Meg Poag

  • Name
  • Meg Poag
  • Title
  • Executive Director
  • Organization
  • The Literacy Coalition
  • Years as Executive Director
  • 10.5 Years

  • What does your organization do?
  • The Literacy Coalition believes that everyone should have the skills they need to reach their full potential. We improve the quality and increase the availability of literacy services (outside of the K-12 system) for Central Texas adults and their families.
  • How did you become interested in this work?
  • I knew I wanted a career in social justice since high school, and as I was receiving my Master’s of Science in Social work, and realized very early in the program that I wasn’t meant for clinical/direct practice work. I was very passionate about the bigger, societal issues facing my clients, and realized that my energy would be best applied toward addressing system-level issues that impact vulnerable and marginalized populations.
  • What drives your passion?
  • I love working in a setting where I can partner with other stakeholders and community change-agents to figure out new and innovative ways to solve the biggest challenges facing a community.
  • Did you have a mentor or role model?
  • I have had MANY mentors and role models in my career. Many of whom are members of One Voice! I have also learned so much from my board members and leaders in the for-profit sector as they have helped me have access to some perspectives and tools we don’t often use in our sector.
  • What's the biggest challenge in your work?
  • I think the answer to that question has changed a lot over the years! I am constantly growing and becoming more proficient in one aspect of nonprofit leadership, and then a new challenge arises. I love that we are forced to be competent in so many different aspects of leadership and organizational success (across the spectrum! PR to financial forecasting, etc.) However, I think my biggest challenge is constantly prioritizing every minute of my time so that I have a semblance of work/life balance.
  • What's the best advice that you have ever received?
  • If you don’t know where you are going, how can you lead others! It’s so simple, yet I see so many of us struggling with very limited resources and not having time to stop, assess, and TRULY strategize so we know we are headed in the right direction and addressing the most important issues we need to address. And through that, creating a vision that can inspire others.
  • What are your top tips for new Executive Directors?
  • 1. Take care of your SELF (mind, body, spirit).
    2. Get lots of advice from smart people, and take the advice you get!
    3. Be BOLD. The ‘old’ way of doing this is quickly becoming irrelevant. Be bold enough to step out from the norm, take calculated risks, and do the right thing for your organization, even if it seems a little non-traditional!

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