On your mark

When I produced my first big event last November, the most disconcerting realization I experienced was that I was running the show. I’m not being figurative or egotistical, I’m being literal. The event featured the largest panel this side of the Mississippi, and it took a fair amount of wrangling to bring the lively discussion to a peaceful conclusion.

As the panel came to a close and fifteen of the last three audience questions were queued, it struck me that no one was going to come around the corner and give the “we’re out of time” signal. That was my job. Quite the experience to absorb live, and this realization was my chief takeaway from the evening.

If I don’t publish my daily post here, no one is going to come after me. I can get away with not publishing my weekly Abernathy newsletter as well. But opportunity lies in the things we don’t need anyone to tell us to do—the things we do without permission or obligation.

We’re all looking to each other for leadership and social cues, so stepping into roles with grace and confidence and consistency is sometimes the only qualification for leveling up in the world.

Willie Jackson is a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Consultant & Facilitator with ReadySet, a boutique consulting firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a frequent writer and speaker on the topics of workplace equity, global diversity, and inclusive leadership. Connect on LinkedIn or get in touch.