Bring all your hats to work with you every day

Too often we define ourselves or are defined by the job titles typed on our business cards and undervalue the vast experiences and knowledge that we bring to the table formed through our travels, hobbies, family, and education. Knowingly or unknowingly, these experiences, past and present, inform our perspectives, relationships, and decisions.

Here at Spartina, business cards read “Partner and Co-founder.” But the expertise that we bring to each and every client and collaborator that we work with is so much deeper. When we’re meeting with clients we activate our experiences as parents, coaches, athletes, and even as clients – empathy is key! We encourage you to learn more about the experiences of your teammates and colleagues, perhaps the experiences not visible on CVs, to better understand each others strengths and perhaps forge some new and unlikely connections.

Dave’s hats are many! In his former lives he raced sailboats, worked as a carpenter, served in the Navy and for the State Department, and led an executive team at a Fortune 1,000.  Dave is also a proud father of 2 and happiest when he’s on his sailboat. He describes being at the helm of a boat as an infusion of inspiration and possibility because one can travel anywhere. If Dave could choose a less traditional title for his business card, he identifies strongly as a “Connector.”

Tony’s former career in global health and travel to over 80 countries dramatically informs his current client work. When traveling in foreign countries, he would arrive to a blank slate, not knowing the nuances of history, language, and culture without the guidance from locals. Curiosity and inquiry were key to launching successful, sustainable community-based programs. When Tony collaborates with a new organization, he comes with the same appreciation that every business is different and that no one knows more than the employees themselves. Tony also wears the hats of soccer dad, poker player, beach volleyball player. If Tony could choose a less traditional job title, he relates to being “Sparky” – to spark conversations and big ideas.

Jen has too many hats to count! As a nurturing mother, passionate kickboxer, nonprofit board member, and advocate for innovations in public education and civic engagement, it’s easy to address complex challenges creatively. One of the most poignant perspectives that Jen brings to her clients is her former work as a marathon coach. Working with people from ages 17-70, Jen coached people to reach goals they never imagined were possible. Who knew that an infusion of motivation and inspiration could make the impossible possible? If Jen could select a less traditional job title for her business card, it would read “Curator” – Jen is a wizard behind the curtain facilitating conversations and uncovering commonalities.

What are the hats that you wear? Which do you wear to work? It may be time to revise the dress code!

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