Brad Feld

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Being A Doer Is How You Change Things

May 29, 2008

A few weeks ago, my friend Alan Shimel connected me with Jennifer Leggio.  Jennifer is the Director of Strategic Communications at Fortinet and an active blogger in – among other things – security and communication.  Alan suggested to Jennifer that she might be interested in the work we have been doing at the National Center for Women & Information Technology.

I remember the conversation fondly because I was sitting on the floor upstairs at Oblong’s office in LA while a bunch of people ran around downstairs looking at some cool stuff that Oblong was presenting to one of their customers.  Oblong had recently moved in to their new office and there was a noticeable lack of comfortable surfaces or devices to sit on (or in) upstairs.  The floor had to make do.  It was actually pretty clean and comfortable.

Jennifer asked a bunch of hard questions.  We had a great conversation.  I connected her with Lucy Sanders, the CEO of NCWIT, and they talked.  Jennifer got her mind around how to engage in the problem NCWIT is addressing and Women in IT – Be A Change Agent (Part One) is the post she wrote kicking off her thoughts and actions.

I appear to have said at least one memorable thing during our conversation:

“The most impactful people tend to be the doers in the organization. We can’t rely solely on entrepreneurs, who may have very little time, to make change happen. Anyone with a strong voice can be a role model. It’s easier to get started when you’re a leader but real change happens when you build momentum across a much broader spectrum.”

Jennifer riffed nicely on this and came up with a number of actionable things for doers to do which she enumerated in Women in IT – Be A Change Agent (Part One).

Jennifer – great stuff on many levels.