Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he sometimes disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Keeping the Peace

Communication is one of the biggest problems with managing an organization as large as TLC.

With some 75 employees and volunteers, it's easy to experience frequent communication breakdowns.

We have some employees – typical of addicts and alcoholics – who have fragile egos.

When another employee steps into their territory, or area of responsibility, they very often react with anger or frustration.

So one of my major responsibilities is to keep balance between these competing interests.

We all look at the world through our own glasses, which are tinted by our egos, our self-interests, and our desire to look as good as we can – myself included...

At the end of the day I’m happy when everyone has their issues addressed. Their egos patched up.  And they feel like that they’re still in charge of their part of the company.


My ultimate responsibility is to make sure we have our eyes on our mission: to help recovering substance abusers rebuild their lives.

When it comes to helping others, our self-centered ego-driven behavior is secondary. 


The real thing is about giving people an opportunity to change – and maybe save – their lives.