A Server's Journey

Local Politics: Sean Parks on City Growth

August 22, 2018
A Server's Journey
Local Politics: Sean Parks on City Growth
Chapters
A Server's Journey
Local Politics: Sean Parks on City Growth
Aug 22, 2018
Rocky DeStefano
Learn from Lake County Commissioner Sean Parks on how to servant lead in your local government.
Show Notes Transcript

Start off your day inspired by Sean Parks’ story, from Eagle Scout to current Lake County Commissioner. In the seventeenth edition of A Server’s Journey, immerse yourself in an insider’s perspective on local politics and leadership. “All levels of government are equally important,” Parks says. Join in a deep dive into term limits, job creation, and managing growth the right way. 

Speaker 1:
0:11
Welcome to this edition of a survivor's journey with rocky destefano. The foundation of the show is that everyone is leading some thing or someone that we're all on a journey, a server's journey. Thanks Larry. And I hope that everybody listening will be able to walk this journey of leadership with us and you know, as we travel around the country and meeting all different types of leaders in all different types of companies or organizations, we're really starting to kind of see that each company, each person, they kind of have a different philosophy around leadership. You get back to Larry and I were just on a plane heading to dc and we met a wonderful woman who knows all about lean
Speaker 2:
0:52
practices and lean traction and uh, she's going to be joining us shortly and one of our shows to talk about her style of leadership. And it's all in different, different categories. It's not just in the food service industry now. In fact, this young woman is a director over a half of the country for pharmaceutical sales, but she manages a team and I'm wonderful. And so we're gonna learn a lot from a different different industry. Brucie I understand you've got a guest in the studio today. Yes, we do. Mr Sean Parker. He's a business leader and a county commissioner here in central Florida and I am really looking forward to hearing what a county commissioner has to say. But first, you know, I was looking at your facebook page the other day where he and I ran across something. Well, you know, I know I just have to keep up with you because I can't get ahold of you and the other way here.
Speaker 2:
1:46
You. Yeah. So you posted something about fathers and hugs for their children and could you read that for us? Yeah, I'm going to. Even though you're kind of put me on the spot here and I am a little bit of software. I'm a father of three daughters, so bear bear with me, but you know, it, it kind of didn't dawn on me until several years after my father died. But you know, whenever I would leave after visiting my father, he would always give me this great embrace. And there was always something very strong about the way he hugged me in better than that embrace where all the things we need to fill as children. I felt loved, I felt grace, I felt this great unconditional support and I never even realized that until two years after he was gone. One truth in my life is that every child needs to feel that from his father.
Speaker 2:
2:36
And I believe a lot of the world's problems can be fixed if more children got those things from their fathers. I hope that my girls feel that from my hugs when they let me hug him. I mean they're getting older and that isn't rarer and rarer. I kind of have to take the hugs as they give them, but I say all this to encourage and remind everyone, anybody who's a parent and who has a still around, that they should embrace them today. And for every parent of a child that they should hug their children this way too. Oh, thank you for sharing that rocky. Uh, I share that with you as well. On my 35 year old son. Gives me a very good hug every time we meet and leave each other. There's something about, I think a parent's love, you know, it's different. Even I love my wife.
Speaker 2:
3:24
I chose my wife. I didn't choose my kids, but God gave him to me and there is a level one conditional. It's even different than how I love my wife and I think that hopefully they feel that when I hug them, when I show, you know, I think servant leadership really should start in the home. I asked so. And then it's passed on. Yeah. It's time now for an epic moment in leadership. I like when you do that, Larry. So much better than when I do it. So thank you for that. Well, I've got a bigger candor yelling. Yeah. Well, okay. Today we're talking about Stephen King. How come? So he's of course one of the most recognizable novelist of the modern era. In fact, I kind of believe if he didn't curse and if is John Rowe wouldn't, was in horror. He probably would be like one of those authors that we, we'd be reading about 30 or 40 years ago or after in school.
Speaker 2:
4:17
Um, well, I think we're still going to. Yeah, probably. So. He's definitely widely regarded as a master of the horror genre horror right now. He has dozens of financially and critically and, and hundreds of really hundreds of popular books and movies in circulation. His first novel, Carrie, was almost a complete failure, you know, that's an amazing thing. You know, it's Kinda weird. He actually used to write under a pseudonym because he thought it was his name that was the curse, but it wasn't. But a carrie was rejected by over 30 different companies before it was finally accepted and published. And really it kind of led to his breakout I'm going through in his career. He considered quitting. Uh, and many people probably would have quit. I mean 30 rejections is pretty tough, but his perseverance lead to greatness. And I, he, he says that there's a lesson he learned and sometimes it's that simple adjustments can turn a failure into a success.
Speaker 2:
5:20
It's not always the idea, but you might have to revise your idea or target a different audience or redefined your brand identity. All of these can easily take a fell concept and turn it into something very successful. So the object is keep on moving and keep moving forward if you got an idea, work on it. Yeah, absolutely. Well, that's our moment in leadership for today. You know, again, I think about Thomas Edison who didn't give up on the light bulb. No, that was a very enlightening idea. Don't give up. Don't give up, you know. All right, so with us today studio is Sean Parks and Sean is a, he's a man of many talents and we're going to kind of learn all this about him, but right now as well, he's also a lake county commissioner. So, uh, we're going to have shown a welcome to our show.
