Life is too short for bullsh#t!

Why do they fail?

I’ve met with hundreds of organizations since I began helping nonprofits and I can tell you that I’ve seen all kinds of poor performers.

There are organizations that failed to see the writing on the wall while others simply treated their donors poorly.

There are those that developed poor habits and structures over time that finally came crumbling down like a house of cards.

Many just couldn’t get out of their own way, creating too much process and drama that eventually drove their staff to work hard but hardly work.

And, some actually committed crimes. Ack!!

The commonality?

The single common trait that all of the failures share is a lack of leadership.

There, I said it!

Yep! Every single pathetic performing nonprofit had an equally pathetic leader who:

  • Failed to set clear, attainable but challenging goals;
  • Failed to develop leaders and coach others to success;
  • Failed to give money to their own organization (and I’m not just talking about token gifts because they had to do it);
  • Failed to provide an optimistic yet realistic vision for the future that made people want to jump on-board;
  • Failed to be open, honest and transparent about everything;
  • Failed to be decisive;
  • Failed to put him or herself in other people’s shoes (empathy);
  • Fail to be self-aware;
  • And, failed to lead by example.

My heart breaks.

Every day I hear stories from our friends and customers. Many tell me about how much they love their leaders and how much they appreciate working for them. But others, sadly, gripe about their leaders (including their boards).

Feedback loops.

At MarketSmart we all get ‘peer reviewed’. Since we love surveys so much, we send out a survey to all our staff asking them to critique one another. The staff even ask to get peer reviewed because they want to grow and improve. I ask my staff to review me too. I recommend all nonprofit leaders do the same.

Life is too short for bullsh#t.

So, if your leadership sucks and you can muster some courage, print-out this post and anonymously slip it under your leader’s door or give it to a board member. Hopefully, they’ll get the message.

If not, don’t waste your life working for someone who is leading you and the rest of the organization to failure.  Instead, take your time, be smart… but go find a leader you can believe in. You owe it to yourself and your family to do so.

You only have one life to live, so make the most of it!

Or, as Tom Hiddleston once said, “We all have two lives. The second one starts when we realize we only have one.”   [He plays Loki in the Avengers movies. I’m a HUGE comic book fan!]

P.S.- If you wonder what my leadership is like here at MarketSmart, feel free to check out what my staff say about me behind my back here (including one disgruntled former team member’s whining rant).


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