• burnout,  culture,  mission,  mission fatigue

    Help your Team Overcome Burnout

    When I spoke to at a recent national conference on the topic of Mission Fatigue, I was surprised by the overwhelming response to the session. Attendees were obviously experiencing some significant work-related stress, so the topic resonated with them. Quite simply, they needed someone to validate their feelings. One attendee even emailed me a few weeks after the session, "It was very beneficial to me to know that I am not alone in my feelings of being overwhelmed . . ." Just like my correspondent, being overwhelmed is common for workers in the nonprofit space. After all, the work is of vital importance and the need is great. That makes…

  • burnout,  culture,  mission,  mission fatigue,  purpose

    Are You Experiencing Mission Fatigue?

    I was recently asked to give a presentation for the employees from various nonprofit organizations in the region on the topic of Mission Fatigue. My first thought was, “I don’t know anything about this topic! Why me?” But because I have this issue with saying no, I responded with an enthusiastic “Yes, I would be happy to.” As I thought more about the topic and began working on my presentation, I realized what an important issue this is for nonprofit workers. And the more I researched, the more I realized that indeed, I do have something important to say on the topic. The business world calls it burnout. The medical…

  • board development,  culture,  governance,  leadership

    Don’t be like these board members!

    Today's post includes those board behaviors that I hope you never have to witness. By exploring these behaviors before you experience them, you will be better equipped to address them when they occur. In Part One of this series on Governance, we talked about board service in general including the basic responsibilities of board members.  Before reading part two of the series, I encourage you to start with the Board service basics. Board member characteristics I hope you never encounter: Absentee: This is the member who is using the role as a resume builder or status symbol or who is serving because of their professional role, but who really isn't interested…

  • culture,  governance,  leadership,  performance management,  values

    Workplace Bullies

    Bullying in the workplace is a serious problem that doesn't get enough attention. Having experienced workplace bullying, I can attest that it makes work life unbearable.  It affects workers, productivity, and culture in significant ways, but is too often ignored.  In our consulting work at Leadership Bridges we often (but certainly not always) find that organizations experiencing dysfunction also have a history of harassment and bullying. Pamela Lutgen-Sandvik, Gary Namie, and Ruth Namie, in their article Workplace Bullying: Causes, Consequences, and Corrections, define workplace bullying as "repeated, health-harming mistreatment that takes one or more of the following forms: verbal abuse; offensive conduct and behaviors that are threatening, humiliating or intimidating;…

  • culture,  leadership,  performance management,  team building,  transitions

    The tainted star

    We’ve all met them. Many of us have worked with them. And sometimes we have had to fire them. The “them” I am talking about are those star performers who also have issues relating to those around them. If you give this star an assignment they can perform independently, they excel. But once you pair them with others, the trouble begins.  You often don’t recognize the signs quickly either. In my experience, these stars tend to be self-starters. they have great skills in project management, research, and follow through. On the one hand, you appreciate how well they perform the tasks and projects you assign them. But conversely they tend…

  • culture,  leadership,  team building

    Teamwork: The Secret Sauce

    The value of solid teams – and teamwork – cannot be overstated. As proof, I point you to the daring rescue of the Thai soccer team and their coach from a flooded cave. It took the effort, wisdom, and planning of over 1,000 volunteers working through the problem, devising a plan, teaching the kids, and tending to the complicated logistics of the seemingly impossible rescue effort. We celebrate the divers and the medical professionals – and should. But even the volunteers feeding the rescuers or driving the shuttles back and forth to the site were vital members of the team that brought these kids to safety. During my career, I have…

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