Entrepreneur, Author, Professor, Global CEO

March 31, 2016

Wendy Kopp on How to Become the Leader Your Organization Needs

In Startup Leadership, I interviewed Wendy Kopp about her experiences founding and growing Teach for America (TFA), a non-profit which trains and places the nation’s brightest college graduates in public school teaching positions in underprivileged communities to help expand students’ opportunities.

Wendy developed the idea for TFA as part of her senior thesis at Princeton University and started the organization shortly after graduation. As a recent college graduate with little management experience, she was forced to develop entrepreneurial leadership skills on the fly as the organization grew.

I recently had the opportunity to interview Wendy again. She discussed how she acquired the leadership skills she needed to grow TFA, and the importance of leadership in driving change in the communities served by TFA.

Wendy says, “Always, without any exceptions, leadership is at the core of the solution[…] And yet we spend so little time thinking ‘how are we going to develop the leadership to really take this to scale?’”

Today TFA, after 25 years of rapid growth is a network of more than 50,000 remarkable, diverse leaders. Additionally Wendy founded Teach For All, a global network of educational reform entrepreneurs operating in 39 countries with a mission of expanding educational opportunities for all students, even the most disadvantaged.

Watch the interview below.

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