Stronger Through Adversity Spotlight on Chris Recinos

As I mentioned in last week’s post, my book Stronger Through Adversity will launch next week – on December 22nd. It will be my Christmas gift to myself, and hopefully, it will create value for others as well. Throughout December, I’m sharing a few excerpts from the book to offer stories and lessons on resilience and hope.

I am grateful to the 140 plus leaders like the CEOs and Presidents of Target, Verizon, Microsoft, Marriott, and Mercedes-Benz, who shared their insights and wisdom. Today I’ll feature a section about Chris Recinos. Chris holds a Ph.D. in nursing, is the CEO of the Nurse Leader Network and is also the Chief Nurse Executive at a major healthcare system in Los Angeles.

In Stronger Through Adversity, I write:

Chris noted, “Like other senior leaders, I felt like I couldn’t leave my hospital or step away from patient care. For example, I worked 52 consecutive days with no days off. It was hard to take time away when so many people came to me for solutions. It was also difficult to express weakness—so I put on my emotional armor to seem strong.”

This intense external focus seemed to be working for Chris until she could no longer ignore the large price she was paying for poor self-care. According to Chris, “Everything took a backseat except what was happening in the hospital. I was no longer teaching, recording my regular podcasts, or running my Nurse Leader Network. Since my husband also works at a hospital, our kids struggled in school. It was like Lord of the Flies at my house—with our children virtually stranded on an uninhabited island.

Well into this downward self-care cycle, Chris realized she needed to make a change. Sparked by a spontaneous and vulnerable conversation among nursing supervisors, Chris noted, “One leader said she felt like she should get the Worst Mother of the Year award, and every other leader with a child at home expressed that same feeling. In that moment, we knew we hadn’t taken care of ourselves or our broader priorities. So, we assigned accountability partners to make sure we were all taking respite. Every week we’d talk to our partner about what we did to re-energize, and they would make sure we were taking days off and truly disconnecting from the work. It’s amazing how we as leaders can get so pulled into the importance of our work that we can lose ourselves and deprioritize our families in the process.”

I hope you are prioritizing your health, self-care, and family as you prepare for 2021. Moreover, I hope you will think about how you will be stronger through the adversities you encountered in 2020.

If you would like to learn more about the book Stronger Through Adversity and get your special signed 40% off pre-order offer, head to

Until next time, may you be safe and Stronger Through Adversity.

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Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D. is a professional speaker and chief experience officer at The Michelli Experience. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, Dr. Michelli and his team consult with some of the world’s best customer experience companies.

Follow on Twitter: @josephmichelli

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