Tag Archives: Not for Sale Fellowship

Week 20 | Eight Core Beliefs of An Extraordinary Boss

Weeks ago I read an article in Inc.com about the eight characteristics of an extraordinary boss.  Ironically the publication of this article coincided with the news of Not For Sale’s Fellowship Director, Keturah Scott, leaving us to embark on the next stages of her life.  Adventure and new experiences were calling her name, and she and we all at Not For Sale, are very sad to see her go.  These are the eight examples of what K taught me during my time here in the Fellowship, and the memories and experiences I will take home with me as souvenirs.

1.    Business is an ecosystem, not a battlefield.

Extraordinary bosses see business as a symbiosis where the most diverse firm is most likely to survive and thrive.

From the beginning of the Fellowship, you’ve advocated about the diversity of Not For Sale’s platforms and programs and how being a horizontal organization is what empowers and makes us unique.  You taught me that to work in a continuously changing, fast paced, and progressive environment, a person has to put on and own many different hats.  You’ve helped me realize which tops to put on, fostered and nurtured each one these talents, and made sure I realized my full potential.

 2.    A company is a community, not a machine.

Extraordinary bosses see their company as a collection of individual hopes and dreams, all connected to a higher purpose.

You’ve helped the Fellows instill that every talent truly does have a role to play in this movement, and you’ve illustrated this to us by taking an event planner, a shopaholic, a scientist, a singer, a tree-planter, and a wannabe ninja, and cultivating six incredible abolitionists.

3.    Management is service, not control.

Extraordinary bosses set a general direction and then commit themselves to obtaining the resources that their employees need to get the job done. They push decision making downward, allowing teams form their own rules and intervening only in emergencies.

I recall Day Three of the Fellowship – the day we received our six-month projects.  We sat down and discussed each, but then drew a blank stare of where to go from there.  You encouraged us that “this is all you.”  WE were to set the direction of where WE wanted these projects to go, how WE wanted to see them grow, and what WE wanted to see them become.  You told us to “be the dog with the bone,” “ruthlessly execute” these projects over the next six months.  You gave us direction but you never told us what had or should be done.  You helped us “dig deeper,” “think bigger,” and even “get up and dance some inspiration out.”

 4.    My employees are my peers, not my children.

Extraordinary bosses treat every employee as if he or she were the most important person in the firm.

You’ve been my boss.  You’ve been my colleague.  You’ve also been my Paramedic.  You’ve always put your baby birds first.

 5.    Motivation comes from vision, not from fear.

Extraordinary bosses inspire people to see a better future and how they’ll be a part of it.  As a result, employees work harder because they believe in the organization’s goals, truly enjoy what they’re doing and (of course) know they’ll share in the rewards.

You’ve ingrained in us that “It’s not about you, it’s about the movement.”  This has helped me realize what I want out of my future – a future motivated by passion.

 6.    Change equals growth, not pain.

Extraordinary bosses see change as an inevitable part of life.

You’ve helped the Fellows jump over the hurdles that were thrown our way – the change of SASD, change of roles and responsibilities, relationships, six-month projects – for all the times that we Fellows were discouraged, you always reassured us that these moves were never negative, and expressed we were always “pivoting” forward.

7.    Technology offers empowerment, not automation.

Extraordinary bosses see technology as a way to free human beings to be creative and to build better relationships.

You’ve encouraged us to learn new things that we never thought we’d learn in a non-profit organization – prezi, GIS, Google Docs and Forms, linguistic analysis…

8.    Work should be fun, not mere toil.

Extraordinary bosses see work as something that should be inherently enjoyable–and believe therefore that the most important job of manager is, as far as possible, to put people in jobs that can and will make them truly happy.

No one can deny you this one.  I’ll never forget first day scavenger hunts, happy hours at BrewCo., BBQs, hiking to far off German beer gartens, BaytoBreaker’s dance sandwiches, “dreamscometrue,” chicken fights, and Battleshots that left some of us a little more wounded than others.  These times in and out of the office have really made my stay here in San Fran, and I wouldn’t have had them without you.

