Greetings from Seaside, Florida!
I’m here with my husband this week enjoying a little getaway to celebrate our anniversary. 15 years ago we vowed to love, honor, obey and stick it out with each other throughout the remaining seasons of our lives.
We enjoyed the newlywed season, blending households and children, values and priorities, habits and routines. We weathered “the honeymoon’s over” season by keeping busy and keeping the lines of communication open.
We’ve entered the more mature phase of our relationship as valued partners, best friends and curious companions.Through all of the seasons, we have stayed committed to and in relationship with our evolution as individuals and as a couple.
If you are serving on a nonprofit board, either as a leader or as a board member, you too have weathered various seasons of service.
What season of service are you in?
Are you in the newlywed season? – Excited you said YES to serving. Committed. Passionate. Enthusiastic. Overlooking any red flags or little quirks during your first few months. You are more interested in making a difference than making a fuss.
Are you in “the honeymoon’s over” season? – Frustrated. Not showing up to meetings or responding to board meetings pre-work. Withholding your requests or needs. Waiting for them to make the first move instead of taking initiative to ask for what you need?
Are you in the more mature season? – This can go a couple of different ways – you can be a valued partner or a polite visitor. Are you mentoring and serving the newest board members? Are you serving at your highest capacity or using your tenure as an anchor? Are you helping to create new possibilities and solutions or pointing out problems and pitfalls?
Time to Decide
If you find yourself confronted and unsettled by the answers to these questions, it may be time to decide whether or not you are serving in the right place, at the right time, with the right intention.
As nonprofit leaders – paid and volunteer – we have an obligation to ensure the people who are working to move the mission and vision forward are working WITH us and FOR us rather than AGAINST us. An oversimplification, to be sure, but essentially, if their behavior and presence are serving as a distraction and drawing away the precious time, energy & effort you have to devote to your organization, it’s working AGAINST you.
- How can you assess which season of service you are in?
- How can you assess which season of service your volunteers are in?
- How can you assess what people in each of these seasons need most to serve at their highest capacity?
Embrace the changing seasons. Acknowledge them. Be grateful for everything they bring. And then, move forward, just like time and seasons always do.
Interested in having a conversation about your board or your organization? I’d love that! Just email me and let me know what resonated for you and how I might be able to support you.
With Love & Gratitude,
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