You may have a noble mission, but you are at risk of failing
Your organization does really good things. Its mission has the potential to make the world a better place. Whether involved in social services, education, health care, aging services, religious programs, or mental health – it is the charitable mission that attracted executive leadership to the organization and that draws committed board members and donors to support it.
But your organization also has to deal with many of the same challenges facing public or for-profit organizations. Expenses can’t exceed revenues. Obtaining non-operating and gift revenues is critical to success and growth. Effective leadership is essential. Strategic planning to direct the organization toward its preferred future requires expertise. Turning vision and strategic planning into tactical operations requires skill and effective management. Positioning the organization to compete in the market place demands analysis and data-driven decision-making. Assessing and mitigating risk from myriad sources calls for information systems that generate relevant and usable data along with analysis and monitoring for accountability. Making sure the right people are in the right positions to optimize management effectiveness is essential for proper execution.
CEOs are ultimately responsible for making sure all these systems and processes are in place and functioning effectively. If they are not, then your organization is not fully capable of carrying out its mission. Ultimately, the population you serve is either not being supported to the extent implied by your mission, or the capacity of your mission is constrained and people who could benefit from your services are not being reached. It is either the quality or the quantity that is affected.
Nobody likes to be told that the organization they lead is not living up to its promise. At the same time, nobody likes to admit that they don’t have all the tools needed to effectively address those challenges. After all, that’s what the board of directors expects of its CEO, right?
But I’ve never met a CEO who can walk on water, who is faster than a speeding bullet, or who can leap over tall buildings with a single bound! And yet, we perceive ourselves as super men and women who think we have to be the source of every solution, who by virtue of our position as CEO must provide the visionary leadership to overcome all our organization’s obstacles.
I have news for you….we can’t!
Some of the wisest and most effective CEOs I know are those who call upon others to provide the expertise and knowledge needed to effectively help the organization overcome the challenges impeding their growth and limiting their mission. I know from my own experience that when I needed help, the most effective and efficient way to provide needed leadership was to engage outside consultants whose knowledge and expertise could propel my organization in a needed direction much faster and more efficiently than if I and my team tried to initiate change from within. An objective outside set of eyes and ears can help assess the organization’s needs and offer solutions that might not otherwise be considered. Unfettered by organizational culture, history, personal relationships or obligations, outside counsel can evaluate current status and recommend changes for mission advancement.
If you’d like to discuss in a TOTALLY CONFIDENTIAL manner any of the challenges facing you and your organization, at no charge and with no obligation, please give me a call. As a former CEO I can guarantee an understanding ear. I’d love to discuss ways in which I might be of service to you and your organization.
Do You Truly Have What It Takes?