Speaker 2:
6:13
I'm anxious to hear how a politician and a businessman worked together. John, thanks for being here and welcome to our show or our humble broadcast. Thank you rocky, and thank you Larry. I appreciate it. It's great to be here at Chick Fil a. it's our pleasure and Sean's taking the looks quoting of our show way up. Do you know? I don't know about that. Come on. Hey Sean. We've known each other for a long time, but probably a lot of our listeners don't. So what I wanted to ask you is how did you get your start talking about your childhood and kind of where you went to school and so forth and all that stuff.
Speaker 3:
6:53
No, no. Yeah, no problem. Thanks again. Well, I mean for me, uh, I'm a central Florida native, so I was born in Orlando, born at a back window over. I'm so used to be called Orange Memorial hospital. Wow. Yeah. And, and, uh, grew up in seminal county and maybe about a mile from the ultimate mall area. Dirt roads grew up at the time, uh, when that part of the, you know, that part of the, the area was starting to grow rapidly, but we still had, we still had a lot of woods and you know, different kinds of rural areas that we could go to. My Dad started a plumbing company when I was two years old, actually, as I understand the story, he came home, he used to sell insurance and he came home one day. It's surprised my mom and said, I'm starting a plumbing business. Smarter man.
Speaker 3:
7:39
Yes. Yeah. And there was some tough times. I remember growing up, uh, it was, uh, it was really tough, you know, and the, and uh, you know, um, you had the ups and downs, but he did very well. I worked in his business as a kid. I was probably the only five or six year old that would run and go fetch a pair of channel locks or pipe wrench or go look for water meters and, and I would actually literally help them in the business. And so that's kind of where I got the small business mentality. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So now did you have a big family or was it. I got I, it's five total. I got, I'm the oldest, I'm the oldest of three boys. So my poor mother,
Speaker 2:
8:19
it's impor. Rocky's got three girls and four rocky has three girls. Yeah. It's amazing how that happens. But, so, uh, okay, so talk about that. So that was kinda how you got your small business mindset,
Speaker 3:
8:31
small business mindset. Um, you know, I grew up a two and I got involved with scouting at an early age and I'm so thankful that my parents did that at an early age and they were involved. They worked side by side with me as a kid. When you talk about servant leadership, you know, that's not an easy thing to do as a parent to spend a lot, always try to spend a lot of time with your kids. So I'm so happy that my parents got involved with me in scouting. They actually had gotten me involved with scouting at an early age and you know, you mentioned servant leadership and they were a great example of servant leaders. I will add a, because they spend a lot of time with me and they spend a lot of time with my brothers, but they spend a lot of time with me early on in scouting and uh, I, you know, hey, I went on and actually got my eagle scout is going to ask you about that.
Speaker 3:
9:19
Um, yeah, you didn't have to get your eagle scout here. You hear me talk about. It's a little something to brag about I guess because not everybody does it. What was your project? What was your big. My project was I did a equipment and playground equipment, built it, raised the money for it, a design it of course with the assistance of my dad and for a school called Morning Star school, which is a for real unique, unique children, unique kids that uh, need to go to a special school. They've got different needs. Wow. That's so. Yeah. And it was uh, it was um, it was great. It was a great experience. It's a real sense of accomplishment when you do that at old. Were you then? I will, I got my eagle scout when I was 15, so that would've been when I was either 14 or 15 years old now. Now, do you ever go back to that playground or. I have not seen in a while. You know, I got asked that recently. I have not been back there in years. I think you need to go back and just check it out if it's still standing and maybe I need to go into the playground equipment business.
Speaker 2:
10:12
But it sounds like that was kind of where you, you, you kind of like a little engineer there. I mean, you definitely enjoy that.
Speaker 3:
10:20
Yeah. I like tinkering, you know, it, it, I, I, I guess I got that from my dad, you know, my dad is very mechanically inclined. He's actually had some patents. I, I'd like to brag about that a little bit. He's got some, some patents that he had, he thinks he invented and I do have that. I do kind of have that engineering mindset, although I'm not an engineer. Um, but, but, uh, yeah. And so I, I have that, I think a little bit of that ability. I see it within my son, by the way, Eli really all already at an early age. I see. I see him kind of tinkering with things and yeah.
Speaker 2:
10:50
So then now take us. So you're, you're, you're an eagle scout, so you're probably already in high school. So what were you looking toward as far as far as a career and in colleges and so forth? I, I know you're an fsg
Speaker 3:
11:02
fan. I'm an Fsu fan that's going to probably. You're going to lose the gator audience here now. Um, but in, in politics we say a, we liked the team from Florida. Oh, okay. That's the political team from Florida, lead team, from Florida as I know that you probably liked the team from Ohio. I do. I love the team from Ohio. Yes. Uh, I'm an, I'm an Fsu fan where I went to school for instance, Institute of Technology in Melbourne. Did Not have a football team at the time. Now they, uh, interestingly they do a as well, but there's not quite as good as Florida state now. They're probably not there now. They're not in that league yet. So yeah. So what did you study in a fit? Studied environmental science. I have a bachelors of science and Environmental Science, which is from the school of Engineering there as well as an engineering management master's degree. Wow.
