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Let's Get Coffee with Douglas Brooks

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Dave Wilkin
Ten Thousand Coffees Team -
December 5, 2019

Human connection accelerates careers and shines light onto new opportunities. Douglas Brooks is proof that the best-laid plans to become a hospital administrator may lead to something else… The White House perhaps? 

Why should someone share a coffee (or tea) with someone new? 

As a social worker, I think human connections are essential in the workplace. Learning and sharing across organizations make for stronger organizations. 

If you could only ask just one question to spark a conversation, what would it be?

With what five people, dead or alive, would you most LOVE to have a dinner party? 


Can "coffee" be in person, via video chat, or both? 

Both, but the first coffee should be in person. 

Who is a person that sparked an important ah-ha moment for you? 

Many people have helped me throughout my career. But I’m thinking now of a former boss preparing to leave her position and encouraging me to apply as her replacement. I did, got it, and it changed my life. 

What should every professional know about meeting new people?  

New connections lead to new thinking and ideas. 

Compare the job your "18-year old self" thought you'd have vs. the job you have today? 

In some ways similar. Some different. Heading into college I thought I’d be a hospital administrator. I’m still in healthcare… kinda.

In general for others wanting to grow into a career like yours, how much of it is formal training vs. informal experiences? 

I’d say it’s 50/50. Time in the “seasoning middle” and some incredibly fortunate encounters with people I never expected to meet. 

Ten Thousand Coffees is an enterprise talent development platform that enables companies to scale and measure informal development. Every month, members receive a data-driven introduction that is customized to their goals, interests and role. Feedback and success stories provide your organization with impactful business insights about the success of your people-strategies.  The Future of Work is transforming organizations: informal development between colleagues is where talent mobility and culture sticks.

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