HW-SC-PGC Executive Director shares leadership insightsDecember 01, 2011
Posted by Jennifer Lesinski, Director of Marketing
(Reprinted from HSC-Insight)
Going for Nonprofit Greatness!
"Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline." -- Jim Collins
We seem to live in a world where having your name on the tip of everyone's tongue, or having a million 'friends' or 'followers' defines greatness. That may be true for some, but not for others.
At the end of the day, being a great nonprofit comes down to being of great service to others. Whether we meet the needs of few or of many, every organization I know is doing everything possible to meet the needs of their community. That's the goal. But, what happens to greatness when the goal gets obscured by changes in the economy, or shifts in governing leadership, or even challenges within our own offices? Then, it's time to check ourselves. It's time to see if we have what it takes-on the inside--to make it in this world.
We look for things like confidence. Unlike arrogance, confidence simply tells us that (when properly, consistently applied) our own skills, experience and abilities will help us endure the most adverse conditions and come out on the other side. That knowing comes from preparedness. We can use every relationship and interaction to develop ways of thinking and behaving that make us stronger than the rest. Over time, we become aware of a greater sense of self-control. We neither overreact nor hide our head in the sand. We just do what needs to be done.
In my role as Executive Director of Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection, I know we all face tough challenges that sometimes take our reach and our resources in opposite directions. But, I also know that being faced with a challenge is not the time to give up, it is the time to keep going. Our perseverance through challenging circumstances allows us to model the very resilience we seek to encourage and empower in those we serve.
As long as there is a world, there will likely be challenges. Challenges can inspire our most creative ideas and actionable epiphany's in great service. Leave the door open for these challenges to teach us more about ourselves and mature us beyond our beliefs. And as long as there is service to be rendered, nonprofits should choose to do whatever it takes to move beyond obstacles toward new strategies for meeting the need. The people we serve often cannot or will not be served by any other. Our determined ability to be there for them is what makes us great.
By all means, keep going!
Yours in Excellence,
Karene Brodie, Executive Director of HW-SC in Prince George's County