Speaker 2:
11:48
So now what about environmental science interests
Speaker 3:
11:52
interested you? Well, and that goes back to probably my scouting background and then even my grandmother parks at an early age, you see my grandmother parks. I'd go over to her house and visit and she was always growing something. Oh cool. She was talking to, she had a huge garden, was talking about a growing the vegetables and then, you know, she had trees that she planted. He has, she had kind of a big lot that she lived on and at an early age really got me interested in the environment agriculture and then might come kind of combining that experience with a camping that way we were always camped and we were always, you know, as kids, we were walking down those dirt roads to go fishing somewhere and you know, it's much different these days unfortunately. But that's back in the undiscovered Florida. Yeah, exactly. So, you know, I, that's where I got my background, my concern for the environment.
Speaker 3:
12:41
And you know, I, I have that to this day. I mean, I worry as much as the, uh, you know, as much as we're developing and, and the economy is awesome in Florida is a great place to live, but, you know, hey, what places are we gonna have left for our kids needs to be protection of at least, you know, big tracks of land for sure. But yeah, I think there's a mindset that we have to have a conservation mindset. Absolutely. Okay. So you've graduated fit and I, I'm kinda trying to steer you toward, I know you've got a great family and I, I'd love to know how you met your wife and. Oh, I'll go in. I'll go into all that. Um, yeah, just kind of inbetween there. You know, I worked for St Johns River Water Management district. I don't know that for a couple of years and I had a wonderful job.
Speaker 3:
13:24
I was driving atvs. And here's something you didn't know about me. I used to, uh, would drive airbook Oh really? I'm going to say pilot, but Dr Airboats at times in the upper basin doing water quality monitoring and uh, it was a fun job, but, you know, hey, it was basically working the but just right above poverty level so I could only do that so long. Right. And, uh, moved on into, into consulting and worked for an engineering firm in Orlando for many years before I started my own business. Now is it a large firm or was it a smaller firm? A large, a larger firm who relatively, you know, I had maybe 200 people at the time. Wow. Yeah. So how, what was the leadership management style like at this from the. Well, the leadership was great. I thought, um, we, we were encouraged to be creative.
Speaker 3:
14:13
We were encouraged to speak out, of course, in a respectful way. I think there was a good sense of camaraderie that was built at that firm. And you could tell because we were growing, we were getting lots of work. We were, it seemed very much like a team. Right? Yeah. And I, you know, you can tell when you're on a good team when you're not on a good team. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, exactly. All right, so what, so what's next? Well, you want to, let's go back to my family. So, you know, here's, here's kind of a funny little story. I tell people this and they get a chuckle, but, you know, I met my wife Ivy on a blind date. Okay. So as I say, you know, she must've been bump bump. Right? But no, I, I, yeah, I can agree with that. I met her the day that I got.
Speaker 3:
15:00
I passed my, um, my private pilot's license desk. Um, so it was kind of neat. It was really neat. And I tell people this, but you know, I had this, um, and I'm sure you know, some people will get a chuckle out of this, but you know, I had a dream the night before that I was going to meet my wife the next day. Oh really? So, and sure enough, I did. So now who set you up on this blind date? Because it was always somebody a lot. I do, yes. I already it. She's a good friend. Her name is Bonnie. I'm from uh, I went actually went to high school with her. Yeah, they were, they ivy and Bonnie were in class together. They were working on their master's together. So while and now. How long have you been married? We had been married nearly 19 years.
Speaker 3:
15:40
No, I'm sorry. Overnight. Ten years you are in trying that out. I'd be. He did not know how long you been married. I guess maybe that's good because it doesn't seem like that long. Thank you very much. Rocky. You know, it's been, it's been wonderful the whole time so I can't even keep track of the time. Yeah, good luck with that. Alright. So talk about your, your, a kids then you mentioned. Oh yeah, of course. Your son. My favorite. My favorite thing to talk about kids and as I'm sure it is for you too, but you know, my daughter Reagan, of course she's named after after President Ronald Reagan. We love her to death. She's 16 years old now. Literally the big rig and Larry's thumbs, you know, and that's in La and I agree with you, Larry and Reagan. Reagan is, there's a lot of good things to talk about his leadership style, but yeah, for sure.
Speaker 3:
16:28
But she, she, uh, she's a wonderful child. She's learning how to drive or I will. She's driving now. She actually has her license and so, um, you know, Lord help us keep us in prayer, but she's doing it. She's an extremely responsible and the way to describe her, to sum it up very quickly with Reagan as is just always in search of excellence. She just wants to be everything that she tries to do. She tries to be perfect at it, which I think that that's a trait that she learned from you or your wife or neither or both. I think she probably gets a lot of that. She gets maybe a little for me, but she gets a lot of that from, from Ivy. Ivy Likes to be very particular inexact. Yes, exactly. Yeah. That's you're. She looks a lot like ivy. Thank God. Thank.
Speaker 3:
17:12
Thank God. Yeah. And I, she mirrors ivy. Like I could the, the, the other day they were in the store and I was watching them too. And you know, the, the interaction, they, she could almost be a little ivy. Yes, she is. Yes, I could, I can be outnumbered at times. Now I'll put it to you that way. Um, but she is doing, she's wonderful. She's doing great. It's excellent grades. Um, we just, we just couldn't ask anything more. So willow is our 13 year old daughter. Willow is a absolutely wonderful to very smart. And she was named president will. Yes. No, the future president willow somewhere down the line. Right? Well, I thought you were going for a trench. I was expecting, you know, that's the environmental side. So she appropriately so she dresses a little more hippie, like she's a little more free spirited.
