Hello SOTGC community,
As I reflect back, I was a changemaker wanna be for a good 15 years of my nonprofit career. Then, out of pure frustration, I decided to become a consultant and help nonprofit leaders see the the big picture and find the resources to make it happen.
The work that I thought was making a difference turned out to be a bandaid. Really, I was the bandaid. Why were these capable, caring people succeeding in the short term only to revert back to square one.
The ultimate question became: What will it take for boards and volunteer leaders to transcend their perceived limitations and become changemakers? That’s my life’s work. And that’s how I hope to influence others as professionals and volunteers to join together and create sustainable impact.
My Top 5 Steps To Becoming A Change Agent For Social Good
- What do you want to change? Are you tired of watching women remain in violent relationships? or reading about elementary school kids from poor families entering 5th grade without being proficient in reading or basic math pretty much guaranteeing they won’t graduate from high school? Does it make you mad that your local theatre company is closing? The place that gave you a profound new perspective about life that only art can do?
- LEARN: Read blogs about the subject. Talk to others who know more than you do. Look at the problem in a way that you never have before. Turn on the lights. Research the organizations that are doing an amazing job of doing this work and call the executive director. Go for coffee to learn more. That’s it. See how you feel and go from there.
- LISTEN: Once you’re in the door, become a listener and remain a student. Listen to the people that the organization serves. Listen to the staff. Figure who else in the community cares about this issue? You can’t make change without knowing how others feel and think. Then go about building a tribe.
- GENERATE: Practice your leadership skills. Generate difficult conversations and challenge sacred cows. Bring in money, create partnerships and cross sector collaborations. Little ones. It doesn’t have to be big. Generate interest and invite others to join you. Use social media ignite energy.
- LEAD: At the end of the day, its all about leadership. Use the above steps to learn about nonprofit leadership. There is a well researched body of knowledge out there. Train the board. Spend money on professional development for staff. Create a dynamite governance structure and fire lousy board members.
If all you do is step 1 and 2 you will be happier, smarter, and more aware. Happy new year and GO FOR IT!
P.S. Do yourself a big favor and read Linchpin by Seth Godin. When you’re adequately fired up, read Tribes. Then go out and bust the status quo.
My current website: www.yourpotentialgrowth.com (New and improved website coming next month)
Photo credit: pauldunay.com