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  • John Wood

A New Challenge for the New Year

Dear Friends around the World: I hope you had a restful holiday. Amy, Orion and I enjoyed the cool Hong Kong winter weather in many ways – hiking, tennis, trail running, reading on the sofa, and a lot of great food, wine and time with friends. I also made a big announcement. As you may know from my LinkedIn post, I have decided to leave the Room to Read Board after 21 action-packed years. Please don’t worry as it’s for a good reason. I feel so blessed to have reached every Founder's dream state -- I can look across all areas of Room to Read and see hundreds of leaders constantly in GSD (Get Sh** Done) mode, led by our CEO Geetha Murali, a brilliant constellation of 10 global Boards and a world-class management team. Since Day One, my mantra has been Recruit. Delegate. Repeat. And that’s gone so well that I can now exit on a high note.

My decision is part of a long-term transition plan, driven by my faith that the organization is in the best shape it’s ever been in, and will continue to thrive. My thoughts on how founders and Boards can best plan these transitions were published last week by the Financial Times. I promise that I’m not turning my back on social entrepreneurship. I have a new venture that has been spinning around in the back of my brain for many years, and I now desire to have my bandwidth freed up to pursue it. It’s an idea that I humbly believe can also be world-changing, even though I know from experience that the early years will be a slow build. We will go public on February 7, and I hope you will be willing to have me share details with you then. If so, please click here to sign up for the announcement. Amy and I will always remain faithful to Room to Read, and as many Board members have told me “Once you have the title of Founder, you’ll always be involved in some way”. Getting this organization off the ground from very humble beginnings, and seeing it scale to reach 26 million children in 20 low-income countries has been the biggest adventure of my life. I could not have persevered though the tough bits without friendship, support and love from so many of you. I will always be grateful for my awesome global family. I’m excited for what comes next, while also being fully aware that every start-up is a massive challenge. I’m hoping many of you will join me on this next big adventure. You know where to find me.

All the best for 2022 and beyond. And with that, I am back to GSD mode. Onward and upward!

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