Ep. 4: Angie Tonini-Rogers (w/ Christopher Gomez)

by | Jan 6, 2021 | Podcasts, The Virtuous Heros | 0 comments

Podcast episode

About our Guest

Angie Tonini-Rogers is the Chief Nursing Officer at a hospital offering inpatient services for female adolescents, adults, military/veterans, and their families. In this episode, Angie and Chris discuss how to discern what really matters in life, sharing advice that will help business leaders leave a meaningful impact on others and hold themselves to a standard of excellence. Through her work, Angie shares how she has empowered others by leading with integrity and love. She is also a wife, a mother of three boys, and an active participant in her faith community.


Chris: Hello, Angie, thank you so much for being on the Leading Virtuously Podcast today. So excited to be able to dive in and share your story with our audience today. 

Angie: Yeah. Amazing. I’m so happy to be here. I’m excited and I’m honored to be here. 

Chris: Excellent. So first question out of the gate is who are.

Angie: As you said, my name is Angie Tonini-Rogers. I am a mom of three boys, so I’m a boy mom. I have a husband we’ve been together for 23 years. I am a nurse. I know. Yeah. Since I was a kid, really I won’t tell my age, but I’m also a nurse leader. So a chief nursing officer And I serve in my church.

I help administrate a women’s conference every year, so I’m really involved there. So that’s, and I love I’m a sports mom too, so I love watching my boys play sports. So those are the things that I’m into right now. I’m also a faith-based entrepreneur. I’ve got a small business that I own.

So that’s a little bit about myself. 

Chris: Woo. So busy lady busy. I love it. I love it. How did you get to the leadership position that you’re in today? 

Angie: I am the first born out of three siblings, so I’ve always, those firstborns, they tend to have some leadership qualities just right out the gate.

So I spent a lot of time taking care of them. My parents divorced when we were young. And so I spent, we went back and forth and I spent a lot of time taking care of them and cooking and making sure they had something to eat and making sure they have homework. When I was very young, I started working in an amusement park and I was a 15 year old girl in charge of 99 plus people.

Adults scheduling them making sure that ticket sales. The park opened and closed. So it was forced into these leadership roles very young. I started pre-med in college and decided that’s way too scientific for me. So I ended up in psychology and I started working with a residential facility for girls and I ended up in several leadership roles there as well.

And that’s where really a lot of the leadership qualities really started to grow. A lot of personal assessments were done there. They did a lot of training on self-awareness. And so that’s where I really learned how to lead. And then I went to nursing school and as I went through school there, I was chosen to do one of the graduation speeches.

And I ended up working in some bedside nurse positions. But mostly nurse manager positions and just had some different opportunities, opened themselves up to me and ended up in the current role of chief nursing officer. So it’s been a journey. And I think really my first professional job out of college is what really instilled in me the love of leading and love of really growing myself so that I could be a better leader.

Chris: Yeah. What are you, what do you think it is? Some of the traits in yourself that have made you a natural leader? For you to be having 99 people reporting to you at 15 is crazy. So it must have been something, obviously there’s gotta be some strains that are inherent in you your whole life to be able to be in a position like that at such a young age.

Angie: It’s, if I look at it really in a reflective way, I, and I look back at my wanting to please my parents and please my teachers, and really show my worth. I always strive to do more. I’ve got several different degrees. It’s just, I, at the very early age, learned that. In order to show your worth you had to accomplish something.

And so that’s what drove me very early on now, since then, clearly I’ve learned that my worth is not in my accomplishments or in my degrees and that sort of thing, but I just was very driven to accomplish and to do things with excellence. It was there were some people that were critical in my young life.

And so I always that, I turned that into saying. You got to do something with excellence. If how you do anything is how you do everything. And so if you’re not giving a hundred percent in this space, then you are probably not giving a hundred percent in another. So I believe that you have to strive for excellence.

