Six guiding leadership principles can help private sector leaders build long-term relationships with nonprofit leaders.
Typical Tuesday with Acumen Fund's James Wu
Our Typical Tuesday series is designed to give you a window into what real social innovators’ work actually looks like. Here, we ask Acumen Fund's James Wu to describe a typical Tuesday in his own words.
Name: James Wu
City: London, United Kingdom. Sometimes New York. Though my heart is in Brooklyn.
Job: Manages brand and creative direction at Acumen Fund.
Midnight-2:00am - Lovely wife tells me to stop working and to come to bed. I fire some emails back and forth with my team in NY. I tell them to stop working and go home. They tell me to stop working and go to bed.
2:00am-8:00am – I go to bed. I sleep and dream. I'm so baffled and amused by a bizarre dream that I force myself to wake up and analyze it.
8:01am - I promptly forget all the details of the dream and sigh.
8:01am-8:30am - Make tea, check email, Facebook, Twitter, and Google Reader. Schedule a few tweets and tumblr posts for the day.
8:30am-10:00am – I work. This is the quietest and therefore the most precious and productive time of my day. I try to get most of my thinking and writing done during this window.
10:00am-11:00am - Enjoy breakfast with the lovely wife, then walk to the office unless it's cold and rainy, which is most of the time in London, then I take the bus. I prefer the top-deck of the double deckers because it’s a better way to see the city and the natural light is great for reading. It’s the only time during the day I really get to read a book.
11:00am-2:00pm - I work, which includes some combination of reading, scribbling, sketching, writing, diagramming, powerpointing, thinking, tweeting, liking, tumbling, and surfing the interwebs for inspiration. But, mostly just a lot of emailing—especially with my colleagues in India, Pakistan, Nairobi, and Accra, who (with the exception of Accra) are all up and
working before me.
2:00pm-3:00pm – The team in NY starts their day and I join a team call with colleagues in NY to discuss topics ranging from leadership to fundraising.
3:01pm-3:30pm – My stomach reminds me I haven’t eaten, so I scarf down a sandwich from a nearby cafe at my desk while catching up on the world through Facebook and Twitter. I skim through Google Reader and save stuff I want to read for later.
3:30pm-4:30pm - I try to work and ignore the emails piling up in my inbox.
4:30pm-5:00pm - Skype with someone who is interested in learning more about Acumen and seeking career advice.
5:00pm-6:00pm - I try to work and ignore the emails piling up in my inbox.
6:00pm-6:30pm - Respond to urgent emails that can't wait.
6:30pm-7:00pm - My colleague Vinay and I go to the Marquis Cornwallis (a pub on the corner) for a cheeky pint or two.
7:00pm-8:30pm - Walk home and sit down to a lovely home-cooked dinner prepared by my lovely wife. We chat about her lovely day and whatever it is she read that day. (She's getting her Masters in English lit.)
8:30pm-10:30pm – We shamefully hop back on our computers and work.
10:30pm-11:50pm - Watch whatever TV show we're currently obsessed with on Netflix. Right now it's Breaking Bad.
11:51pm-11:58pm - A thought enters my mind in this window that despite how it must look or sound, I actually have the best job in the world and the most wonderful life, and feel so grateful and blessed.
11:59pm - I kiss my lovely wife goodnight.
00:00am - I begin my day.
Follow James Wu and Acumen Fund on Twitter.
Photo: Parris Whittingham
One clear way to drive change is to invest in leaders who have a direct connection to the communities they serve.
Entrepreneurs face unequal challenges even before getting in an investor's door. Data illustrates disparities in the social innovation sector.