Abby Robinson is Atlas Corps’ Chief Development and Engagement Officer. Atlas Corps’ mission is to “address critical social issues by developing leaders, strengthening organizations, and promoting innovation through an overseas fellowship of skilled nonprofit professionals.”
She leads behind the scenes and works one step behind the entrepreneur, but is always in step. Although “make it big” might be a phrase we normally think of as applying to the entrepreneur or top executives, when Abby says it she means, “Wherever, whenever, whoever you are, you can do your best and have an impact. I think that’s a good saying to drive one through life.” Making it big includes helping others grow as well, to be inspirational and help young people achieve.
The key to being successful for Abby is by listening to the entrepreneur’s idea and creating her own system to get his visions and thoughts on paper efficiently. Seeing the bullet points and a timeline, she can create something achievable. Consistently, and that has built the CEO’s trust. For successful communications, once three emails have gone back and forth, she believes it is time for an in-person conversation. And if she sends emails to employees on weekends, she’s mindful that it will be treated as priority unless she says otherwise, so she’s clear in setting expectations.
When you act like everything’s a crisis and there’s no prioritization, it’s easy to lose staff engagement and the focus on making it big. “Everything always seems like it’s on fire,” Abby says, “But let’s be honest. We are an organization that provides fellowship opportunities, we’re not providing direct services, we’re not emergency services, so when things are on fire, that all needs to be in perspective…” Figuring out what matters most will keep up the energy and momentum to “make it big.”