Speaker 3:
18:01
She won't like me saying this, but her nickname we call her Willie Mack because mckayla's or mit has as their middle name. So I will do that next time I see your color color will imac and she is a same thing. Just a just wonderful, great student. Works very hard. And uh, um, you know, her, her thing right now, by the way, rock is sheet, so maybe there's a, maybe there's a future at chick filet with this. She loves trying all different kinds of things with cooking and baking. So that's good. Yes. She experiments and looks up recipes and does all this stuff. She a good cook or you know, it's very good. I mean I've gained some weight because my daughter wants to cooked a cake without sugar and we didn't know what to do with it, but we really, I mean we tried to be nice but politely that that's called a fish food.
Speaker 3:
18:48
Yeah. Yes, yes. It did it, it was bland, very bland. And then, you know, eli is a, is of course our nine year old boy and a eli is the extreme extrovert. We don't know where we get, where he gets that from. I am slightly extroverted on the scale. Um, and, and ivy's may be kind of like right in the middle. Right. And so, but he's, he's, he would be off the charts compared to us because, you know, this boy could talk to 100 people in a room if you, if you challenged them to at nine years old. Yeah. So three different schools that makes, that makes us a bit of an uber driver. But I let the kids go to public, go to public schools. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We're very, we're very pleased with the, they've, these schools are great. I mean, we're having a great experience there.
Speaker 3:
19:30
That's awesome. Yeah. So talk to me about, because I know that now you run your own business along with being in politics. Yeah. See, I have my small business, um, it's, it's consulting we call parks consulting services. And as I joke, it helps support my county commission habit. So it is a, is a business that ivy helps out with me and I do have some people that also are wonderful that helped me with, um, graphic work, cad, autocad, which is design and uh, you know, helping me with some of the reports that are due sometimes out in the field as well. So how do you try it? If I were to put you on the spot and ask you what your management style is, how would you describe yourself? And maybe we should call ib and asked her how she might get a different story from now.
Speaker 3:
20:17
And I know she's not here, so we'll ask you. So I asked me. Yes, yes. Well I am definitely the um, I, I trust people first. Um, I believe I will, I will take them for their word, especially at first and put my trust in their abilities. And so, you know, so there's some of that delegation, I guess leadership style. So you're not a micromanager. I'm not a micromanager. I, there's a, there's some small, you know, there's some small points in it, there's some small things that I think are important and I'll convey those. Right. And, and, and sometimes I know, I realize it's maybe just me focused maybe on some of the small things, but I had this, this phrase where I say you take care of the small things, the big things will follow. Yeah. And so I, you know, there's some of those little things that I think are important and I can tell are important. And uh, I will, I'm pretty pretty, uh, I want to say forgiving, but yeah, I mean I, forgiving is a good word and we're all human. I mean, I know I've, I've messed up at times, uh, early on in my career. Still mess up now. Yeah.
Speaker 2:
21:21
But y'all do. But I think it's, it's good to know. I think people have to build safe, otherwise they're not going to try. And I know that one of your points before was, um, how your previous firm encouraged creativity. If you encourage creativity, you're also going to allow people to make mistakes. No,
Speaker 3:
21:42
it happens. Yeah, exactly. I'm a, I just really believe I want people to be successful to. Yeah, I want, I want people to be, to feel good about what they've done.
Speaker 2:
21:52
So talk to us now because I am always shocked and I have a lot of friends who are in politics and I always am shocked that somebody would take on this role. It is a tough role. And you know, I, I see how mad people get about chicken sandwiches. I can't imagine how mad they get about taxes and so forth. So what, what made you decide to run for office?
Speaker 3:
22:17
No. Great question. Yes. Politics today is in a terrible state. I believe it. It's um, you know, everybody knows I don't have to just sit here and describe it for you. It's very divisive and argumentative and know there's fights over some of the stupidest things sometimes so that it does, it does beg the very appropriate question you just asked, why would you get involved with that and yeah, what I mean, what he was pretty simple for me, I had this, I've always had service in my heart and it goes back to my scouting days, right? And I've always, I always have this deep love of this country is the importance of what the United States stands for. I had that at an early age both through scouting and my grandfather who was actually a lieutenant colonel in the US army, served during World War II and my dad and my, my grandfather and my other grandparents do early on.
Speaker 3:
23:13
We would, we would talk history, this is funny because at the, at family gatherings are probably quite different today. People are devices and everything, but I would sit around and listen to stories about things that would happened that happened during World War Two. Yeah. Which has been fascinating. I mean, yes, considered the greatest generations. Oh totally. Yes. Totally. Totally agree. And so I got an appreciation by listening to that through my grandparents and my parents too about the importance of history and knowing it and then what the meaning of this country, what it stands for. And so I had that combined with what I call my nine slash 11 a moment.
Speaker 2:
23:46
Yeah. And I was going to ask you about that because it seems like the people that get into politics with a servant's heart, they always have that moment where, you know, they're struck with I need to do.
