I am a Christian. I am a woman. I am a wife, mother, and daughter. I am a business leader and teacher. I am successful. My passions include faith, family, health, character development, corporate transformation, supporting military veterans, marketplace ministry, and advocating for the end of human trafficking and abuse.
As a child, my mom would tell me that she wanted me to be more successful than her. I went into the corporate world two decades ago and climbed the corporate ladder expecting to one day have the realization that I was successful. What I found was that I earned more money and better titles but I wasn’t feeling fulfilled – I wasn’t feeling successful.
I realized that I was climbing the wrong ladder. My spiritual needs were not being met and it was time to redefine success. Many are finding that the office is a great place for someone else to manage their mind and body, but they expect us to leave our heart and soul at the door. I want to change this mentality and encourage businesses around the world to truly ‘nourish the soul [the whole person] at work.’
Each of my life experiences has made me the person I am today.
What have I overcome? I was molested from age five to age nine by a close family friend. In middle and high school I was raped on many different occasions. I was married and pregnant at age 19, had my second child at age 21, and was divorced by age 22.
My grandfather died suddenly when I was 13 of a stroke. My brother died when I was 21 in a car accident. And, my grandmother died suddenly right before my 25th birthday, also from a stroke.
By the time I was in my mid-20’s I was searching for meaning and purpose. At age 26 I remarried and my family blossomed from two children to four. Then in 2005 we lost a baby to anencephaly. And, in 2008 we had our youngest son.
I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and have completed two mini-marathons. I have won numerous beauty pageants. I was the first in my immediate family to graduate from college. I now have a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration, a Master’s of Science in Business Communication, and a PhD in Organizational Leadership.
I grew up in a household with my grandparents, my brother, my mother, and eventually my step-dad who taught me karate.
On Valentine’s Day 2017, I successfully defended my dissertation. The title is Religion and Spirituality in the workplace: A quantitative evaluation of job satisfaction and organizational commitment. I found that desirable workplace outcomes can be predicted by love, meaningful work, and a sense of community. This took me back to 1 Corinthians 13 – and the greatest of these is love.
My father, a Vietnam War Hero, died unexpectedly in 2018 from what we believe to be a heart issue. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him.
One thing that resonates with me from all of these experiences is the human body, heart, mind, and soul, and the way we treat one another holistically. It is time for us to take control of our environment and ensure that we treat each other respectfully and ensure we treat ourselves with respect as well.
Together, let’s make a difference in our workplace and in our world!
Dr. Debra Dean Copyright 2019 All Rights Reserved