There's so much I want to say, and so many ways I want to say it. I've started multiple drafts of this post since I found out, and none of them seemed quite right. I think that it never really sunk in until the announcement today, so now that it is public, I'm just going to start writing and stop when it feels done.
Program Coordinator. PC. It's the most mysterious advanced role in the Judge Program. Grand Prix Head Judges administer events, Regional Coordinators run communities, and Program Coordinators... coordinate the program? All of it? A lot of people want PCs to be the true leaders of the Judge Program, the "monarchs" or what the Level 5s used to be. At least those are the kinds of analogies I've heard. But if asked the PCs, they would frequently deny being the true leaders of the Judge Program. "We coordinate, not lead." It's been a consistent refrain from the PCs, one where they focus on administration, but one that has frustrated those people looking for more monarchy, more leadership.
So here I am. Do I lead or do I coordinate? Am I a monarch or an administrator? None of these fit me well. I'm actually a pretty bad administrator, and I've found the most success when I've had better organized planners to work with. I am a strong leader, but I've done better as a leader of individuals and not of projects. To lead individuals on a global scale seems exhausting.
The word that appeals to me is facilitator. That word and coordinator occupy similar spaces, but coordinator still feels too much like someone telling everyone what to do, the monarch, whereas a facilitator listens to what you want to do and helps you accomplish it. This is a big part of what I want to do. I want to listen to you.
I recently had a conversation with someone where they used the phrase "I'm willing to die on this hill." I never liked this phrase. First off, I don't want to die. As a runner, when I think of hills, I see a challenge to overcome, a goal to accomplish. I see a hill and I say "How do I conquer this hill?" There are a lot of hills in the Judge Program, and recently it feels like people are choosing which ones to die on. I want you to help me conquer them, to run up them together, and enjoy a Rocky-esque moment of celebration at the top.
I want to inspire and enable. That said, I do have some ideas and a vision. You can't get to be PC without some ideas for what the Program should do. I'd like to share that vision with you because I would like your buy-in and your help. With that in mind, I've also published my answer to the 3rd Program Coordinator application question in a separate blog post here. If I were a politician, I would consider this to be my platform, and when the question asks "how will you help?" this is when I ask for your help in making these ideas into a reality.
Here's the part where I give thanks. Many people have helped me to craft my ideas and my words. It's cliche, but there are too many to name here, so I will focus on Nicholas Sabin, Eric Dustin Brown, Jacob Milicic, and Fabian Peck who helped edit my PC application. I particularly want to call out Fabian as the person who was my personal cheerleader throughout the application process. It is doubtful that my ideas would have been so fully formed and well-written without his encouragement and accountability. When I talk about facilitating the success of others, he did that for me.
Finally, I want to say how bittersweet it is for me step into this new role as Toby Elliott leaves it. Toby has been a lot of things to me over the years. Even as I applied for PC, I knew that Toby would not be staying on. A part of me will always think of it as Toby's seat, and as I have always done while following in his footsteps, I will work hard to make him proud. (btw Kim Warren is great as well, and I'll miss her, but it's hard to compare her impact on my judge career to Toby.)
So there we have it. It's getting late and I've said most of what I wanted to say. I'm excited for this new opportunity, and I'm really excited that people are excited.