In the months of searching, a funny thing happened: The team stepped in, stepped up, and kept moving the ball forward. In the absence of a leader, they took the lead.
Program manager Rosie Gallant pulled in Ben Simmons-Telep to assist her in delivering the programs she leads, giving her bandwidth to start developing new programs. Ben didn’t just step up and help with the existing work, he took on a whole new initiative - setting up an Internship program - and saw it take off.
Ojala Naeem, who has been managing the day-to-day operations of our co-working space, took it upon herself to research several co-working spaces from here to Toronto. She then put together various space crawls and surveys to find out what local entrepreneurs are looking for and conducted an exhaustive search in the Hartford area for suitable spaces for us to relocate to. We signed a lease earlier this week and will be open for business at our new location-where there will be easy, free parking-May 1 (more to come on that!).
James Woulfe, who was instrumental in helping us propel the nation’s most comprehensive social enterprise legislation through the Connecticut Senate and House of Representatives (while at the same time working his way through law school), began establishing the connections we need within the city to help entrepreneurs navigate through and connect with the resources they need to succeed.
And Joanne Donaghue continued to plug away at sowing the development seeds, applying for grants, and developing relationships that will support our efforts.
Meanwhile, the search continued. We interviewed many strong candidates. But as the days became weeks and weeks became months, the perfect match did not emerge. And then the reSet team approached me to suggest that perhaps we didn’t really need to find a single leader. Perhaps, they ventured, they could lead together.
Yeah, but… I felt the need for a right hand to take details off my plate. (My other important role is as CEO of The Walker Group, a large and growing technology services firm. It’s my day job and takes at least half of my 80 hour week.) I don’t have the time to not have strong leadership… I don’t have time to take on that leadership role I explained. I wouldn’t have to, they explained…
And here’s what happened: They created a tight-knit team that got the job done. They met among themselves to figure out what was needed and made it happen. They pulled me in for the high level discussions or when a tie-breaker was needed but for the most part they figured it out on their own. For my part, I found myself enjoying my time at reSET more than ever, because watching a well-oiled team at work is a thing of beauty, and because I was increasingly able to work at the strategic level that interests me and where I can add the most value. There’s respect and silliness, hard work and ping pong, planning and follow-through action. What we’re distinctly lacking is petty BS. There is no whining, no games of one-upmanship, no grand-standing, no turf wars, and no passing the buck. The work is getting done. And then some.
So as of April 1 (no fooling) we’ve decided to forgo the position of Senior VP. Instead we now have a team of directors who will blow you away:
- Joanne Donaghue will continue as Director of Development
- Rosie Gallant is now Programs Director
- Ojala Naeem is now our Director of Operations
- James Woulfe is our Director of Advocacy and External Affairs