Speaker 3:
23:59
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. No, no. So, so this is what it was. Uh, it was, we were in the capital Ivy and I were in the capital. We were going to tour the capital about a month after nine slash 11. And uh, ivy is a pregnant with Reagan at the time and I prayed on the steps of the Capitol and mind you, this is the same day that there was pictures of people running out of the capital because of the anthrax scare. Yeah. And so I prayed on the steps of the capital that day, um, for God to make me useful somehow and serving my country in my community. And I believe, um, you know, I believe he, he put me to work. Yeah. And, and so my calling, it was, you know, I thought about going into the military at the time, but there was an age limit.
Speaker 3:
24:44
And with that being with Reagan on the way, I didn't know if that was appropriate. Right? I mean, but you did think about it. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, definitely. Um, and, but I decided I would just start by serving locally and kind of one thing led to another. I, I actually volunteered for some boards and then ran for Lake County water authority in 2004. Right. And you know it. And you won that race. I did. So how long did you serve as the lake county water? I served for four years. Okay. Yes. Yeah. Um, and uh, you know, that was great because I got to kind of serve and the technical, the technical world that I had been involved with water resources, the environment.
Speaker 2:
25:24
Right. And, and, and you, you do love that aspect of the, you know, as far as the environment, the old Florida, I'm sure you felt like you had a hand in detecting a little bit.
Speaker 3:
25:33
Yeah, I, I think so. Definitely. Yeah. And you know, it wasn't just that, but it was, it was the realization, you know, on the steps of the Capitol there that, you know, the community is what you make it. And you know, as you, I think you've said this earlier on and you've said it in your other shows, you know, everybody, everybody's got a leadership moment. Everybody's got. Everybody is a leader. Yeah. It just, the situation's different. But, and so I realized that I had, you know, I could make my community what it is, I just needed to do it. And, you know, here I am today and I, you know, I, I, uh, this is why I love serving locally. I don't, I don't, there's a, you know, there's a mess that's going on in the capital, in, in, you know, some of this is a whole nother show I'm sure about, about media and where are, are, um, you know, who we believe and what we know, what, what we look at and, and, and what we let into our hearts. Uh, that is a whole nother topic. But, you know, I just know that I'm just, when I'm trying to say is I know that I can serve here locally best right now.
Speaker 2:
26:36
So now that brings me to a point because right now you're, you're a two term a commissioner in Lake County. You're running, running for your third and um, and you don't seem to have because a lot of times people do local politics as a stepping stone to more.
Speaker 3:
26:53
Yeah, that's correct. Yeah. They, yeah. And, and, and you know, and unfortunately I'm hearing something these days, now that, that is a little troublesome. It's understandable, but it's a little trouble somewhere. There's this idea that, you know, you should serve a couple of terms locally, like at city council, Maybe County Commission, and then, you know, move your way up and as if that's not, you know, that's the right thing to do. Right. That's good enough. Yeah. They call them for war. Exactly. Like, uh, like start, start low and, and, and I'm sorry, but I disagree because I think all levels of government and this might, I might be the one of the few that say this are equally important.
Speaker 2:
27:29
Well, and I, and I think you can actually make the argument that as far as impacting people's lives, yes, probably have a greater chance to do that at a local level than you do at state or federal for sure.
Speaker 3:
27:40
Correct. Yeah. And I, and I get um, I, I get the whole the term limit thing and let's keep, let's keep people moving through. But I will say this, you know, you do have people that stay at Congress and in there in the Senate that had been, you know, 20, 30, 40 years and I get how that's not right. Um, but, but at the same time, um, if we as a nation think that I'm putting term limits at every level of government is going to solve the problems that we have. Um,
Speaker 2:
28:07
I just, I think that's, that's too much of an easy fix. You know, it's funny to me because I, I think that we have a way to get rid of inefficient, ineffective and Deborah narcissistic of politicians that, that aren't doing their job. That's just with the vote. I mean, we can vote them out.
Speaker 3:
28:25
You can vote every two to four years and every two and every four years and that's, you've hit the nail on the head when it comes to that whole topic.