Keturah – your leadership and friendship has helped shaped me as an individual.  You’ve challenged me, pushed me to my limits, laughed, and cried with me, and I couldn’t thank you more for being my boss, and most importantly my friend.  Take care lady, and I’ll be thinking about you.  >hugs<

Adrienne | Week 13: Moving past insecurities

“For me, every day is a new thing.  I approach each project with a new insecurity, almost like the first project I ever did.  And I get the sweats.  I go in and start working, I’m not sure where I’m going. If I knew where I was going I wouldn’t do it.” – Frank Gehry

It has been almost two and a half years since I read David Batstone’s book Not For Sale.  I was visiting San Francisco for the first time and little did I know I would be back in two years to become a fellow in the Not For Sale Fellowship program.  From the first few pages to the very end, the book cultivated a sense of passion towards the anti-trafficking movement within me.  I couldn’t help but think that this is where my heart belonged, which was followed by the daunting torment in my mind that I had chosen the wrong major in school.

As I learned more about the organization, I was able to let out a giant sigh of relief.  A core belief at Not For Sale is that everyone has a role to play in the movement to end modern-day slavery.  I wanted to dig deeper and find out what my role in this movement would be.  I wanted to make my passion a vocation, and Not For Sale had the tools I could use to get there.  I wanted to be part of this opportunity so much, but anxiety set in and I began to question myself:

 What if my lack of formal education in this area holds me back?

What if I’m much older than everyone else?

What if my finances don’t last?

Everyone around me is “settling down” – should I be doing the same?

…followed by several more what ifs and yeah buts

Listening to my insecurities was holding me back.  I was making excuses for myself that had the best of intentions but were really making me a coward.  What others envisioned for themselves is not what I wanted; I wanted to love what I do, and do something I believe in.  I downloaded the application for the Not For Sale Fellowship, took the time to convey what I had to offer and what I wanted to get out of the Fellowship, then sent it in, hands sweaty, hair messy, and full of apprehension.

I’m now halfway through this fellowship and I know that I have learned new skills and been part of new experiences that I could not have learned or received from any formal education or job experience out there.  Coming into work everyday is like walking into the maternity ward where mind babies are born, and as a fellow, I get to take that baby and help push it through puberty.  It’s incredibly fascinating, fast-paced and inspiring.  These past few months have been invaluable to my growth in not only my career in social justice, but as an individual as well.  It’s helped me build my confidence, allowed me to become an expert in the field, and has allowed me to be part of a movement that is making real change in this world.  I would not be where I am today if I had listened to my fears.

Week 3: Hope

“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” – Robert F Kennedy.

Not For Sale has a passion you cannot ignore. Being allowed to sit through all staff meetings is a privilege, and whether we are listening to David Batstone or another staff member speak, it is hard to not get excited about the amazing things going on at Not For Sale, and it’s impossible to ignore the staff’s enthusiasm. It is so refreshing to work with and for people who are so passionate, and I am convinced that if more companies and organizations had the kind of gusto NFS has, we would truly be capable of amazing things.

Yet, there are moments when you get stuck wondering if it is all worth it.

From the first moment I learned of human trafficking I knew that I had to do something about it. My eyes had been opened to a crime that would not let me sleep at night if I was not somehow trying to save the world from its inhumanities. No pressure, right? So here I am, ending week three of the Fellowship, and I have heavy boots. (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, anyone?) Because of what I know, I cannot turn a blind eye. I refuse to except that governments are corrupt and millions of men, woman, and children will forever be enslaved. I refuse. But how can I, a small town girl from New Jersey, make a difference?

Hope.

I am making a conscious decision to focus on hope. We have to believe that tomorrow will be better, that we are working for the future and that one day, whenever that may be, things will change. Dale Carnegie once said, “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” This is what I see in the Not For Sale staff. I see people that know what I know, and are dedicating their lives to do what they can to make a difference. Everyone here is hopeful that we can end modern-day slavery in our lifetime; we have to be. But we choose to be, too. I have had an inner struggle the last few weeks trying to figure out where I fit in here. As I listen to friends and family members say that I am changing the world and that they are proud of me, I cannot help but cringe. When you spend days calling people who do not pick up their phone or sending emails out to people who may or may not answer, it is hard to feel like you are making a difference. One of the hardest lessons I will have to learn over the next few months, and have already been reminded of multiple times, is that we will not see immediate, tangible results. We are not vacuuming, we are ending modern-day slavery. And how great is that?

