It’s a tale as old as time:
New Director jumps in to the captain’s chair with an obnoxious amount of enthusiasm and an attitude of “kicking ass and taking names.” But after a period of time, whether it be a few months or a few years, her glow begins to fade. Then, just as quickly as she ascended to the throne, she’s out the door — hopefully onto something less stressful.
When anyone enters a new job or accepts a promotion, they typically want to show others how dedicated they are, so they throw themselves headfirst into the work. It’s how we prove to ourselves and our colleagues that we are up to the task. But for a lot of professionals, it’s tough to maintain that level of energy and dedication on a day-to-day, month-to-month, or year-to-year basis. It becomes easy to let things go and loosen up on the reigns. Being a strong leader it’s tough without the stamina and the passion for the work. And few leaders understand that more completely than Nonprofit Directors.
Overseeing a nonprofit organization is one of most difficult and persistently demanding jobs that we can think of. You are the chief responsible for raising money, governing a board, executing and presiding over events, establishing and maintaining relationships within the community, and endless other obligations. The weight of that responsibility coupled with the vastly underpaid salary is enough to wear anyone down.
But in all honesty, an organization can’t operate for very long or experience any success without a seriously dedicated individual leading the charge. That dedication extends far beyond being the face of the organization. It’s about showing up at every event, networking constantly, and doing the grunt work alongside volunteers. Organizations like yours completely rely on community support, so you’ve got to be out in the community as a strong, respectable representation of the brand.
The best Nonprofit Directors in the world eat, sleep, and dream their organization, because that’s often what it takes to build something special.
We understand how thankless and tiring this job is, but it takes a special kind of person to do it. And if you are the type of person, then you are needed somewhere. You’ve got a lot of work ahead of you but you have the power to make a real impact on the lives of others.