Welcome to the first posting of my blog on leadership, specifically leadership in non-profit human service organizations, and — when I really get on my soap box — leadership in faith-based non-profit human service organizations.
I will be sharing my thoughts not because I see myself as an expert in the field, but rather I’ll be writing as a fellow traveler who believes this work requires us to constantly stretch ourselves and see our work with new eyes, while also remaining grounded in our mission, values and the reality of the bottom line.
A few topics that are sure to come up in the coming weeks, because they are absolutely foundational from my perspective . . .
• No money, no mission. Period. If you can’t keep the doors open, you can’t serve anyone.
• Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Even if that basket has kept you warm and cozy for a very long time.
• To maximize YOUR mission, you can’t confine yourself to someone else’s box.
• If you are a faith-based organization, you ought to be holding yourself to a higher standard.
• Gifts and graces. They trump a box on an org chart every single time.
• We owe it to those we serve to think bigger.
• Listen to your gut. It’s usually smarter than your head.
• Most of the time, we just make it too hard.
• Talents, spiritual gifts, bushel baskets, and a really big fish . . . lessons learned from the #1 leadership book of all time.
• Iron shorts. A critical part of your ensemble when you’re making tough decisions.
• It’s not about you . . . really!
• Strategic fortitude. Love that term and all it reflects.
• And then there’s transparency, authenticity, “walking the talk”, stewardship . . .
A couple simple warnings before we get started:
1) I have a Master’s in Leadership, so I never get tired of talking about this stuff! (Seriously, this really is my idea of fun.) You may not always agree with my observations, but I promise to do all I can to make it an enjoyable, thought-provoking ride;
2) HOWEVER, if you take yourself too seriously, this blog may annoy you. We absolutely have a responsibility to take our role seriously, which is entirely different than taking yourself seriously. Refer back to the earlier bullet — it’s not about you . . . really.
So that’s it. I hope you’ll join me for the journey, share your thoughts, push back, and stretch my thinking. It should be a fun ride!