Dre's Dispatches: Vol. 1, No. 5 | Talking About Networks as Family

It’s Been a Minute

L to R: Brian Boyer, Matt Thompson, and yours truly at New Wave Cafe on November 20, 2019

It would be the biggest understatement of the decade to say the last six months have been an adventure. Short version: New job. Same city. Same cat. It’s also been a while since I’ve seen the two guys in this photo from earlier this week. It was great to have the chance to do so.

Networks as Family

The majority of my recent anxiety stems not from my change in jobs but the resulting reflection on the last decade of my life thanks to a couple of outside commitments. The most notable of these was a talk given at SRCCON:LEAD on November 19. I committed to a brief conversation starter about the importance of networks, both known and unknown, as they relate to leadership. Based on what people have told me individually afterward, it was as much about the need to find the space to be vulnerable and accessible with people. There’s a live transcript of what I said, but I figured it’d be nice to share what I’d prepared in advance too, just because.

Prepared text for SRCCON:LEAD Talk | Dre's Ramblings

TL;DR: The family you choose (or, at least, the ones that choose you), are extremely important as you attempt to navigate this world of leadership. We didn’t get to these positions on our own and we can’t stay there on our own either.

Additional Resources:

Jen Mizgata’s SRCCON:LEAD session: How journalists can build better support networks

Live Transcript | Session Notes

Jen’s session took place on Wednesday evening and serves as a great collection of resources for folks wanting to dig a little deeper into how to do what I suggested in my talk.

Our Purpose and Core Values Mashed Up with the 15 Commitments of Leadership | P.S. Blog

I’m a big fan of John Maeda, so this came up in my RSS reader (yes, I’ve recently rediscovered the need for such a tool in my life) after my talk, it seemed prescient.

Soleil Ho’s 2019 XOXO Festival talk | XOXO Festival via YouTube

I was literally and figuratively there in Portland, Ore. this past September for Soleil’s talk about what happens when you’ve become the representation you’ve been fighting for. (There’s also a long-overdue piece to be written about that trip, but maybe that can happen during the upcoming holiday weekend).

How to Have Closer Friendships (and Why You Need Them) | nytimes.com

Some of the people you’ll connect with within your networks will be friendly. I’ve found it impossible to function properly without extremely close actual friends. These are some tips I hope to put in practice here in the coming months while I navigate the early days of truly settling into Philly. They seem like they’d be helpful to a lot of people.

BONUS: I always think it’s a good thing when I get to quote Anis in a speech. Here’s the two-time National Slam Poetry Champion (and fellow SCAD grad and friend) performing “Shake the Dust” at the House of Blues Orlando in 2010.

I’m constantly looking for a chance to escape the world for a while

Random thoughts

I talk about the purpose of journalism briefly in this prepared text for last Tuesday’s talk. There are a few people I know who focus on the purpose of journalism being to preserve democracy and society. That purpose supposes that journalism has only existed since it was protected in the founding documents of our country. It’s protected in the Constitution as a check on democracy, but it’d take a

I have a less formulated thought about the need for contemplation, but I think I'll save it for next time since this is already late...

Your Moment of Pete
NOTE: No Petes were harmed while getting this picture. He was quickly chased away from said candle after the picture was taken.

Until next time,
Cheers!