EP014: Esther de Rothschild & Aicha Cherif Are Getting Out the Love Vote

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Every. Vote. Counts. And as it turns out, that is often felt most keenly from the perspective of people who are not allowed to vote.

That what motivates Esther de Rothschild & Aicha Cherif in their work running the Love Vote, an organization that amplifies the voices of people who can’t vote -- either because of youth, citizenship, or disenfranchisement. And they are doing it to move people who can vote, to vote.

Esther -- the Love Vote’s founder -- is a high school teacher and filmmaker. Aicha is the Love Vote’s outreach director. Aicha’s also a high school senior whose citizenship status means she won’t be eligible to vote, even after she turns 18 next year. (You can read the New York Times profile of Aicha here.)

We also talked about their experiences at the helm of a social impact startup, as well as their insights on leading, collaborating, and learning in the social impact space.

We talked about:

  • How they are both partly motivated by their own histories of not being eligible to vote

  • What’s important when collaborating across a generational divide

  • Why “fake it till you make it” can sometimes be really bad advice

  • What it means to make trust and respect a foundation for collaboration

  • Mobilizing voters through an emotional connection, rather than a mental one

Get this episode’s Antidote to Burnout Culture 

Esther and Aisha offered rich insights on how to build bridges across the generational divide -- basically how old fuddy-duddies can successfully collaborate with a bunch of young whippersnappers.

The generational divide is such a common concern within the social change space, and Esther and Aicha have a lot of wisdom to offer on that.

And on the Tuesday after this episode comes out, I’ll be sending out an email that digs more deeply into the kind of learner’s mindset that Esther described as a key to her success.

If you want to get that email, hit the button below and subscribe.

Interview Highlight:

“I remember when I first met with a tech person about a website… and I said, ‘can you let me know what you see as the greatest potential weakness, both in this project and of what I’m bringing to it?’….

“[He said,] ‘You’re greatest strength as I see it now is your awareness of how much you have to learn. And there’s a lot of people who actually know pretty much as little as you, about this space, but come in either believing they know everything they need to know, or pretending they know everything they need to know. And that is a tremendous liability.”

A big thanks to our sponsors:

Equality Hive is a Manhattan based ghostwriting and copywriting service for thought-leaders in the social evolutionary sector. Visit equalityhive.com to find out more and join the community.

The Brotherhood Community is for self-identified men who want to be part of building a world where they are able to lead with strength, vulnerability, and an open heart. www.brotherhoodcommunity.com

 

EP013: Kat Calvin is Spreading the Vote

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This week, I speak with Kat Calvin, the founder of Spread the Vote.

After the Supreme Court took the teeth out of the voting rights act in 2013, conservative lawmakers started passing Voter ID laws around the country. So now we have eligible voters in 34 states that are turned away from polling stations because they don’t have a state-issued ID.

So Kat founded Spread the Vote as a way to get people their IDs, so they know they can vote, and so that they won’t be turned away at polling stations on Election Day.

Kat was recognized in Fast Company's 2018 list of the 100 Most Creative People in Business, and was named one of Business Insider’s 30 Under 30. She was also featured in one of BET's Black History Month profiles.

We talked about:

  • What motivated her to build Spread the Vote from scratch

  • How leadership means knowing your strengths and weaknesses, and then putting your ego aside when it’s time to let someone else’s strengths shine

  • The crucial difference between being a CEO/executive director, and being a founder

  • What life looks like as someone at the head of an ambitious organization working to secure people’s voting rights in the run up to a major election

Get this episode’s Antidote to Burnout Culture 

ANTIDOTE is an every-other-week email, inspired by my work with clients, and my conversations with social impact leaders and innovators on the Dialogue Lab podcast. 

For instance, one of the things Kat and I talked about was how successful social impact leaders don’t try to go it alone. They check their egos at the door, so they can prioritize what’ most important: their missions. And Kat talked about how you can usually tell when someone is letting their ego drive the bus -- driving away people who might help. And if you ask me, the fact that it’s easy to spot -- that’s good news.

