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The Director as Role Model for a Caring Community

by Donna Rafanello
November/December 1996
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I remember going to work with my father when I was 11 years old. He was starting a new business and wanted my help stuffing envelopes. The actual work mattered little to me as I dressed up in my finest "work clothes." I felt special. He told me he appreciated my contribution to the business and that he couldn't do it without me. It was a good thing that I was as excited as I was at the prospect of helping my father out, because the reality of stuffing envelopes for eight hours a day was less wonderful.

Of course, I gained a lot from our "important" conversations in which my father confided in me about his dreams and concerns for his new business. I am sure that much of what I know about work, people, and change comes from my father's talking about his goals. What I learned from my father, in those early years, was that relationships are the most important part of the work. These early memories of work - the sense of contribution and feeling of belonging - created expectations for my adult life.

We take a lot of care to ensure that workers' bodies are not accidentally or ...

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