npo leadership: how did you do?

2009 is in your rearview mirror now and you’re stepping out boldly into 2010. I suspect that you’re beginning to have some feel for how the 4th Quarter 09 performed. For most, it is too early to know for what some of the most critical metrics are: net income, ROI, etc. I’m curious about your personal metrics. Rearview Mirror

How’d you do as a leader? How’d you perform in the 4th Quarter as a professional? What value did you bring to the organization you serve? While it is too early to know the granular results on your organization’s performance, you can assess your performance.

Certainly there are tons of ways to do this. I know people who make their livings helping professionals improve their performance. So, if you’re already doing something like this, terrific, good for you. If not, join me in asking yourself a few questions:

  • Did I grow personally last year? It’s easy to coast. You’re busy and the world of nonprofits doesn’t allow much in the way of free time. Sadly, if you don’t grow, you die (however slowly). What did you learn and how are you different? Are you deeper spiritually than you were? What did you learn about yourself this year that you didn’t know last year?
  • Was my personal and professional life more balanced this year? Let’s be candid. For many of us it is easy to be consumed with our work — after all it is important. But having made this mistake (many times), let me assure you, you have to have a personal life. If all you do is work, you won’t work as well. You were designed to need to recharge and if you aren’t recharging, you’re not operating as effectively and creatively as you could.
  • Am I more connected to my family and friends this year than last year? See above. If all you have is a professional life and you don’t take care of your family and freinds… well you can end up without family and friends.
  • Am I growing professionally? What did you do differently in 2009? What were the big breakthroughs for you professionally?
  • Did I take risks and take on challenges this year? This is a tough one. Most of us are pretty risk averse and so risk taking can be a bit counter intuitive. But you know that boldness is the route to breakthroughs!
  • How did your work change the world? Tough one, huh? If you can’t figure out how you changed the world last year, I hope you won’t settle for less than that this year.

So, what’s it like for you to reflect on last year? Were you pleased with your answers? What question was the toughest? The easiest?

It’s Monday, and that means it’s time for a Good Job Monday shout-out. Today’s shout out goes to Seth Godin. Seth’s written a new book titled: Linchpin. We managed to get an early release copy. I’m only about halfway through, but in addition to the traditional linear read through, I’ve been sampling the book all the way to the end. The book’s a winner. In my opinion, this is a deeper book than his previous books and far more personal. The subtitle of the book says a lot: “Are You Indispensable?” Beginning on page 101, he launches into a section about fear and about what holds many people back from doing what they want to do. You won’t find self-help mumbo-jumbo (at least I haven’t seen it yet) but I did find good science and some insight into my personal quirks. More when I finish, but for now: “Good Job Seth Godin!”

As always, I’d love to hear what you think.

Steve Thomas
Partner, Oneicity

(photo credit: Anosmia)

Picture of Steve Thomas

Steve Thomas

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