Speaker 2:
28:32
Um, you know, you can, we need to roll up our sleeves a little bit and, and, you know,
Speaker 3:
28:38
politics and being involved at every level. It's, it's a, it's um, it's, yes, it's a right for us to vote, but it's a responsibility for us to know who we're voting for
Speaker 2:
28:47
and not just a vote, a party line, but to actually know the individuals who are voting for and to decide if they're actually doing their job, Mingo
Speaker 3:
28:53
and, and also the, uh, the issues. Yeah. And that takes work. Democracy as a, let me be clear. Every public with democratic values that we are takes work at for everybody. We, you can't just sit aside and just,
Speaker 2:
29:09
I saw something on TV. This is who I should vote for. Right? So when, you know, the crazy thing to me is there's all this talk about term limits and it will always struck me, as you know, when I look for a mechanic, I look for the most experienced mechanic I can find. I look for somebody who's going to build me a cabinet or is it going to fix my lighting system? I'm looking for the most experienced person possible. It, the issue has never been that experience is bad. It's Kinda like bad experiences, bad. Somebody who's doing it for the wrong reasons or doesn't really care. Correct. Or do they it as a stepping stone or to get a pension that's wrong, but if you can find the rare politician and I believe you're one of them, who cares, is doing it with the right intentions and you've kind of mentioned your nine slash 11 moment. Who's doing it to truly serve. We want those. In fact, I want those to be an office for a long time because they're efficient and they're effective. And one thing I wanted you to talk about what? Sure. You know, there there's a lot of talk about how our governments becoming bloated and, and it's, it's, it's not very efficient, but I know you've got a pretty strong record not only around job growth but also around a cutting, cutting money from
Speaker 3:
30:21
I budget. Yeah. Yeah, exactly it, you know, everybody has this image of the county, you know, we're in it in the city stew I suppose, but you know, the four guys three sitting around and holding up a shovel in one. Actually doing the work. Yeah. And I'm sure you can find those cases where that has happened. No, nothing is perfect. But you know, here's, here's the kind of the facts or the deals with the deal with Lake County right now. We last year we cut the week, we found about one point 2 million in savings. The year before is about one point three. We're operating right now with the same number of employees as we had in 2005. And we have about 80,000 more people. Wow. That's crazy. So that's a good. I mean, it's a good thing. I'm a, I'm a believer in lean and efficient government. Just like you, you run the restaurant, you run, you can't have, you can't have bloat, you can't have, you can't have dead weight. Yup. Um, that you're, you're not going to make your numbers, you're not going to make your goals. So I'm, I'm, I'm proud of that. I've been a part of it. It's not just me. I will say that it's, it's a, a team of commissioners that have also made good decisions on that as well. But we're very good here. This is a good, a good, a good county for efficiency.
Speaker 2:
31:29
So let's talk about, tell us about some of the things that you care deeply about or maybe some concerns that you have that are facing lake county right now.
Speaker 3:
31:38
Well, the, you know, definitely the. Being careful with how we manage growth.
Speaker 2:
31:44
Okay. Yeah. Because growth is happening and there's no way. You know, I've, I've always been shocked at the people that are like no growth, no growth. It just doesn't work. You have to have growth,
Speaker 3:
31:53
correct? Yeah. You do. You do. You're gonna. You're gonna have to have growth or you're dying. We've got a thousand people a day that are moving to Florida. Yeah. This is the silver tsunami, as they call it. Yeah. That is a, that is happening and you know, people from the Midwest and the northeast are moving to Florida because we got a great, a great economy, or it's a great place to live, right? That's going to happen. We have to handle that growth the right way. We need to make sure that I'm the Lake County we love is protected as I tell people. I want Reagan, willow or Willie Mack and Eli too, they love Lake County. Now they may, they may go off somewhere else and they may not come back. Um, but I want them to be. If they do choose to come here, I want them to have a good choice. I want them to stay here in the mark of a good community I think is when you have generation after generation staying.
Speaker 2:
32:41
Right. Well, and, and the crazy thing to me is I think, you know, even going back 15, 20 years, it was hard to come back and find a great job, you know? And I think that that's one thing that you've worked really hard as yes, growth is going to happen, but how can we create unique growth and growth that's going to help us employ our kids and our kids' kids?
Speaker 3:
33:01
Correct. Good job. Yeah. Yeah, I know exactly. I mean 16,000 new jobs in the course of, you know, six, seven years now. I mean that's, that's been pretty good. And then in 900 new startups, because I love small businesses, you do 900 new startup businesses net in, in Lake County since then. And uh, that's, that's impressive number.
Speaker 2:
33:20
Well, and, and, and a lot of those 16,000 jobs, you know, you can have a huge employer come in and, and that happens sometimes and it's fantastic, but the reality is most jobs are created by small businesses and they might only employ five or six or seven people, but they provide a living for a lot of people in a lot of new job.
Speaker 3:
33:38
They do. Yeah, exactly. Yes. And you know, there, there is um, there's a lot of other good measures to, you know, average wages increasing in lake county and wages is important measure because it, it's a prosperity and people were able to afford a home, buy a car. So those. Yeah.
Speaker 2:
33:54
Which, uh, Duffy moves the economic or the economy of Lake County. Exactly. Exactly. Okay. So we talked about a few things that you've kind of learned along the way and I've heard that, you know, you've worked with people that have encouraged creativity and also encouraged. I'm giving you the right to speak out, but doing so in a way that you felt still part of a team and, and had that great comradery, um, your own leadership style. You kind of mentioned that you love to trust people and that you love to give clear direction, but you're okay to delegate once you do and that you love seeing people succeed once, you know they take on a job and they do it. So have you had any bad experiences with leadership? Have you ever done something where you're like, oh darn, how did I do that? Or maybe worked for somebody that you know, you, you vow to never be like,
Speaker 3:
34:46
yeah, I, I definitely have had the exact opposite hand. I've had people when I will not, I will not name names, show, but yes, we're, we're, uh, literally it's a, you know, it's every hour, every other hour I'm checking in. Yeah. And I'm a micromanaging. But then also kind of the office politics part that goes along with it and the, you know, the, the snip, snip, Enos and the gossip. I think so. And when you combine that boy, you just, um, you know, anybody would, would lose, lose faith in the person that they're supposed to follow. Now, have I been guilty of that? I'm sure I have been guilty of micromanaging.
