My Quarter in Review: Spring 2016

What I Accomplished

Six months ago I wrote “I am tired of reading book after book, watching video after video, seeing speaker after speaker, of people who don’t look like me.”

Since then I’ve done my best to do what I can to make just a small dent in the work that is driving our world toward’s equity. These have included facilitating “How to build diverse and inclusive communities” at the 4.0 Schools Community Summit, setting up a crowd-sourced document of organizations supporting founders of diverse backgrounds, and organizing the NYC Education Forum with Village Capital, Citi, and EDGE.

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The fantastic female founders selected to participate in the 2016 NYC Education Forum.

While those events have focused on diversity from a gender and race perspective, I’ve also worked to highlight diversity in socioeconomic background and cognitive differences.

I’m extraordinarily proud of the work I’ve done, because while I’m new at this, I know that every little bit matters. The best part is, I know I’m not doing it alone.

What My Goals Were

My goals last quarter were to (1) choose projects strategically, (2) confront my fear about finances, and (3) be even more disciplined with time.

My strategies for doing so were to:

  • Delegate.
  • Plan.
  • Say no.

I made progress on all three! I focused on four projects — the Edtech Playlab, NYC Education Forum, MasteryTrack, and Core-LX. They were the right priorities to focus on. I also feel much more confident about my finances. I’m at the same place I was last quarter, dipping into savings intentionally to launch projects within #NYCEDU and Nexus Works, but for some reason, I do not have the fear I had last quarter. I think part of it is that I’ve broken down my finances and know exactly how much of a runway I have. I also have more validation that products like the Edtech Playlab have market viability, which is incredibly exciting to me, because this means that Nexus Works can grow as a business while increasing its positive impact on the world.

Finally, I had said that I’m working on loving dynos and slopers. Take a look! At 1:03 I make a sick move.

 

What My Goals Are Moving Forward

My goals for the next quarter are:

  • Practice being a leader of teams as opposed to a team leader. I can no longer accomplish what I’d like to accomplish by being as prescriptive as I’m used to being. Instead, I need to let go of my desire to dive into the weeds and focus instead on supporting others. The challenge is, I’ve never been in this position before, and it’s a bit scary. It’s scary to recognize that the tools I’ve used in the past (project management, workflow creation, knowledge management) need to be set aside for newer ones (culture, vision, brand).
  • Double down on making the transition from Nexus Works as a premium consulting agency to a company that creates premium edtech customer development experiences. Exciting projects underway!
  • Strategically cultivate the resources I need to be successful in this new phase of my career. I have a whole new set of frameworks to learn. Currently have a ridiculous booklist I’m interested in, a growing circle of thought partners who are similarly interested in exploring the work of coalition building, and am actively looking for mentors who have been in this work much longer than I have.

If you have any words of wisdom, resources to share, or people you think I should speak with, please let me know. You’ll have my deepest gratitude.

Finally, I’ve encountered quite a lot of things this past quarter that has weighed heavily on my mind — mostly around what I see as an extreme lack of equity, in all aspects of society, from who has access to housing, to the resources available to children, to the people I see on stage at national conferences. And so, I’ve added the following SMaC to my personal mission statement, as a reminder that progress is the goal, not perfection.

Meet people where they are: Everyone is on their own journey of personal growth. Everyone is a potential ally. I myself am far from where I need to be. Progress is the goal, not perfection.