Get what you want for your organization (without so much stress)

Happy Friday!

How do key stakeholders collaborate and lead in ways that inspire and motivate others to help get what they “want” for their organization?

This week I’m in San Antonio consulting with 12 non-profit arts and culture organizations, to drill down on that foundational question as we launch a six-month Mastermind program for their top board and staff leadership positions.

When I ask stakeholders of a non-profit the question: “What do you want for YOUR organization over the next 12 months?” answers are often initially expressed in the following way:

“We want:

  • more board members
  • a more engaged Board
  • more young people in our audiences
  • to balance our budget
  • to increase revenue
  • to increase our youth education programs
  • to create a succession plan
  • to implement a transition plan
  • to hire a consultant to do a Strategic Plan”

Then, they usually create their action plans and the DO-ing begins.

  • New community members are invited to join the Board
  • Boards receive training on how to be a good ambassador, and ask for money
  • They create new programs
  • They create new marketing materials and campaigns

This sounds great, right?!


The items on that list of “wants” can be elusive.  Or perhaps the execution of those new plans and action items fall on YOU single-handedly (or so it feels.) Perhaps you end up pushing, pleading, shaming, pulling your hair out in frustration for it to occur – perhaps at the expense of work life balance – and….

Next year you have to do it all…over…again…

Or, maybe your organization does invest resources, energy and time and achieves the items on that list, and yet you feel like you’re still not “there” as an organization. It seems like every year, success is measured in terms of just keeping “level.”   You lose momentum, and the process of meeting status quo keeps getting harder. And, for some, the work which used to inspire may even start to feel “empty.”

If this resonates with your situation, here’s something that can begin to SHIFT this process.  [CAUTION:  It sounds REALLY simple!]

Ask yourself one question:   What do we want… in terms of Impact?  I call them your “Goals of Impact” (Imagine me saying that with special effects like reverb and echo!)

Let’s use the first example in the “we want” list above.  Instead of talking about how you need to increase the board, ask:

“What would possible if we have a larger board?  And Why is that important? And to whom?”

Keep asking as many “Why’s” as you need to get to the heart of why your mission matters.

– Why do you want “it?”
– Why is that important?
– To Whom?
– And if you achieve “it”…?  So what?

When an organization gets clear on the impact that they are having or want to have, why it matters, and matters now, and you can communicate it,  you can INSPIRE others to JOIN you! There will be no need to to push.

You create a movement!

This exercise is just a small example of a larger process I use that can start to shift your organization’s conversations and strategies from thinking transactionally (show to show, season to season, event to event, FY to FY), to a longer line of thinking. You will create something exciting for a group of people to work towards.  You’ll experience exhilarating momentum, precise clarity and ease on WHAT to do, HOW to do it, and enlist people that both know how and why they want to help you.

As always if you’d like to talk with me to discover what shifts you can make to create more clarity, momentum and ease in your organization, schedule your complimentary clarity call here.

To your success,

Kathryn R. Martin

p.s. Last week, I recorded a video where I shared a way to answer ALL your questions that you encounter when leading your organization, and empower you to create more success in your career. Click here to watch it!


Recommended Posts

No comment yet, add your voice below!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *