I interviewed 5 times at the Noble Network of Charter Schools 7 years ago. I remember going from cracking jokes at a friends house when my phone rang to instantly transforming into business mode. It was my first call back from a job I applied for two weeks prior. It was a 30 minute phone interview and the rest is history.
Fear kicked in. I didn’t feel qualified for the job and was ready to turn down an opportunity that The Lord answered after all this time. Strange how we so quickly revert back to that dark comfortable place. Was I ready to rejoin the work force? Yes. Was I ready to work for this organization? Based on the job description, no! Yet, a sermon from my pastor on Sunday morning stated, “Who are you to close a door that God opened? Don’t put him in your box, He’s way larger than it can hold.”
I started as a technology manager (not the listed title when I applied) in 2010. I run hard. Earned the name Hulk Smash. Won our first ever MVP award named the Hulk Smash Award. I almost didn’t win. My boss said I came close to losing because I didn’t develop a good work life balance. I didn’t for the first five years but I am not hear to talk about all of that.
7 years later, I am the Director of Information Technology for the number one charter school in America. I am faced with that same fear everyday. I really don’t know how long this will last but I love where I am. I have an uncanny devotion to people I work for and an uncanny devotion to my team members. I am working to rebrand myself. The Hulk Smash has to go. I have to become a master of so many corporate deals, policies, financials, terminology, and people management.
A new challenge is upon me and it is unfamiliar, it is uncomfortable, it is uncertain. Yet, I will do what I grow to do daily, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. I am not sure what’s next for me but I know it’s beyond being a director of technology. I am in a place where I get to impact African American and Latino American lives. I am in a place where I get to work and see a very incredible organization do very incredible things. I work with teachers I love, students I serve, principals I support, co-workers I would die for, chiefs I answer to, and a very special person who shall remain nameless. He’s a man I have grown to admire, be unnerved by, challenged by, be supported by and ultimately to serve with. Who would have thought a meeting at Starbucks would yield an opportunity to be Super.
A part of me is hesitant in this new role. Yet, I have incredible people who support me, a former boss, a right and left arm at work, and an incredible team member who I hope to call friend one day with her critical feedback, insight, and precision.
7 years is said to be the year of completion, a time to move forward. For Tony Briscoe, it is a time to grow and I am just getting warm.