So that you hit the mark a lot of the time or some of the time. And I think the other thing is just wanting to do the best that you can, because that’s who you’re designed to be. You’re designed to use your gifts and do the best that you can and give the best effort in everything that you do. And that’s just been something that’s always stuck with me that quote, how you do anything is how you do everything.

I think about that a lot where so I hold high standards for myself and for others. But as you lead with love it, those things you meet those marks a lot of the time. So it’s just a drive. It’s just a want to show up and do the best that you can do and be okay with what the outcomes are, knowing that you gave your best effort.

Chris: I would imagine that this version of yourself has got some years of experience and wisdom on your younger self. So if you could go back in time and coach your younger self, that young spry Angie, right out of undergrad, what do you think? What do you think would be some of the lessons that you would tell her now that you better understand leadership?

Angie: For my current revelation, it’s just who you are is who you’re supposed to be. So it who you are, isn’t defined by letters behind your name, or getting an, a plus in everything that you do or getting straight A’s that certainly, if that’s an outcome of your best effort, then that’s great. 

But if a C is the outcome of your best effort. And you can say that this was my best effort and this is what the outcome was, then that’s okay. And that’s what you’re called to do. You’re called to be your best and the outcomes that come from that are okay. And On purpose. So I think the focus, not so much on what the outcome is, but the effort that you put in to get those outcomes would be where I would tell my young self to focus everything.

Not so much the outcome, but the effort to get there. 

Chris: Did you find yourself. Stressing out over or over certain grades that you got, or in essence, like maybe putting in way too much time for the things that, may not have mattered later in life. 

Angie: Absolutely. I think when I perfectionism has been something that I’ve worked to unbecome because I had become. A perfectionist throughout my years in, again, that striving for what outwardly looks like accomplishment, like the straight A’s, like the degrees earning whatever it is that you, whatever that goal is that outward needing that outward. Accomplishment to define who I was where I was in my younger days.

Now I have not, unbecome all of my perfectionist tendencies and I continue to work on that every day, but it is certainly something that, I know there’s only one. One person who can be perfect and it’s not me. And so that you’re always striving for something that you can’t attain, you can’t attain that goal ever.

And that’s not what it is we’re supposed to be doing. We’re supposed to be serving our purpose and serving the people in our lives in a way that is with our best effort. And again, the outcome that comes from that. We’ll be blessed. We’ll be favored. I believe that if you are putting your best effort in, you will have favor and you will be blessed in that.

And others around you will be blessed as well. 

Chris: Thank you. That’s beautifully said. The the show is leading virtuously. So I would imagine you, you saw this question coming, but can you tell us maybe a story or antidote of where you’ve seen virtue in business intersect in your own career?

Angie: Yeah, I think when I think about all of the doors that have been opened for me throughout my career I attribute a lot of that to my virtue, to my moral, my moral standards and my values. And I will always say to people and people that I lead, that I expect them to lead with love because I’m going to lead with love.

And in order to lead with love you have to have integrity. You have to be honest, you have to do the right thing when nobody’s looking. And so I can think of a particular a few instances actually throughout my career, where the leaders that I worked for were not leading with love and integrity and honesty.

And for me too. One of the virtues also is being able to present in a united way with your leaders, with your leadership team, when you are rolling out new initiatives, for example, you have to present that in a united way to get people on board. And when those initiatives are not based in honesty, it is difficult for me as a person of virtue or attempting to be virtuous, to stay in united in that.

And so when you’re faced with that, you have to have those hard conversations with your leaders about this is how I’m feeling about this. This is why I’m having a difficult time standing united with you on this. Can we approach this differently or can you approach this differently so that I can be aligned with that?

Or there could be choices after those conversations occur that you have to decide to part ways from that at the end of the day, as a leader, I have to sleep at night and I have to know that I am my behaviors, my actions, my words are in alignment with what I feel I’m called to do and what I’m what purpose I am there to serve.

And if I can’t do that, then those harder conversations have to happen. And then those hard decisions have to be made. 