Because spotting it is the first step to repairing and building the kind of strong partnerships you need to pull off your ambitious vision for change.

I’ll be sending out an email the Tuesday after this episode goes live with some of the key signs that tell you it might be time to take a look at who is driving your bus. Make sure you don’t miss it by subscribing below.

Interview Highlight:

[37:10]: “I think it comes from, how much you actually care about your mission. I actually really do just want to get as many people IDs as possible, so I know I need help to do that. Because I can’t do it alone. So if I actually really care about the damn turtles or whatever else. Then I’m going to do whatever it takes to fulfill my goal. Anyone who has been in this startup or nonprofit world knows plenty of people who only started something because it seemed glamorous, and they wanted to be on podcasts or in the press or whatever. And so they wanted to start things by themselves, and not have any partners or co-founders, because they wanted all of the credit, and never really actually cared about the product they were building or the mission or whatever. And they inevitably fail.”

A big thanks to our sponsors:

Equality Hive is a Manhattan based ghostwriting and copywriting service for thought-leaders in the social evolutionary sector. Visit equalityhive.com to find out more and join the community.

The Brotherhood Community is for self-identified men who want to be part of building a world where they are able to lead with strength, vulnerability, and an open heart. www.brotherhoodcommunity.com

 

EP012: Kishshana Palmer is Elevating the Way We Think About People in the Nonprofit Sector

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This week, I speak with Kishshana Palmer, a brilliant trainer, speaker, and thought leader when it comes to management and leadership in the nonprofit sector.

I have spent 2 decades working in the nonprofit and social impact sectors, and I’m in love with these people. You work hard, you are smart, dedicated, and incredibly resourceful. And it drives me up the wall that the people in this sector are so often underpaid, and instead of being treated like the resourceful humans they are, they often are treated like machines who are expected to churn out social impact non-stop.

Kishshana and I delved into this dynamic at length, and talked about what gets in the way of us celebrating and cultivating the excellence that is right here in this sector. Kishshana is a captivating speaker. She is funny, wise, and bold in her declarations of where she thinks this sector needs to be heading.

We talked about:

  • Common and counterproductive mindsets in the nonprofit space, like “martyritis,” and the “mediocrity mindset.”

  • Kishshana’s experience of burnout and resilience

  • Impostor syndrome

  • How as a “team whisperer,” she works to understand and harmonize the various communication styles in nonprofit teams

  • How to be a disruptor without being (overly) disruptive

  • The problem with thinking about your nonprofit colleagues as communities or families

  • Connect with Kishshana here, as well as on Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Get this episode’s Antidote to Burnout Culture 

ANTIDOTE is an every-other-week email, inspired by my work with clients, and my conversations with social impact leaders and innovators on the Dialogue Lab podcast. 

For instance, towards the end of my conversation with Kishshana, we talked about how in the nonprofit space, we often see our colleagues as not just colleagues, but like a family or community. The week after this episode comes out, I’ll send an email with ideas on what you can do to maximize the upsides — while avoiding some of the considerable downsides — of community vibes in the workplace.

Interview Highlight:

On “martyr-itis” in the nonprofit sector:

[12:35]: “Thinking about talent, and thinking about our number one asset in this sector — which is our people — is something we cannot continue to miss the boat on. Or be excited that we wear people out.

I don’t want to continue to have to cite stats about how quickly fundraisers roll out of their roles. Me included. I don’t want to be excited about the fact that we’ve burnt yet another person out.

Maybe excitement is not the right word. Maybe it’s more like, “oh, they couldn’t cut it.” Or “well you know, this work is hard.” Or taking pride in being like, “oh we’re bone weary.” I don’t want that. I don’t want any of that.

A big thanks to our sponsors:

Sasha Allenby is a ghostwriter for thought-leaders in the social evolutionary field, specializing in books on socio-economic, racial, sexual, gender and refugee equality. www.sashaallenby.com

The Brotherhood Community is for self-identified men who want to be part of building a world where they are able to lead with strength, vulnerability, and an open heart. www.brotherhoodcommunity.com

 

EP011: Melanie Dewberry - A Philosophy for Action Grounded in a Deeper Truth

This week, a conversation with Rebecca Aced-Molina, an amazing coach and facilitator who is a faculty member with Leadership That Works, a school for coaches who want to be effective in social impact spaces.