So here I am, sending forth a tiny ripple of hope that one day, thanks to our combined efforts and dedication, we will beat this thing. Because that’s how change happens.

Samantha Thornley | Week 1: Who am I & what led me to the movement?

One way or another, we all have to find what best fosters the flowering of our humanity in this contemporary life, and dedicate ourselves to that. – Joseph Campbell

In 2008, after completing my undergraduate studies in music and having no desire to get a job in the ‘real world’ I flew to Vietnam, where I would spend the next year teaching English to students in the Mekong Delta. That year defined my life, and changed my perspective in ways I was not expecting. I thrived in a new culture, and am positive that I learned more from my students than I was able to teach them. Through my work with Teachers for Vietnam, I became more interested in nonprofits and decided to go back for a Masters degree in Nonprofit Management. For the past two and half years I’ve been studying the behind the scenes work of a nonprofit, concentrating on global studies and completing most of my research in the field of human trafficking. Through my research I caught wind of a few organizations doing really great innovative work, and Not For Sale particularly struck my interest.

Not For Sale focuses on taking action. Awareness is great, and important, but it is more important that people feel equipped to take action, regardless of their day-to-day jobs. The first time I heard this I finally felt like I could take the next steps to be involved. Quitting my job and moving across the country to take part in their six month fellowship may have been a little drastic – but I honestly felt like it lined up perfectly with what I wanted to be doing and where I wanted to be at this time in my life. It has been my dream during the past few years to get involved with this movement, and thanks to the fellowship program I am finally taking action.

A lot of people have been asking what comes next, and what my plans are post-fellowship. My response: I’m taking this one day at a time. I once read that “when you make up your mind that you are going to do something and work tirelessly to bring your dream to life, one of two things will happen; you will achieve the outcome you set out to create, or you will learn a crazy amount about yourself, your passions, and your world. Either way, you win.” (heyambarrae) I am incredibly excited about dedicating the next six months (at the very least!) to fighting human trafficking, and realizing whether or not I want this to be my full time profession. But no matter what comes next, I also expect this experience to teach me a lot about myself and what I am capable of. I have no doubt that the next six months will be some of the most challenging and the most rewarding.

This first week has been a whirlwind – information overload at its finest. But it has been incredible to meet the NFS staff and hear their stories, as well as learn more about what the organization actually does on daily basis – which is way too much to process in one afternoon. Living with the other fellows has also already enhanced my experience; it is really refreshing to be surrounded by like-minded people and being reminded that we are all in this together, all working towards the same cause. I am so grateful to be a part of this fellowship, and after a week full of trainings and brainstorming, I am ready for the real work to begin!

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Take a look at what Holly and I created for one of our first assignments; the “I Am An Abolitionist” video project. It turns out I have a lot of video editing skills I was never aware of. http://ar.gy/tdI (Vote for us!!! Voting is open 1/23 – 1/30!!!)

Session 3 Begins!

January 10th marked the official first day of Not for Sale’s Third Fellowship Session. We warmly welcome Jono Hirt from Australia, Shane Vermooten from South Africa and David Quimby from Illinois. These three boys are embarking on one of the greatest adventures of their life. One of my favorite authors, Paulo Coelho, said “Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.” I am grateful for the risks these three have taken and for the sacrifices not only they, but also their family and friends have made in order to make their dreams a reality. None of them would be here without the support of their loved ones.

The next six months are going to be an incredible experience -not only for these three new fellows- but also for me. Already these three have challenged me, encouraged me, and made me laugh hysterically. I have high expectations for this group, and look forward to reading their many entries.

Thanks again for all of your love and support.

Together, we can re-abolish slavery.

Keturah

Fellowship Director