I beat my 6 am alarm after an early night to bed post-leadership retreat. I was in Temecula, CA for the past three days with other network leaders. I delay my morning shower, and instead start my day by playing the new episode of “The Daily” podcast.
After throwing on my favorite pair of jeans (summer dress code for the win!), I make my way to our new network office officially opening tomorrow. I make a quick pit stop at a local coffee shop.
I park my car and make my way into the network office. Before this summer, my desk was at our middle school serving 5th-8th graders; on my walk to our front door, I make a mental note to iron out plans to work out of the middle schools at least once a week to stay connected to the scholars I serve.
I am most productive in the mornings and have unstructured desk time from 8 am to 10 am daily. On rare occasions I might have a morning meeting but I’ve been able to stick to it quite well since starting my role at Equitas. Typically, I spend the first hour replying to emails and addressing critical tasks that I can’t lose to the whirlwind of a workday. A critical task today is to follow up on an alum of our middle school, now a sophomore in high school, who is interested in switching to a stronger performing high school. I submit paperwork to our accounting team to process a scholarship payment for one of our recent 8th grade graduates attending a private high school this fall.
Also on today’s desk time agenda: reflect on our leadership retreat, make an action plan to use key takeaways from the retreat, and consider topics to cascade down to my direct report. I finalize my one-on-one agenda for later today. I also share a template with the rest of the leadership team to support with post-retreat goal setting.
It’s time for my weekly one-on-one meeting with my direct report. The next hour is very important to me, and I do everything I can to ensure I give it my undivided attention. I currently have one direct report, so we block out an hour (instead of the usual 30-minutes) for our one-on-one. Today we focus on finalizing our action plan to address the performance development goals we each submitted in our Year-End Performance Review. I share my goals and action plan with my direct report, too, so that we can support each other, hold each other accountable, and build a team culture of feedback and growth.
I briefly check in with my team around a mass-text going out to our alumni regarding summer volunteer opportunities. I follow up with a possible vendor for the upcoming school year regarding college prep materials, and schedule a meeting with my operations/HR team to begin steps toward hiring an hourly contractor for tutoring services.
A departing colleague who has been with the organization for years is being celebrated today as he moves on to his next role. Over a dozen colleagues, including the CEO, get together for a catered lunch.
I transition back to my desk to prepare for a call with a service provider at 1 pm. A few weeks back, we hosted our summer alumni social that featured an external service provider for the first time. My team and I had debriefed before this week’s network retreat so we can share thoughtful feedback and move the partnership forward.
My team and I call into the conference call. We gather insight into the service provider’s experience working with us and also share our key takeaways.
I have only moved the essentials to our new network offices, so I make my way to the middle school where my workspace used to be to pack everything else up. While packing and unpacking is not on my list of favorite activities, I find gratitude in the move as it provides an opportunity to sift through one-year’s worth of files and forms, and make preparations for next year.
I return back to the network space and organize the few items I personally brought. A moving company will be bringing most boxes later tomorrow.
I revisit my notes from our leadership retreat around data, program effectiveness, and developing effective metrics. Last week, I spent two and a half days with my team reflecting on last year and prioritizing initiatives for the upcoming school year. With the insights gained at our retreat, I begin to build out my team’s metrics for assessing the effectiveness of those department initiatives for 2019-2020.
I set aside my work on metrics in order to go through any new emails I would need to review before I leave the office. Nothing major, phew. I find myself able to leave the office a bit earlier than usual to make dinner with my cousin before a showing of “The Lion King.”
I link up with my cousin for dinner. As I wait to hop into her car, I check my email and get a status update from an education non-profit on my application to mentor two local, first-generation 12th grade students of color applying to college in the year ahead. I need to complete a few training modules online by the end of the month, and I’m all good. Challenge accepted.
We make our way home. Not one to usually schedule a mid-week outing, I scramble to fit my nightly routine in and still have a decent bed-time. I don’t squeeze in a run, but I squeeze in a bit of TV after my evening shower.
I check my email one more time before turning off the lights, simply out of habit. I don’t reply to emails once I’m home unless they’re somewhat urgent, and all is good tonight. I do reply to messages from my siblings on my social media accounts though, and I have a giggle fit at a few memes they sent. I set my alarm for 6 am, and call it a day.