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Moving to Newport Beach in 1975 was a blessing from the beginning and now to see our kids and grandkids grow up in this beautiful end of the world, we feel so blessed to live here. It’s not just the beautiful beach area that we enjoy each day; it’s the people we’ve come to know and love here. 

Living and working here for the past 44 years, we’ve come to know and love people from every political, ethnic, and religious spectrum. In some ways, since we’ve worked here so long, we serve as unofficial ‘chaplains’ to the area. I’ve jokingly said that I’ve counseled over half the county. We’ve taught and counseled, married and buried, partied and grieved with hundreds of people over this time-span. 

As I bump around the ‘Holy Coast’ area, from gathering to gathering, and coffee shop to coffee shop hangout, I’m picking up an under-current in the community. This under-current is unhappy, dissatisfied, and some quite angry over the turmoil within their various community groups. 

With a few of my friends, a common description of the community leaders has been frequently described as a ‘consultant mentality’. This descriptor is not speaking kindly of the consultant-leaders. I recently read: “If you’re not a part of the solution, there’s good money in prolonging and complicating the problem; it’s called consulting.” 

Now, hear me out on this. I’ve served as a consultant over the years. I’ve been highly paid from $500-$2500 per day to consult organizations-corporate executives, non-profits, schools, and leadership organizations. Believe me, I’m not demonizing the act of consulting. But there is a consultant mentality that we’re seeing more frequently. It’s hiring someone who knows a lot, but has had little experience. In some ways, this model of leadership is being lifted up to the highest levels and creates a genuine leadership vacuum. When being a consultant becomes more valuable than one who has spent the time doing the work, knowledge reigns and our loss is the power of wisdom that we could have enjoyed within our communities. 


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