We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Randal Collins, CEM and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dr. Randal, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Put simply, Leader’s are risk takers. My life has changed due to risk taking and the willingness to just say yes. In 2013 I chose to have bariatric surgery which set me up for losing approximately 100 pounds. This then led to my renewed interest in distance running. I chose to go back to school in the Executive Master of Leadership graduate program at USC. While training for a marathon on a long run I concocted the idea to, at the age of 44, go out for the USC lacrosse team. This resulted in me being the oldest player to ever play in the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse League. At the end of any graduate program, I still had three years of eligibility, so I applied for and was accepted into a USC doctorate program, eventually becoming Dr. Randal Collins and playing 4 full years of lacrosse to the age of 47. All of these risks have taught me to pursue your dreams not your goals, the dreams are much more rewarding.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I had the great opportunity of developing foundational leadership skills in the U.S. Marine Corps. Transitioning into public safety, first as a police officer and then as an emergency manager has enabled me to develop leadership skills ranging from strategic planning to inspiring others. Disaster after disaster has honed my leadership skills which empower me to take risks. My career has been borne and developed on the backs of disaster victims and survivors. From 9-11 to COVID-19, I have had unique opportunities to be tried and tested. It was not easy, but being true to self and grounded in integrity has enabled perseverance. A lesson I have learned is leadership is key to resilience and success. This is why I chose to start a company that offers leadership coaching and mentoring. Without leadership chaos and toxicity can proliferate. When leadership is present, success becomes achievable.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Monday my best friend lands. A long run on the beach from El Segundo to Venice and back would start off the week. We would have to rehab at the Slice and Pint in El Segundo followed by a visit to the El Segundo Brewery. (Tuesday) You cannot visit LA without taking in the experience of Hollywood, it may be a little dirty and grimy, but it is also electric. We would need to stop for lunch and a pick me up at Home restaurant before heading to Griffith Observatory where we hike to the top and check out the sunset. Wrapping up the day with Japanese at Katsuya. (Wednesday) Time to head out to Palm Springs for a get away day at an AirBNB with a pool. (Thursday) Off to Joshua Tree National Park and a hike and picnic at the 49 Palms oasis then make the trek back to LA stopping for dinner at “The Derby” in Arcadia and then for some nightlife at the Scum and Villainy Cantina, but not forgetting to bar hop into the The Frolic Room. (Friday) Day trip to Catalina Island and enjoying the day win Avalon with Dinner at The Lobster Trap. (Saturday) We will be tailgating at USC and attending the game watching the Trojan’s fight-on to victory. (Sunday) Taking in a matinee of the latest Broadway musical at the Pantages and ending the day with a game of Box Lacrosse at “The Dome” with LA’s best lacrosse players at 7pm. I think my best friend better go home to recover from vacation.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Being an example for my daughter, Kaylee Sahara Collins, is paramount. USC Men’s Lacrosse afforded me the opportunity of a lifetime. Fight-On! The U.S. Marine Corps made me resilient. Dr. Mona Kumar made me mindful. Ron and Carolyn Collins have been the greatest examples of being human. Gunny and Gizzy have been the loyalist of companions.