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Leadership Lessons from This Year’s Bridge Conference – Part 2

Production Solutions

Here’s Part 2 in our leadership lessons series inspired by the recent Bridge to Integrated Marketing and Fundraising Conference. To see Part 1, click here.

As we mentioned last time, the amazing keynote speakers at Bridge this year shed some light on a number of issues that are driving nonprofits to (or keeping them from) success.

On the second day of the conference, Dr. Janet Lapp of the Center for Leadership Development had a frank talk with us about how we’ve been feeling lately.

When You (or your staff) Feel Burnt Out, Don’t Give Up, Get Moving!

Nonprofit staffer burnout was a recurring theme at the conference, and for good reason. A recent survey found that many nonprofits can’t fill and retain positions with experienced, qualified staffers due to budget constraints, inflexible working environments, and out-of-control workloads.

This leaves nonprofit professionals wondering if they are underpaid, undertrained, overworked, and have the limited advancement opportunities they’ve been worrying about. What’s a person to do? Flee to the warm, fuzzy world of investment banking?

Dr. Lapp had some better ideas for living each day with energy and optimism.

  • If you feel unappreciated, it’s because people need 10 back pats of encouragement each day. Start giving them out and you’ll start getting them back.
  • Don’t forget your mission – what drives you to get out of bed each day? Try to do some of what you love and love some of what you’re doing each day.
  • Is your internal dialogue helping or hurting you? Is it saying “You go – you can do it!” or “You’ll never make it. Who do you think you are?” If it’s the latter, it’s time for a change.
  • Be open and flexible – you have to let go of the past to get to the future. Concentrate on living in the time zone of today. Put all your energy in the now – let go of past guilt and resentment, as well as worry and stress about the future. Put your mind and body in the same place.
  • Optimism and courage are learned skills. This means you can practice these each day to bring more light and adventure to your life.
  • Love yourself first – look for the good in you and appreciate it.
  • The size of your dream has no bearing on whether or not you can achieve it.
  • You can do good in the world by giving hope to just one person every day. Who will it be today?