Milly began her professional career as an elementary school teacher in 1969 after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Education from Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. While teaching third grade she experienced many students and parents who were having challenging times for various reasons. It seemed to her that learning was so hard for people who were busy thinking about their problems. Throughout her professional life, she has continued to be a lifelong learner studying how people can lead more productive and joyful lives. She has supported others from infancy to age 100 in their learning and exploration during her career.
After teaching for several years, she and her husband had two daughters and she interrupted her career until their girls were both in school. When she was ready to resume her career, she was offered a teaching position. However, she decided to take a position in the administration area of Ingham Regional Medical Center where she had increasing responsibilities for the development and marketing of healthcare services for businesses, unions, insurance companies and other healthcare organizations from 1982 until 1995. She enjoyed learning and working with a variety of people and was able to listen and help people in the process. Wherever she went, people wanted to tell her about their life, difficulties and hopes. She listened and then developed educational programs, healthcare services and written materials for the business customers of the hospital. As she began to manage more people, again she listened, and supported staff in their learning and development. One of her greatest joys was to see people find their talents and skills and to develop and manage programs that helped people.
In 1993 she completed her Master’s in Educational Administration at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. In 1995, she was hired as the Director of Organizational Development and Education for Ingham Regional Medical Center where she led an initiative that assisted executives, employees, physicians, board members and volunteers as they worked through the impact of two mergers and developed a new corporate culture. At the end of 1998, overall patient satisfaction was 92.8%, 82% of the employees had high job satisfaction, and the organization had a net income of $11 million (up from a $72 million loss in 1993 and a $615,000 net revenue in 1995). For a more comprehensive view of the types of responsibilities she had, please see the attached resume.
During the mid to late 1990s, consultants were brought to the organization to teach the 3 Principles as part of the educational programing for executives, physicians, managers, and staff employees. Learning the 3 Principles became foundational to Milly’s understanding of how people learn and have meaningful lives. As she learned more herself, she knew it was time to leave her position and dedicate herself to mentoring individuals and organizations from the 3 Principles perspective.
The 3 Principles
Many people who have learned the Three Principles share a similar experience. There are few things in life that when you learn about them have an impact that echos for years in a person’s life. Once this new understanding blooms, there is a before and after quality about how life works and yet it resonates so deeply that it feels as if we have always known about it. At the same time we want to continue to understand more as each insight we have allows us to live a more meaningful life and ultimately we want to share this experience with others. This has certainly been my experience.
I first learned about the Three Principles in 1995. At that time I worked for a Healthcare System that was going through two mergers as the Director of Organizational Development and Education. I led initiatives to improve many systems in the organization to comply with the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization’s requirements, facilitated many teams throughout the organization and developed educational programming for clinical and non-clinical staff, leadership, physicians and board members as we experienced dramatic, cultural change.
As part of the merger, the organization worked with the Senn-Delaney Consulting group and later with Pransky and Associates. The organization brought consultants from both organizations to the Healthcare system for leadership development retreats and seminars. Since I was the administrative point person for the programs, I had many opportunities to hear people talk about the Three Principles. I also went with staff, physicians and board members to LaConner as they were exposed to the Three Principles by Pransky and associates. Many employees were interested in learning the 3Ps and so we held seminars where we brought Three Principle teachers in from around the country. As staff learned the Principles they wanted to bring their family to seminars too, so we opened the seminars to the community. Eventually, we worked with Community partners to develop a five year Kellogg Grant that allowed us as part of the grant to teach community organizations the Three Principles, consult and do community outreach and organizing.
I was fortunate to learn from many 3P teachers in person including; Sidney Banks, George and Linda Pransky, Judy Sedgeman, Keith Blevens, Sandy Krot, and Dicken Bettinger at Pransky and Associates. Roger Mills and Elsie Spittle taught a nine month weekend program in California that I attended. Many teachers came to our Healthcare System for various events including Dicken Bettinger, Joe Bailey, Beverley Wilson Hayes, Cathy Casey, Roger Mills, Paul Nakai, and others. Dicken Bettinger taught many seminars in the Healthcare system and in the community and stayed with my husband and I in the “Bettinger Suite” periodically over several years. He taught my family and me so much with his joyful, loving presence and continues to be my mentor and friend. Other teachers I have had the privilege of learning from include Drs. Bill and Linda Pettit. Their experience and wisdom continues to deepen my understanding. I hope I have not left anyone off this list, so many teachers, colleagues and students have helped me grow in my understanding each with their unique style and voice whether in person, video or written work.
An insight I had one day while talking with Beverley Wilson Hayes, led me to leave a career I had loved in an instant. I had been in a 3P, four day retreat with Beverley and others. My mind was quiet and open. Over lunch I was telling Beverley that I wasn’t sure what I needed to do about my work, after twenty years it didn’t seem to fit as well anymore. She looked at me and said, “I think you know what to do, you are just not doing it.” It hit me that I did know what to do even though I had been avoiding my knowing previously………I left my job unsure of exactly what I would do next but knowing I wanted to share the 3Ps.
It was amazing how many people and things came together with that one decision that led to the formation of Lakeside Consulting. First, Lisa Laughman, a person I had just hired at the Healthcare System, said she wanted to leave with me and suggested we work together. Then the Healthcare System I left hired Lakeside to facilitate a five year Kellogg grant on their behalf where we worked with community partners, consulted and taught the 3Ps to a variety of people and organizations. Soon we had many new opportunities, we hired other people to work with us and we all had the privilege of working with many individuals and organizations to teach the 3Ps and to consult.
I also became a Grandma for the first time a month after I left my Healthcare job and was able to live a more balanced life spending lots of “Grandma Tuesdays” with my six grandchildren who were born within the next six years and supporting my two adult daughter’s families in their new chapters. Later it allowed me to help my elderly Mother and Aunt who lived to be 100 and 99 have safe landings as they transitioned. I also had time to spend with my husband and friends to travel and play, to take care better care of my health as I found and recovered from thyroid cancer and to try new things like painting, writing, yoga and to be adopted by my rescue dog Buddy, etc.
I share that insight and its ramification only to say that insights are incredibly powerful when we have the courage to follow them, not knowing where they may take us, having faith that we are being helped and moved in a direction that is meant for us to follow. All along my personal journey one powerful thread has been woven into whatever I have been doing. I love seeing the health in others while listening and holding space for people as they have their own unique insights.