, through a wide variety of creative modes, such as:
    1. Music (5 Albums of original music – so far),
    2. Books (2)
    3. Woodworking (the unrelating effort to devalue my home through renovations), and;
    4. Vehicle resto-mods (a 67 Mustang, 2 custom motorcycles, and a tiny home bus).

Transformative Conversation #2:

Counsellor: “So, David, It seems that you have been a bit of an overachiever in your life”.

David: “I suppose that’s true”

Counsellor: “Some might suggest that you not change anything, as it seems to be working for you”.

David “Uh huh”.

Counsellor: “So, is it?”

David: “Is what?”

Counsellor: “Is it working for you?”

David: “No, It’s not. I keep trying to fill the void, to prove that I have value, but I can never be enough.”

The Current Landscape

“Grace” is the most powerful word that I have come to know. I still catch myself listening to old tapes and hearing voices of condemnation, but grace is not just something to reflect on, or cover myself with, it is more incrementally transformative, as it keeps calling me to its unforced rhythms; to peace.  I don’t think I am very good at it yet, but hope rides on the horizon!

I am full-time employed as the Chief Operating Office for a private company, and this has led me to trim back some of my extracurricular involvements. I am not able to speak, facilitate or coach as much as I used to, but I am always willing to engage with others serious in the desire to grow. I am still married to my high school sweetheart – though she has had more than enough cause to leave. I have two grown children, and now one granddaughter. They are joy.

Special Note

You may be ahead of, or behind me, in the resilience journey. Location on the path is not so relevant as the desire to begin and/or continue to walk it.  If you want to reach out, you can contact me HERE.

 

David E White - Expanding Your Leadership Resilience