Chris: So have you ever had to walk out on a job because of basically your leader and you were not in full alignment and in, in those moments, do you feel like your career was better off because of that?

Cause I feel sorry, let me preface that with another conversation. Just a, cause I think ultimately, wanting to be thinking in your mind, the temptation is like now this, now my leader and I they’re doing things that are unethical.

And I’m now put in this choice to basically either say nothing and, keep my job and, maybe there’s other further opportunities down the road in this organization, or to basically speak up, present the more virtuous road. But then in essence, the backlash that can come from that is having to make that transition of the organization, which can be scary for a lot of people.

Angie: Absolutely. I think in order to lead with love, you have to know how to love people. And in order to do that, I have to know that what we’re doing is has integrity and it’s being done with honesty. And so I have examples where I’ve had those hard conversations and that’s helped turn that leader around and we were able to align and we were able to present the information differently.

I’ve had other situations where. I had to make a decision to either step into a different role within that organization where I was no longer under that leader, or I had to make a decision to leave that organization. I have had it work out all different ways, and I believe that as long as your acting in alignment with what it is, you’re called to do that, whatever that road that opens up or whatever that door that opens up.

As a result of those conversations that happen are where you’re blessed to be and where you will be favored to be. So I can say that I’ve had it always, it’s worked out, I’ve had to move positions and then I’ve had to leave organizations. And I would say that all of those decisions have turned out to favor me and favor the people that either I left behind or that I now am in a new circle with.

So I think it’s all, everything works out for our good, if you’re in alignment and you’re doing what you know you’re supposed to be doing, and it is scary, it absolutely is scary. But as you take small steps of so small steps of faith or just small steps to make sure that you continue to be in alignment.

Use, confirmation of those decisions that happen when you are in alignment and you’re doing what it is, you’re called to do those confirmations come. So whether it’s staying or going, you will see those confirmations. And it’s not that it’s easy, but I don’t feel like I’m called to do the easy thing.

I’m called to do the right thing. And that’s what I have practiced to do. And there’s certainly have been times where I have allowed situations to take me out of my character. I’ve chosen to come out of my character and, you learn lessons from that as well. You learn lessons from when you don’t take the steps you’re supposed to take.

And I certainly don’t want to be in a position where I fall out of favor very often. So I believe that I have to walk the walk that I’m called to walk in order to stay in favor and have others around me be favored and blessed as well. 

Chris: Excellent. Thank you for sharing that as well. So what what are you the most passionate about in your life?

Angie: Why I’m in a season right now for sure. I have, I am really focusing on self care right now. I think a lot of people during this time, this pandemic there’s been a lot of revelation that has come with some of the isolation and division that is happening around us. And for me, I have been what’s been revealed to me, is that in order for me to lead well and love I have to love myself first and care for myself first.

So I’m in a season now where I’m taking daily steps to heal my mind, my body, my spirit so that I am ready and able to lead others well and love others. It’s kinda like I’m on a plane where they say, put them off to do a mask on yourself first and then help your child.

It’s the same thing with leading. You have to take care of yourself first in order to be able to sustain the work that you have ahead of you. And I, one can certainly go and do, and not take care of themselves. But at some point that becomes unsustainable. So my focus right now is. Family spending time with family, really pouring back into family, my marriage and my own self care.

And I believe that if I reorganize my time and priorities to those things, that I will be able to lead better. 

Chris: Great. So how can people get ahold of you? 

Angie: I have a link tree right now that has all my social media on there, as well as information about my current faith-based business that I own. And it’s        linktree/ATRogers.

So it’s L I N K T R E E backslash A T Rogers. 

Chris: Great. Thank you. Well thank you so much for being on the show and we’ll make sure that people will have the link up and the people that check that out. But thank you so much, Angie, for being a part of the Leading Virtuously Podcast as well.

Angie: Thank you so much. It was a pleasure and I’m just, again, very honored to have been invited to be here. 

Chris: No worries.

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