Executive Corner – Michael King
The Executive Corner is a new weekly feature of the Addiction/Recovery eBulletin. We send our participants forty questions and ask them to choose twenty they would like to answer. It includes a short profile and a link to their website. We hope you enjoy it.
1. If you are in recovery, what was your DOC and when did you discontinue its use?
I am a person in long term recovery, which for me means that I haven’t had a drink, a drug or placed a bet since February 16, 2013. Alcohol, marijuana and gambling were my drugs of choice.
2. Do you believe leaders are made or born?
I believe leaders are cultivated when passion meets work ethic, and the right person reaches out at the right time.
3. Who is your favorite celebrity in recovery?
This is an incredibly difficult question to answer, though I have a lot of personal affection for Jason Isbell, who speaks of his recovery in such a wonderful, humble manner.
4. What is your biggest or littlest pet peeve?
Passion that isn’t matched with action. Especially in recovery, we are given the amazing opportunity to bring change to the areas of the world that concern us. But action is the key – and those who complain but don’t act irk me.
5. How do you measure success?
I believe the first measurement of success is personal gratification – and I think when you can look at yourself in the mirror and say honestly that you did everything within your power and ability to impact a given issue, that is the highest level of success you can attain.
6. Who was your biggest influence throughout your life?
I’ve had the pleasure of knowing so many amazing individuals who have done amazing work – but if I have a “hero” in my world, it would have to be my Grandmother. She’s a 91 year old German immigrant who lived through horrors I couldn’t even imagine as a young person, but persevered and remains a ray of sunshine to all who she touches.
7. What is your current hobby?
I don’t have a “hobby” – but when not working, nothing is more gratifying to me then raising my two young children.
8. Favorite Radio show, news show,
Morning Joe –which living on the west coast, I seldom get to watch!
8. Favorite TV/cable/digital series?
My absolute favorite show of all time is The Wire.
9. Favorite Non-fiction book genre?
I can eat up political books like no other, having had a prior career in the political arena.
10. Favorite Museum?
Smithsonian American History museum – and every Presidential library I’ve had the chance to visit (I’ve had the chance to visit Clinton, Reagan, Nixon, Ford & Johnson and Kennedy’s museums).
11. Favorite Broadway musical/play?
I grew up loving theater, though I’m more partial to drama – and my favorite play is a tie between The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, and The Zoo Story by Edward Albee.
12. Favorite Sport to watch? To play?
I’m a die hard baseball fan –both to watch and play. I also enjoy football and soccer.
13. Favorite Restaurant?
I have a personal connection to Ray’s Boathouse in Seattle, not only because of the wonderful food, but because when I first got into recovery and had lost my political career, Ray’s gave me a chance to have a job and begin the process of putting my life back together.
14. Have you ever been arrested and, if so, what for? Time?
Like so many others in recovery, the answer to this is yes. When I was 13 years old, I was arrested for vandalism, and received six months probation. As an adult, I was given a DUI though it was plead down to reckless driving. And the crime that eventually led me into recovery involved embezzling funds from my employer, for which I was charged with eight counts of felony theft, and given a 25 ½ month sentence under Washington state’s Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative.
15. Do you have any children? Grandchildren?
I do have two children who spend half of their time with me. They are 7 (almost 8) and 3 (almost 4) and the absolute light of my life.
16. Do you think the U.S. should adopt the Portuguese Decriminalization Model?
Without a doubt –this is an issue that belongs in the health care silo, not the criminal justice one
17. Do you prefer John Grisham, Patricia Cornwell, Lawrence Block, James Patterson, Scott Turow, Walter Mosley, Stephen King, or Patricia Highsmith?
Of this list, John Grisham – though if I have a fiction author that I will geek out on from this similar category, it would be Tom Clancy.
18. What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
On the professional side, “plan your work and work your plan … and if it’s not written down, it’s not a plan.” In my personal life, I try to follow Yogi Berra’s wisdom – “If you come to a fork in the road, take it”
19. What are five things you always carry with you?
My sobriety coin, an e-cigarette, keys, my phone and a phone headset…because I never hold the phone to my ear anymore!
20. What is the proudest moment in your life?
The moment I said to myself that enough was enough. That I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. And that I was willing to not only stop drinking, using and gambling – but that I was willing to live my life differently, and be open minded to a new way of living.
Director of Outreach & Engagement @ Facing Addiction – Developed relationships with key leaders in the recovery advocacy movement, including Recovery Community Organization leaders, Prevention Networks, Recovery Residences and local agencies focusing on addiction treatment and recovery.
Emerson College, Boston
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