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My name is Christopher Freeze. My mission is to help you create a safe and trusting environment in both your personal and professional life. How? By helping you understand how trauma disrupts trust, how trauma-informed leadership improves trust, and how the science of hope solidifies trust.
In essence, I teach people that leadership is not about what book you’re reading or what guru you’re following, but how lives are shaped by past events. Understanding what happened then can lead to understanding the keys to success today.
I spent most of my professional career as a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for 23 years. During my time with the FBI, I investigated white-collar and violent crimes, recruited spies, and led the FBI’s Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force. Yes, that's what we did, track foreign terrorists.
I spent most of the last three years of my career leading the FBI office in Mississippi. In this role I served as the Special Agent in Charge and was responsible for all the FBI’s operations in Mississippi.
After retiring in 2019, I was appointed as the Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) by former Governor Phil Bryant to run MDHS during the last year of his tenure. At MDHS, I oversaw an agency responsible for providing a wide range of public assistance to children and families throughout Mississippi.
“I am confident Christopher Freeze will do a great job leading MDHS,” Gov. Phil Bryant said. “His intellect and leadership experience as a Special Agent in Charge at the FBI makes him an excellent fit to guide the agency during this period of transition. I am grateful he has accepted this appointment.”
I share insights through my blog and on social media. You can sign up for my email list here. We can also connect on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.
The insights I share come from years of serving in leadership positions. Many of my insights come from my failures.
Early in my career, I was not an effective leader, manager, or supervisor. In fact, I’m surprised that I wasn’t asked to “look for something else to do.” It was so bad one of my employees walked in one day and quit my squad and requested a transfer to another squad. I would like to say it was him, not me. But I know better: it was me.
I didn't want to fail so I started actually studying leadership principles, and, unlike a lot of people, started practicing those principles.
My life in the FBI was often chaotic. The hours were long and required my being away from home – sometimes for months and months. However, I was continuing to climb the leadership ladder and I thought all was good.
My biggest problem was that I kept looking for long-lasting results – both at work and at home - by employing short-term fixes. Unfortunately, I was still missing an important piece of the puzzle and my success fleeting.
What I eventually learned, was that the missing piece of the puzzle was the role trauma played in my childhood and in the childhoods of those I was leading. I was missing how childhood trauma could linger throughout our adult lives and affect our relationships.
In effect, trauma undermines trust.
I learned that childhood trauma, sometimes referred to as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), affects trust: trust in ourselves, trust in others, and trust in our communities.
Looking back on my life, I realize that we all need leaders who really understand what people deal with both at home and at the office.
If there had been someone early in my life who had explained to me how ACEs and childhood trauma related to many workplace problems, it would have saved a lot of time and money as well as tremendously reduced my stress load.
My mission is to boost your knowledge and confidence about how to better implement positive, trauma-informed leadership practices into all aspects of your professional and personal life.
My mission is to help you succeed where others continue to fail.
My mission is to help you build trust within yourself so you can build trust within others.
"When most people of think of 'FBI executive," the stereotype that comes to mind isn't smiling, affable, or understanding of business realities, but with our audience, Chris was all those. I gladly recommend Chris to others who need an entertaining speaker about business cooperation with law enforcement."