"How can I do it all?"

Interview with

Charles Thornbourgh – CEO & Founder, Civitas Learning

We spoke with Charles Thornbourgh of Dallas-based education tech startup Civitas Learning about managing an every-growing workload.

Here are some nuggets of wisdom from Charles:


As a manager, unless your calendar is 25-40% white space that means you’re just responding or doing regularly scheduled meetings, you aren’t getting in front of the next challenge as a business leader.

This means you’ve lost the opportunity to really lead strategically and be a mentor.


When you see most of the 'white space' in your calendar disappear, take that as a sign to do a clean reset.

  • Wipe everything off your calendar
  • Re-introduce your highest priority first
  • Continue, adding only what is essential to your business. Be ruthless. You can always add something back later.





1 - To achieve work/life balance, focus first on Life.

Personal development comes before career development.

Charles asks himself, "How do I take care of myself so I can show up and be productive with my family and business?"

  • Whatever you need personally to be at your best, sharpest and most optimistic is often left out (.e. sleep, nutrition, exercise)


2 - Recognize your strengths. Resource your weaknesses.

Charles says, "Too many people try to mitigate their weaknesses rather than doubling down on strengths."

Instead you should

  • Identify your superpower
  • Structure your team so you can focus your time on that superpower


3 - Find people who are dramatically better than you.

You'll increase your capacity and through-put drastically.


4 -  Build trust.

To feel confident that your team can handle the job you assign, focus on building an "environment of trust, where people feel free to raise their hands when they feel themselves breaking."


This helps you become a force multiplier rather than checking boxes on a to-do list.