Speaker 2:
35:27
I think we all have. I honestly think that like as a young leader, it's kind of, it's easy to fall into that trap. It is, but then I think is a growth there and I, and I'm sure you've grown as you've led
Speaker 3:
35:38
more and more people you get to the point we realize it's an effective. But I think we've all been guilty of that. Yeah, absolutely. Okay. So I want to ask you now if you have a favorite quote or favorite verses there, anything that you really kind of motivates you and gives you a reason, uh, when you get up in the morning? Yes. I have a lot of favorite quotes. Um, I love, I loved history. There's a lot of great lessons in history, um, particularly American history, a lot of quotes from presidents and great leaders of the nation. But I will go, especially I think for the, for this show, since you're asking me and we're talking about servant leadership, I'm going to go actually go to the Bible. Okay, cool. And I will, I will actually, if you'll allow me. Yeah, I will. I'll give you like a couple verses so when just be one verse, but it's, it is, uh, it's from Romans Chapter Twelve, nine through 21 there.
Speaker 3:
36:34
This is often called the marks of a Christian are the mark of a Christian. Sure. And, and I'll just, if you don't mind me and I can just read it a little bit. Yeah. And just tell you how I think this is important, how it totally is, I think defines in a lot of ways. Servant leadership. Yeah. And, and they also call this love and action to love must be sincere. Hate what is evil, cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. And this is where we start getting into the servant leadership. Honor one another above yourselves. That's key. Never be lacking in zeal. So it's great to have and it's great to have passion, but keep your spiritual fervor serving the Lord. So that means not serving yourself. Yeah, your motivation is going toward something else, right? The serving the Lord.
Speaker 3:
37:20
Be Joyful, be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer, share with the Lord's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. So yeah, and then it goes on. Bless those who persecute you. Bless those, uh, and bless and do not curse. So A, and I'll paraphrase the rest of that, but essentially it's, it's, um, servant leadership can, can mean that you're striving to be in harmony with another, right? It means putting your, putting the, each others' needs above your own. Yep. A certain disability and humbleness. Yeah. Practice hospitality. Like what you do. I mean, I, I've never met. I don't think I've met a friendlier person than you and more. It's been more hospitable, hospitable, the right word. That's a good word, right? Yeah. Yeah. No, it's definitely a good word. Yeah. So, and you, you are that way. So, um, I, I think that's a, that's servant leadership. So I look at this, this Bible verses one of my most favorite. Yeah, they really want. It's definitely a guiding principle and I think that it is sometimes when you know, anytime you or later there's going to be days where you wonder why you're doing it in politics, I would imagine there are times when you're getting yelled at by somebody who doesn't quite understand things and you have to have something to fall back on to remind you why you do it. And I think that that burst where talks, putting others above
Speaker 2:
38:36
yourself and that means people that persecute you had mentioned, is that, I mean it, it means that even though they're not maybe seeing the whole point, I still have to serve them. And that's a great verse, Great Group of verses for a politician to live by.
Speaker 3:
38:52
It is. I mean, you know, it goes on and it says, even here, you know, do not repay anyone evil for evil. That's hard to live these days because way we are, we are vengeful, vengeful, vengeful, right now. And, but, but putting it in the context of, of leadership and servant leadership, you know, of an instance for me might be as a, as serving the people of Lake County, sometimes it's just having patience because I have to realize that somebody's going to send me a nasty email and I, I do get those or somebody's going to get on the phone or somebody is going to approach me at a meeting. Sometimes people were really upset and they say they say some bad things. And so the servant leadership part of that is just patients and saying, I have to tell myself, okay, they might've had a bad day. Right? Um, and, and the listening part of this, uh, you know, I've got to go ahead and listen to them and um, and, and just be patient with it and try to try to help them. But you may not be able to hear.
Speaker 2:
39:49
I'm always now and honestly it's it, you know, that verse talks about how it, it tells you what you gotta do. It doesn't say that if you do that, everything works out. Or people suddenly magically see your point. You still have to do it correct now. And so I think it's a great party, a guiding principle. That's true.
Speaker 1:
40:09
Alright, so we have this fun segment that we call this one or that one and get to put you a little bit on the spot. Great. And I'm a little nervous now. Well, I know you're like an Uber nerd like me, which is an Uber nerd is a good thing now by the way. Come to find out, but we're going to give you, um, some people and, um, some franchises and asks you to pick which one you prefer and maybe give us some reasons why. Okay. All right. So the first one is elan musk or Richard Branson.
Speaker 3:
40:38
I will definitely go with the Elon Musk, Elon musk, Tammy, what you love about them? Oh my gosh. That guy just, he's just so I just innovative and what I, and I like his leadership style, you know, he'll, he'll get, he'll get somebody, you know, a young person out of school, you know, a genius. Somebody that's really worked hard. It's has gotten great grades or whatever he puts in the work immediately on these systems as I understand this for, for the rockets that are building and he'll say literally to that person, come in and see them and say, I am trusting you. This is going to be your function. You're going to build this particular particular function to launch this rocket and I'm counting on you. He says this personally. I just think it's really cool.
Speaker 2:
41:18
I think we needed to find a counterpart because everybody's choosing Elan Musk. So I think maybe Richard Branson's not.
