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“Coro helps me rub elbows with the movers and shakers across the Bay area.”

What is your connection with Coro?

FPPA, class of 2023

What is a memory from your Coro experience and training that you still think about today?

There are so many memories. I served as a co-project manager for Sac Week.There were a lot of late nights and heated discussions, which as a project manager, I was expected to help mitigate. Together, with a great co-project manager, we found a balance between efficient leadership and being inclusive, so that everyone felt their insights were valued and in turn actively contributed to the overall team efforts.

Two key takeaways I gleaned from Sac Week are:

  1. Preparation is powerful. My co-project manager and I spent two weeks prepping for the week. When everyone got in the room, we were prepared and ready to go. As we encountered late nights discussing our meetings and overall project, we had everything we needed. I’ll always remember Claudia’s counsel, “If you don’t prepare well early you’re going to make things more difficult than they need to be.
  2. It is important to understand everyone’s leadership style, in order to bring out the best aspects of each team member for the overall benefit of the group .

What is one of Coro’s leadership principles, frameworks, or tools you continue to apply to your leadership practice today? 

I’ve always focused on WIGO, and use this in nearly every situation. My Fellowship year was a unique year as our trainer needed to take a leave of absence. Different trainers rotated through facilitation. Each trainer had a different style and focused on different things, which helped me learn a lot of different ways to apply Coro’s tools and leadership styles.

I also often use the ladder of Inference. As a political representative for a labor union, a lot of the work I do is around endorsements and interviews. The ladder of inference tool helps me catch assumptions, and “Step down” from the ladder and move away from these biases.

For example, when I meet with candidates, I try to enter the meeting with zero assumptions. I don’t even check how much money they’ve raised as I want to avoid biases. I want to hear what they’re running for. I ask them: “What’s the reason you’re putting yourself through this?” You’d be amazed by how some candidates do not know why they’re running. Naturally, after our initial meetings have passed, I do my due diligence and ensure that I provide my members with a holistic review of candidates prior to them voting on the endorsement for the race.

What are the two most important leadership qualities that people need to create our shared future?  

  • Empathy. Every great leader has to have empathy. You must understand your constituents and the plight of the vast majority of folks who choose to stay away from politics.
  • Courage. This goes hand-in-hand with empathy. You must have courage to make a move and to take action regardless of the political consequences simply if it’s the right thing to do. This is particularly true in politics where people are extremely jaded with the system because this rarely happens.

Remember this! The Coro network is extremely important for anyone who wants to work in politics. I’ve come across many people with whom I’m working closely, which has made my job a lot easier. For example, oftentimes a simple gesture, such as sitting down for coffee has made people more amenable to helping advance  causes that positively affect long-term care providers across my region. Coro helps me rub elbows with the movers and shakers across the Bay area.

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