In moments like this it is absolutely critical that we not shut down dreaming, that we not down shut possibilities of things that we had heretofore believed impossible. Founders, intensives– we tend to be very, very good at finding loopholes and looking for things that nobody else has thought of yet. We know we’re good at crisis. We know we’re good at creative. Let’s go do it.

##### Transcript

Hi, everyone, thanks for tuning in. I'm

Leela Sinha:thinking tonight about what it means for a leader to hold hope,

Leela Sinha:to hold possibility, and simultaneously be realistic. I,

Leela Sinha:I really hesitate with the word 'realism' because I feel like so

Leela Sinha:often the idea of being realistic is used to shut down

Leela Sinha:dreams or possibilities outside the scope of what has already

Leela Sinha:been imagined. And I find that especially in moments like these

Leela Sinha:in history- and I find that I'm living through a remarkable

Leela Sinha:number of them for my relatively middle age- but in moments like

Leela Sinha:this, it is absolutely critical that we not shut down dreaming,

Leela Sinha:that we not shut down possibilities of things that we

Leela Sinha:had heretofore believed impossible. When equal marriage

Leela Sinha:went through, I was extremely aware of how recently equal

Leela Sinha:marriage had seemed impossible. Now, of course, equal marriage

Leela Sinha:is under threat. And it seems that we have a division, right?

Leela Sinha:We have people who are like, "ach, it was too good to last."

Leela Sinha:And we have people who are like, "no, no, that belongs to us.

Leela Sinha:We're keeping that." And what we need right now is people who can

think. All of us:intensives, founders, innovators, creatives,

think. All of us:disruptors, who can think outside of the way that things

think. All of us:have always been done not that voting isn't important. It is.

think. All of us:Not that raising issues with our representatives isn't important.

think. All of us:It is. But clearly, some folks are playing by a different set

think. All of us:of rules. And we have to be thinking about how to create

think. All of us:ways of playing in a different landscape that still have

think. All of us:integrity for us. The integrity is really important. We can't

think. All of us:lose the integrity. It's tempting, but we can't do it

think. All of us:because then we lose our only rallying cry. Other groups have

think. All of us:other things that they gather around, that they elevate,that

think. All of us:they valorize. Things like followership, like obedience. We

think. All of us:don't, as liberals, think that way. We don't, as progressives,

think. All of us:think that way. The entire Left is kind of opposed to that kind

think. All of us:of thinking, which is part of what makes us who we are. But in

think. All of us:order for us to work together- even though we're very different

think. All of us:in a lot of different ways- in order for us to work together,

we really have to think about:

:how do we innovate? And how do

we really have to think about:

:we find innovative ways of approaching new challenges?

we really have to think about:

:Well, guess what? We're really good at that. Not everyone on

we really have to think about:

:the left, but founders, intensives, we tend to be very,

we really have to think about:

:very good at finding loopholes and looking for things that

we really have to think about:

:nobody else has thought of yet. That nobody else is aware of,

we really have to think about:

:because nobody else has turned the problem upside down quite

we really have to think about:

:like that- you know, I keep thinking of, is it Linus Pauling

we really have to think about:

:or- I don't remember. There's a mathematician who's given a

we really have to think about:

:sealed black box in which there is a prism of some shape. And

we really have to think about:

:he's asked to figure out, without getting into the box,

we really have to think about:

:what shape the prism is, and he begins tipping it back and

we really have to think about:

:forth, and looking at the angle at which it pitches forward onto

we really have to think about:

:the next face of itself. And eventually he discovers that it

we really have to think about:

:is in fact, I don't remember what it was, but it it's a

we really have to think about:

:complex shape. It's not like a, you know, a square, you know,

we really have to think about:

:rectangular prism. It's something else. And you watch

we really have to think about:

:him do it. And he talks through it as he does it. And he's very

we really have to think about:

:good. He's very good at just kind of thinking it through,

we really have to think about:

:playing with it. And he's a mathematician. So that's what

we really have to think about:

:he's doing but what we do- or maybe he's a physicist- anyway.

we really have to think about:

:But what we do, is we find solutions like that. We figure

we really have to think about:

:out how to work with what we have to get somewhere that

we really have to think about:

:people say we can't get. People say it can't be done. We say,

we really have to think about:

:"oh, that sounds interesting. What can't be done again? Tell

we really have to think about:

:me more." And because that's who we are, and that's the way we

we really have to think about:

:are, we are epically suited for this moment in history. And part

we really have to think about:

:of our role as leaders, as founders, as

we really have to think about:

:people who are being paid attention to, people who are

we really have to think about:

:being as, as a lot of my neurodivergent friends, say

we really have to think about:

:people who are being perceived, and often professionally, so-

we really have to think about:

:right, we go out in public and talk about what we do or what we

we really have to think about:

:believe, or we go to VCs or we go, we go to whomever we're

we really have to think about:

:trying to hire, we go to our potential customers, and we, we

we really have to think about:

:spin the story of a dream, we spin the story of possibility,

we really have to think about:

:and we invite them in to help us create that and to help us

we really have to think about:

:perpetuate it. Because we believe it's going to be somehow

we really have to think about:

:better. Better for the world, meeting a need, better for us,

we really have to think about:

:better for them. Usually, it's the intersection, right? It's

we really have to think about:

:the center of that Venn diagram. And so our, our job in this

we really have to think about:

:case, is to move into a space. And this, this is both about

we really have to think about:

:politics and about our companies, right? Because our

we really have to think about:

:job is to move into the spaces where we are leaders. And to

we really have to think about:

:invite that kind of epic, out of the box, wild thinking that

we really have to think about:

:produces ideas and ways of doing things that people haven't been

we really have to think about:

:using, that people haven't been doing. That's what we're good

we really have to think about:

:at. We should also, of course, and always, coordinate with the

we really have to think about:

:people who have been doing this a long time, the organizers who

we really have to think about:

:have been in the field for twenty years for forty years for

we really have to think about:

:sixty years. Like I'm not saying we should ignore what's already

we really have to think about:

:being done. And I'm saying we need some innovation right now.

we really have to think about:

:We need some kind of innovation. And this is, this is the time

we really have to think about:

:for us to use our innovative skills in service of something

we really have to think about:

:larger. And that is how we hold hope without getting trapped by

we really have to think about:

:this concept of realistic. Because realistic means that

we really have to think about:

:somebody else thinks that it could be real. And somebody else

we really have to think about:

:thinks it is obvious that it could be real, and not just some

we really have to think about:

:high flying intensive, imagination-full person. But

we really have to think about:

:like a rank and file every day, random person on the street

we really have to think about:

:person thinks it's obvious that it's possible. That's kind of

we really have to think about:

:what realistic means. But we're founders and we deal in the

we really have to think about:

:impossible. We deal in the unrealistic. We deal in the

we really have to think about:

:"this has got to happen, but we don't know how, but it's gonna

we really have to think about:

:happen." That's our space. That's our territory. That's

we really have to think about:

:what we are better at than anybody else. And that's why

we really have to think about:

:we're here. Of course, of course, go find out what other

we really have to think about:

:people think. That includes the people that work with you. That

we really have to think about:

:includes the people that you serve. None of us have like the

we really have to think about:

:single only perspective. And also this is our moment to bring

we really have to think about:

:our own special blend of imagination and possibility and

we really have to think about:

:stubbornness and wild-eyed dreaming. Not just for ourselves

we really have to think about:

:but for our people. For all those people who are paying

we really have to think about:

:attention to us. We know we're good at crisis. We know we're

we really have to think about:

:good at creative. Let's go do it.