Speaker 3:
41:24
But now you've got to find a counter. Yes. Alright,
Speaker 2:
41:29
so go, go and kind of with that and with technology. How about Steve Gates or a straight wow. Steve Jobs or bill gates
Speaker 3:
41:36
or you can combine them. Like I just said, I will go with a
Speaker 2:
41:44
jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs. Now I'm going to go with jobs because you're a politician. You Trade Jackie. I can create the jobs in there. Yes. I worked that into the line of. No, I just. Because you know, hey, I had an apple when in college back when there was a, I mean, technology's changed so much what they call back then they were the apple macintosh I think. But you're right. Yeah. Yes. And it had 80 megs of Ram, which was impressive at the time. Now your watch has a five times. Exactly. Yeah. So I will go with jobs for sure. I'm a little bit mad at him right now because my phone is not working quite right and I'm blaming him personally, but normally I would go with jobs, tips and I just spent five and a half hours at the apple store yesterday. All right. So Steven Spielberg or Walt Disney.
Speaker 3:
42:30
I love Steven Spielberg. So you're, you're putting me in a bad position but trying to. But I will go with Walt Disney. Okay, good. Again, yeah, you local. Here's a little interesting tidbit about Walt Disney. His mom, years ago lived in Paisley, which is a North Lake County. Well. And so this story, which can be a, is this true? There's at least a lot of truth to this is that, uh, he had been for a number of years or number of months maybe trying to actually buy the land around Paisley really for Disney world. So. Oh, La county could have been home to Disney world in north white county.
Speaker 2:
43:09
Wow. You had a better politician back then we would have gotten. We would have, yes, exactly. This commissioners didn't know what they are now. Back then. What was wrong with them? Exactly. Oh, excuse me. I don't want all the traffic. Okay. Alright. So how about a star wars or Harry Potter?
Speaker 3:
43:24
Oh, that's not even close star wars for sure. That my kids love Harry Potter. So there'll be a disappointment. Yeah.
Speaker 2:
43:31
Okay. And the last one is going to be Broadway or rock and roll. And I only asked that because I have three daughters who love Broadway. So,
Speaker 3:
43:38
you know, broadway is good and there's some great shows. I'm sure
Speaker 2:
43:43
politician here, but I know you were going. Yes. But uh, there's no way it's rock and roll for sure. You know, like a favorite group is, or what am I? I'll put in a plug for some, for some of the gen x bands is you're Gen X. Yeah. Um, you know, journey. Oh Wow. Yeah. Yeah. So, you know, journey. Um, the ivy likes DEF leppard. She'll probably kill me for saying that, but definitely need def leppard concert. That is, I think we should go to A. Yeah, yeah. All right. You guys, let's man up here. Okay. So I'm not sure. I'm not sure if sean passed the test, but we're going to go onto her manliness. Well, no, no, you definitely, I think you're in trouble with ivy from some earlier comments. So you might want to get rid of the DEF leppard journey tickets. Yes. You know. Well she's going to go see Taylor swift, so. Oh Gosh. So I'm not know my daughters are going. So she got. Hey Sean, real quick before we, um, and we really do appreciate you coming on the show and kind of sharing us a little bit about yourself and kind of what makes you tick. How does somebody contact you or how can they find out more about what you stand about? R stand for
Speaker 3:
44:46
sure. Yeah. I have a, there's a couple different ways. Um, of course. Anybody that still does the facebook thing that you can, you can friend me on facebook. I know facebook is still popular. Well, it is with rh for sure. It is Gen xers. Yeah. Yeah. Um, I, I, um, I do. I am on twitter. That's shawn parks 89 at Yahoo Dot com. So s e a n p a R K s eighty9@yahoo.com email. All right. Are you controversial on twitter or now? You know, I don't have, I don't have the president trump thing going now. I can't, I could not compete with that at all if I try that. Anybody could. You don't even try. You just let, let, let trump be trump. Yes.
Speaker 2:
45:25
Very good. Very good. Alright, Sean, will, we really do appreciate you coming on this journey and we've enjoyed getting to know you some. No, it's an honor. Thank you. Thank you, rocky. Thank you Larry. That's all right. Well, thank you everyone for joining us here on a survivor's journey. Remembered, just subscribe to the podcast and you can hear all of what rocky wants to share with you to be a good leader. Learning to lead by serving. And if you subscribe, subscribe. Can I say that word again? If you subscribe, you're know what you're gonna get you're gonna. Get a server's journey moment and that comes out on Tuesday and that's that quick pick me up starter for your day. Yeah, that's that reminder. Just to kind of keep it going. So if you like what you've heard, tell a friend like us and sheriff's a servers journey. So rocky, until next time I am, you're ever faithful companion Larry as in Starsky and Hutch. But listen, I was going to use Simon and Garfunkel. Oh I, I mean I do like Starsky and Hutch but we are definitely dating ourselves.
Speaker 1:
46:22
How about Beau and Luke? Oh Wow. That you know what, there's so many, you know, save one for no show. Simon and Garfunkel. That's before start seeing that much. But, but they are coming back with a vengeance. My daughters, is that right? Oh my goodness. I'll have to pull up my old vinyls. She'd be happy to do. You Got Vinyl. Oh yeah. Up. Hey listen. We are all on a journey and we do believe it's. It's how you serve while you're in that role, and that's why every week for sharing these servers journey. I'm rocky desteffano. I want to thank you for joining us and together I want us to become better leaders.