So You’re a Chefe Now

I got a promotion. I’m the Chief Innovation Officer at Abre. What does that mean? In short, I empower Abre to thrive through the discovery, pursuit, and execution of opportunities that enormously impact students and schools. I am, to say the least, pumped.

But mostly I’m just excited we’ve grown Abre to a level where we have Chiefs. Entrepreneurship is hard. The rewards and the results can be glorious.

Still, chief is a funny word to me. Here’s why.

Chief, Chefe, Sugar

When I lived in Brazil, my host father would drive me past a sugar juice stand, stop the car, and grab both of us two pints of sugarcane juice.

An example of creating sugarcane juice with my daughter Kelly (in Costa Rica)

I hated it. Raw sugar down the hatch always made my stomach upset (I’m not keen on sweets, and this was liquid sweet with floating grit). But my Pai insisted and said it set one up for “being strong in life.”

We never paid for the pints. One day, I asked the sugarcane grinder why.

“Porque seu pai é o chefe,” he said (because your dad is the chief). “O chefe traz coisas inteligentes para aqueles que trabalham ao seu redor. (And the chief brings smart things to the folk who work around them).”

I later discovered that the sugarcane grinder had his stall on some property owned by my host father. My host father wasn’t using the corner, so why not have sugar juice? Hustle culture and quid pro quo the Brazilian way.

Grow. And See Opportunity

Not to stretch an analogy too far, but the memory is a good framework for being the Chief. See opportunities, be smart, invest and empower others, and see (and taste) sweet results.

I’m excited for this next stage of my professional life. Let’s go.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent Posts