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EP010: Rebecca Aced-Molina on leadership between a rock and a hard place

This week, a conversation with Rebecca Aced-Molina, an amazing coach and facilitator who is a faculty member with Leadership That Works, a school for coaches who want to be effective in social impact spaces.

SUBSCRIBE TO THE PODCAST HERE:    iTunes   |   Android   |   Stitcher   |   Google Play 

EP009: Sarai Johnson is Creating Belonging instead of Burnout in Nonprofits

This week, I speak with Sarai Johnson, a speaker, coach, author, and founder of Lean Nonprofit. When I first encountered Sarai, it was through a blog post she’d written about how nonprofits and foundations often unwittingly use management and funding practices that perpetuate the very culture of poverty and oppression they are fighting against.

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EP008: Daisy Ozim is Building Resilience and Decolonizing Public Health

This week, I speak with Daisy Ozim, founder of Resilient Wellness, a nonprofit that builds community-based solutions to address intergenerational trauma.

We talked about:

  • How building resilience as a leader -- especially if you are a woman of color -- means learning not to internalize the negative messages we get when we don’t fit a traditionally white male template of leadership.

  • We also talked about how Daisy has worked to position herself as a thought leader in a sector that often excludes and marginalizes voices like hers.

SUBSCRIBE TO THE PODCAST HERE:    iTunes   |   Android   |   Stitcher   |   Google Play 

EP007: Daphne Robinson is a Prosecutor Creating Alternatives to Criminal Justice

How a concern for the emotional well-being of kids caught up in the criminal justice system led an Assistant District Attorney to seek out alternatives to prosecution and incarceration.  New episodes every other Tuesday!

SUBSCRIBE TO THE PODCAST HERE:    iTunes   |   Android   |   Stitcher   |   Google Play 

EP006: Nikki Akparewa is Bringing Social Justice to Nursing

A conversation about how nurses can be transforming health care by adopting a coaching, anti-racist, and social justice mindset. New episodes every other Tuesday! Subscribe in iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play, or your favorite podcatcher. 

(pssst: Don't have time to listen? Sign up for emails to get the most valuable takeaways from every episode, that you can put directly to use in your work for social impact.)

EP005: Sujatha Jesudason is Reclaiming Innovation for a More Soulful & Resilient Movement

A conversation about collaboration across difference, innovation in social movements, and inclusivity in reproductive justice. New episodes every other Tuesday! Subscribe in iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play, or your favorite podcatcher. 

(pssst: Don't have time to listen? Sign up for emails to get the most valuable takeaways from every episode, that you can put directly to use in your work for social impact.)

EP004: Chandra Brooks Wants You to Sit at the Table, and Get off the Menu

A conversation about how to access and build local power to create positive change in your city. New episodes every other Tuesday! Subscribe in iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play, or your favorite podcatcher. 

(Pssst: Don't have time to listen? Sign up for emails to get the most valuable takeaways from every episode, that you can put directly to use in your work for social impact.)

EP003: Teacher & Filmmaker Lee Mun Wah on How to Boldly Face Racism

A conversation about finding the courage and compassion to stand up -- even when courage comes at a price. And on his work to encourage that capacity in others as well. New episodes every other Tuesday! Subscribe in iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play, or your favorite podcatcher. 

EP002: Andréa Ranae Johnson - Making Space to Be Human

A conversation about taking care of yourself while reaching out to others, and what happens when two connected but disparate worlds (coaching and activism) collide. Subscribe in iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play, or your favorite podcatcher. 

EP001: Brigette Iarrusso - What we do with love and anger

A conversation with Brigette Iarrusso about politics, anger, and love. We talk about her family's experiences since the hurricane in Puerto Rico, being a mom, and lessons learned. Subscribe in iTunes, Stitcher, or Google Play, or your favorite podcatcher.