This is Jenny. You really want to hang out with her.
The nonprofit life can be a fulfilling one, but it’s also hard. When resources are scarce, it seems fiscally responsible to put off buying the tools you need to do the job right for “just one more year.” It seems impossible to hire another employee when, by staying late every night, you do manage to (mostly) get the work done. Sometimes it even feels noble to ignore your personal needs in order to serve the greater good.
The problem is when you make the “sacrifice” choice every time, eventually you get to a place where you have nothing left to give. When that happens you, and your organization, suffer.
Here’s an opportunity to make a different choice. My dear friend, Jenny Mitchell, is leading her first Mastermind Group. It takes place over Google Hangouts, so you don’t have to leave your office, she’s only taking the first four people who sign up, so your time will be spent working on specific solutions to your real-world issues, not generalizing about what works for organizations nothing like yours. I’ve worked one-on-one with Jenny (often over Google Hangouts) for several years and she’s perfect for this kind of work–kind, thoughtful, experienced, open-hearted, and fun. This blog post isn’t long enough for me to tell you all the ways that hanging out with Jenny and the amazing people she is sure to attract will make your work (and your life) better.
Seriously, go sign-up right now.
I’ve been traveling a lot lately and on one of those trips I had the pleasure of visiting a college friend and her family. In addition to the general awesomeness of hanging out with people I adore, she also introduced me to my new favorite proverb:
Image Credit: Ashley of BaddestMotherEver.com
It’s so easy for me to get caught up in other people’s decisions, or to feel somehow responsible for “fixing” problems where, not only do I have little to no influence, but often outside advice is not helpful or welcome.
So I’m closing down my unsolicited circus-consulting business and redoubling my efforts to spend my time and energy making what goes on inside my own three-ring circus the greatest show on earth.
I’ll let you know how it goes.
These guys need a chain of command. Your family probably doesn’t. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Every now and again someone goes on television to talk about how her husband is the head of her household and she loves that because it’s the only thing that makes sense. After all we only have one President, and the military works in a hierarchy so obviously that’s just how leadership works.
Normally I see these stories and roll my eyes or make yakking noises in the privacy of my own home. If I’m feeling really worked up, I treat my partner to a monologue on why comparing the management of a family to the management of the world’s largest economy is ridiculous.
I did all those things this time as well, but after I calmed down a bit it occurred to me that while some families choose a “decider” on purpose, others do so because uncertainty is almost as uncomfortable as conflict and designating someone to make all the decisions is a quick and easy way to minimize the discomfort caused by disagreements.
If you chose to run your family that way because it makes everyone happy, knock yourself out.*
If, however, you are defaulting to letting the loudest person in your house make decisions because you believe that’s the only way to avoid knock-down, drag-out fights that result in doing what the loudest person wants anyway, consider this alternative. Continue reading →
In public buildings if a door is labeled pull, the only way to open it is by following the stated direction. Pushing is only going to make you look foolish.
What is true of doors is not necessarily true anywhere else. There is nothing wrong with following the directions the first time around, but if you’ve been diligently pulling on a problem waiting for the door to open, it might be time to push.*
We want to hear from you! When has your forward progress required you to break the (written or unwritten) rules?
*conversely, if you’ve been pushing and pushing and the door won’t open, try following the conventional path. Sometimes the man is not out to trip you up.
This post is reprinted from my weekly try-it e-mail series. If you like it, sign-up here to have each week’s exercise delivered straight to your inbox.
Have you noticed how easy it is to add something new to your schedule? One more client, one more project, one more meeting. Each new thing on its own seems inconsequential, so in a burst of enthusiasm (or guilt) we say yes.
Then we wonder why we feel so tired all the time.
Normally this is where you would expect a lesson on learning to say “no.” That’s good advice, and we’ll probably cover it one of these weeks, but for now I’m asking you to do something different. Continue reading →