We all have someone around us who is in a state related to brain development. Autism sounds not as dangerous as cancer, but this condition impacts how a person observes and socializes with others, and having this disorder causing problems in social interaction and communication. Some people with ASD may need special support in keeping with their daily lives, while others may need minor assistance and, in some cases, live completely independently.
Pete Pallares, CEO of Center for Social Dynamics Autism Services once was a child who learned differently from anyone else in school. He told his father that one day he would like to help everyone from different cultures and languages to develop and learn just the way they are and that no other child should go what he went through. He started Center for Social Dynamics in 2012 with the aim to make sure no child with autism was left behind without proper services. By now, CSD has 2000 patients from different cultures and languages under its care. He asserts, “My success as an influential leader resides in my/our ability to provide the best care possible for everyone diagnosed with autism.”
Pete believes that Center for Social Dynamics could not continue with leaders that did not understand the pain of the condition. He says, “To scale we had to become much better professionals, starting with us being better individuals.” He adds, “My proudest moments are when our patients’ quality of life improves because of our services or when my staff keeps developing into amazing professionals.”
He asserts, “It all started with the sentiment and energy to want to change my industry for the better. My goal was and still is to close the gap in medical outcomes for minorities, bring access to services to all and understand that the symptoms of autism deserve a specific treatment and a diverse specialty team to treat it. I guess I just wanted to do something better than we had done until now.”
Success; Impacting lives for Good
For Pete, success means doing his job. He believes that success has nothing to do with accolades, money, recognition, or award but it relies on how many lives one impacts with his or her services. He says, “It’s difficult to feel successful doing what I do, there are always more people that need services and staff that need support.”
The Best way to Face Challenges by Improving Yourself
“Personal and professional growth are very tied up together,” says Pete. He thinks that there is a link between these two as one can’t grow professionally without growing personally. He opines, “You have to let yourself go in many instances and have your environment help you develop and mature. Once you have the right people around you this tends to happen automatically, but the hard thing is getting those people there.”
Leading the Industry
The healthcare services that CSD provides are unique from the beginning. When others stay in safe areas, the team at CSD adventured into places where it felt care and services had to move towards. He mentions, “By now most of our industry has followed our footsteps. So from the beginning, I very much believe we have led the way and guided our industry.”
CSD is now providing services across 6 States and has near 2000 employees. It has been at the top of growth charts for regional and national rankings and has received recognition for its quality of care by different healthcare organizations.
New Era of Healthcare Industry
According to Pete, technology has been a pivotal component of healthcare services from the very beginning, but during COVID-19 it’s gone to another dimension. He finds a very fast transition to telehealth and remote services became crucial to the field to continue services for patients. He states that CSD has always been very technology driven, but the organization’s biggest handicap to be innovative through the early days of the company was always working capital. He opines, “If we don’t innovate now is because I may have done a poor job in pushing my team to think outside the box and go to unexplored places.”
Mentoring to Achieve New Feats
At CSD, Pete manages a team of very talented leaders and executives. He makes sure the team finds direction, guidance, and support from him. As a leader, he focuses on making the team strong and valuable for their patients. He wishes to continue fostering an environment in the company that makes the team and the community strong; where diversity, tolerance, equality, respect, and understanding lead the way to the future. Pete is also accountable to create realistic growth and expansion goals for CSD.
Appreciating the Work
As a health care professional, Pete spends hours monthly making sure people have a balanced life. He considers it a major component in the healthcare industry. Maintaining a work-life balance is one thing that Pete has not had in a long time. He points out that as he is obsessed with his work there are no second thoughts for maintaining a work-life balance. He opines, “I love what I do, and we are good at what we do and that’s a strong recipe to sustain an unbalanced lifestyle for me.”
According to him, he has never cared much about the goal, but has always cared a lot about how the team gets there. He weighs the situations, what’s under control and what’s not, the people who can do the job, and how many walls are required to go through to achieve the goal. He believes, “With that attitude the goal is secondary, its’ just a matter of time to get where we need to go.”
Learn with Situation; Adopt the Flow
Everyone makes mistakes and learns from them gradually during the early phases of the journey to be an entrepreneur or working professional. “Be patient and continue to trust yourself when making important decisions, also be less reactive and maybe stress less with problems,” says Pete. He advises not to let people or situations overpower you to a point where you are not in control.
As one of the leading providers of autism health care services on the west coast, Pete’s vision is to continue to expand CSD’s services globally. He asserts, “I don’t discard one day waking up and feeling the team is ready for new adventures, the less I plan these things the more exciting they seem to be.”