Leadership Interview with WOO Executive Director, Hal EisenbergWade Phelps
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1. What is your current position at your organization?
2. What has been the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome over the last 5 years in your leadership role?
Our biggest obstacle is the knowledge that our programs can truly shift the way we educate and empower youth in a positive way, but because we are still considered “new” as an eight-year-old organization, we have a lot of difficulty in securing consistent funding.
3. What solutions have you put into place to overcome those obstacles?
We have created an incredible team that is very committed and clear about the vision, mission, and values of Windows of Opportunity.
We have a very specific short term and long term strategy to support our growth. Empowerment and the idea of never giving up is interwoven into our corporate values on all levels of the agency from the Board of Directors to the youth we serve.
4. What do you foresee will be the most difficult obstacles to overcome in the next 5 years?
We are growing at incredible spurts and drawing a lot of attention locally and internationally. I foresee there being a demand for our programs to expand to multiple areas without having the proper backing to do so. We plan on overcoming that too!
5. What advice do you have for other leaders in general and/or in your industry?
Being a great leader means knowing how to be a great follower as well. It means knowing how to put the right team together and listening to their valued input.
We are facing trying times as individuals and as a country. Therefore, we must be very clear about who we are, what we stand for and how we are putting that out into our world. To be a great leader you must develop strength and leadership skills in others. If you do that, you will never go wrong.
6. What singular idea do you have that will change the state of our economy?
I won’t pretend to truly understand the complexities that led us to have our country be in the economic state it is currently in.
What I do know is that we need to start thinking about long term strategies and put the power in the hands of our youth. I think we need to overhaul our education system, empower youth to believe in themselves, as well as how to become change agents. I truly believe that it will be the minds of one of our youth who will find the solution to our economy, global warming and whatever else plagues our planet.
7. What is your biggest fear?
Letting the world down and not leaving a legacy. I dedicate my life to action and change, while trying to stay centered and grow every day as a human being. I know with the right resources I can help millions of youth worldwide. My fear is that knowing I can do it is not enough.
8. What is your biggest accomplishment?
Windows of Opportunity, The Barbara Harmon Institute. Keeping my aunt’s legacy alive (She was a first responder on 9-11 who lost her life a year later).
Every youth that has come through one of our programs and shifted their life for the better.
Seeing their success and the success of my team is my greatest joy in life.
9. What is your own personal long term vision?
My intention is to provide platforms for global youth empowerment and leadership that leads to sustainable change.
10. And the big question … who is at your table?
I need a large table. My Aunt Barbara, Jon Bon Jovi, Tony Robbins, Michael Jackson, Gandhi, Howard Jonas, my son Scott, Rebecca Twitchell (I am serious!) and my entire Board of Directors.
About Windows of Opportunity:
Windows of Opportunity, Inc. was created to provide innovative and impacting programs that cause a shift in the way we educate and empower youth … a shift from disempowerment to possibility; a shift from differences to acceptance; and a shift from indecision to opportunity.
Be Part of the Conversation:
If you are a leader interested in giving your own advice on the ins and outs of leadership today, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with subject “Reality Check on Leadership.”
As always, thank you for your continued support. We look forward to seeing you soon!
half full, llc
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Hal Eisenberg holds a Masters Degree in Social Work from Adelphi University and is a Licensed Master Social Worker in New York State. He is certified by the New York State Department of Education to provide violence prevention training to professionals under Project Save (Safe Schools Against Violence in Education) and was awarded both the Evelyn Pliego Social Work Student of the Year Award presented by the Borough of Queens President Claire Schulman, and a City Council Citation, awarded by Councilman Sheldon Leffler.
Having spent a good deal of time with Hal as the 2011 half full Bucket Dump recipient, we had a great opportunity to really get to know him. He works incredibly hard, is great at what he does and has tremendous vision for his organization.
He’s someone you want in your network and his organization is one your kids should be following.
Hal currently resides in Oakland Gardens, NY, adores his 20-year-old son, Scott, enjoys drumming, watching and creating films that inspire, going to concerts, coordinating youth programs and showing people the way to the positive power they have within. Oh, and ladies? Yeah, he’s single! And we don’t mind playing match-maker!
We can’t say enough good things about the man behind that drum set … he is the true meaning of providing windows of opportunity for the youth of today and tomorrow.
If you are interested in nominating someone for this year’s half full Bucket Dump Contest, please check out our website for more details (deadline is Friday, so you will have to hurry!)