Follow Me

    Read All ABOUT IT

    Current Articles | RSS Feed   RSS Feed

    David Ide: The Working Actions of a Blissful Man



    In a short time, David Ide has helped elevate the two Cornerstone autism centers to such a high degree that few others in Indiana compare in regards to services and environments. Recently he and the two other partners (Debbie Ide and Ken Weadick) founded the non-profit, Cornerstone Autism Foundation, to support other institutes who are need of assistance so that they may provide the best services to their kiddos too. He is a man of many talents and a true “go-getter”. He has an amazing team of staff members who back him up and help him through the obstacles of running such successful organizations.

    I have had two previous conversations with David speaking of the future successes autism is getting from innovative therapeutic and technological advancements, and his wishes to grow a family culture at Cornerstone with the help of some of his new in-house programs like Strength for Your Life. This time around I wanted to show the more light hearted side behind, the man ever rushing to make sure the kiddos are getting everything they need and the organizations are getting the support they deserve.

    Jarrad: The staff says you have a way of enthralling people with your words similarly like Steve Jobs. What are three qualities you think you share with him?

    David: I think one of the qualities is that to inspire. Just think of the cool things that can happen if we decide we want them to happen. I think the other thing is to follow your bliss. Find something that just fires you up and run with it. Life’s too short to be doing something you don’t like to do. The last thing I think is compassion. It’s the desire to understand when someone is struggling or in a tough spot, what you can do to help.

    J: You’ve got a nice head of hair there David! What do you do to make it have that signature spiked back look?

    David: Lol, with this question I can hear my wife [Debbie] saying, “You really haven’t changed your hair style in about 25 years!” I have worked really hard at getting back to a place of health and fitness and so when your face looks like a pumpkin there’s only so many hair styles, you can’t necessarily pull something else off. I think it was an evolution. And you know, riding around in my jeep and stuff, you just throw product in and it’s good to go!

    J: Besides being an autism superhero for children, what two super powers would you want to have and why?

    David: That’s a good question, hmm… I guess one of the things that immediately pops to mind is a baloney meter! You know, to be able to look into the true intentions of people’s actions and words. That would be a cool super power to have. And man, who doesn’t want to FLY?! You know what I mean?! That would be very cool! You know you’ve lost your childhood innocence, that sense of complete wonder and imagination you had as a kid, when you stop having dreams that you’re flying. I can’t remember the last time I had a dream I was flying. So I guess, one would be really useful in a personal way and the other one cause it’s just plain cool.

    J: It’s really neat that Cornerstone is offering programs like Dream Manager and SFYL. You don’t hear other companies doing cool things like this. Are there other plans in the works you can share with us?

    David: I have a stated goal to be one of the top companies to work for in Indiana based on that survey (handing me an Indianapolis newspaper). I have relatively a high level of confidence that if we can get the survey and participate in the program that our efforts will shine through. When you talk about that we’re not quite 2 years old, yet we offer medical, dental, vision, 401 k, tuition reimbursement, paid time off, long and short term disability, life insurance, training, the mini-marathon program, small groups, birthday Thursday, Dream Manager, Strength for Your Life, the anniversary parties, the Christmas parties, Make it Happen Day, team builders, and Servant HR! MAN, I’d love to say we really are a special culture! People feel embraced. They feel it’s a good environment.

    In their 90 day/annual reviews and Dream Manager sessions, the preponderance of feedback from staff is, “Wow. Cool. Great!”  But you don’t want to rest on your laurels. You don’t want to take that focus away. You’re consistently looking for new ways to value your people. One thing we’re looking at is performance-based compensation.

    J: You seem to have a lot resting on your shoulders. You are constantly providing the best for children, parents, families, and the community, and also be financially supportive to your staff and family. That’s a hard job. How do you do it?

    David: Bliss.

    J: Bliss?! You didn’t give it a second thought!

    David: You should follow your bliss. You can do anything if you’re following your bliss. If it’s where you know you’re supposed to be, and you have the sense that that is exactly what you’re supposed to do, you’re fulfilling that purpose then. You know when people say, “When you follow your bliss it’s not work, it becomes play”. It’s true. The part I haven’t quite gotten to Zen master status is that it’s still hard work! You run those batteries down. However, when you’re following your bliss, you’re constantly getting recharged. It is work yeah, but you have this really clear vision of what you think you can accomplish and that draws you to it. As you get wore down, if that vision isn’t positive, fiery, and as magnetic as possible, you start to feel as if you’re not sure this is where I’m supposed to be. When that stays aligned though, then I think when you’re tired, man you just get refueled by that passion and that enthusiasm and then it just carries you. Then I agree it’s not drudgery work. It’s still hard work that needs effort, but it’s not work in the traditional sense in the fact that you’re having fun doing it. You’re feeling fulfilled. What I know now is when my head hits that pillow I know I am EXACTLY where I am supposed to be. This is what I am supposed to be doing.