Sunday, November 25, 2007

Start Where You Are

After much thinking and reflection, I (for now, at least) have decided to take a year to research, study, gain experience and exposure, as well as find my voice and build momentum before I incorporate as a non-profit. I've been reading these insightful books on non-profits and social sectors and they've described what it takes to be not just a good organization, but a great one. One of the major points they make is to vision the organization beyond one's own lifetime. If I can envision this organization beyond myself -- and greater than myself -- it will develop much more effectively, with precision and definitive impact.

Many of my peers share the same goals, passions and drive. What differentiates us is our experience in the social sector -- something i am just beginning to understand. I think it's great how much insight, connection, and awareness they have, like a quarterback calling out plays, inherently aware of where and how and at what point you want to throw the ball. Me, well I'm still here futzing around with the playbook!

So I decided to create this blog to help record my progress for the year. There's this incredibly inspiring woman, Rosetta Thurman, who blogs about non-profit professionals changing the face of the social sector. She writes wonderfully about leadership:

Having the courage to speak out about anything is a challenge, but when it is especially personal or compelling to you is when it most needs to be done. Our most authentic and inspirational leaders were able to move people to social change because they pulled the courage to speak out and act on what they believed was right from the very belly of their being.

We've all got skills and talents and ideas. For young nonprofit professionals with incredible idealism and passion to boot, it seems that the only thing standing between the problems and the solutions is having the courage to step forward and take action .

The "Courage to Lead" is my own stepping forward and taking action. I grew up pretty shy and pretty self-reliant, thinking I'd just be okay minding my own business, working for some firm. But life happens and life has made me see things and how we're connected to those things in an entirely new way. Once we realize we have a vision and have this intense desire to communicate that vision with the whole world... well there's no turning back. We can't get back into the comfort of our shell. We have to move forward, with courage, hope and discipline. That's where I'm starting. First with hope, then with discipline and courage will soon follow!


Rebecca said...

I love how you talk about the fact that there's no turning back. There is almost a certain responsibility once you've stepped out of your comfort shell. It would be even harder to step back into it, more so than it was to step out. But that's good. Because as you say, the courage to lead is transforming. Great post.


Great post!

My favorite blogs are the ones where the writer's heart makes an appearance every now and then - proof that it's actually a human being behind publish and save as draft. These days, communication is often done through impersonal emails, IMs, text messages, blogs with just the facts - and it's only through the "heart" that sometimes slips in and out do we really get to experience a personal connection with another being, something that is slowly dying as we compromise it for the jetson years.

I'm happy you found the hope and the courage to share your path with the rest of the world. I look forward to following along!

AW said...

Thanks Rebecca and Marichelle for making my first comments! The courage to lead also means having the courage to make mistakes! With every bit of experience we learn even more. All of this is a bit scary for me but as they say, courage is doing it despite fear. Thanks again!!!

Rosetta Thurman said...

Hey Amanda! I love where you're going with this blog. It's so authentic to what the nonprofit sector is all about (and should be) - your passion. Thanks for joing the blogosphere - I'll be reading!

AW said...

thanks rosetta! i'm so excited to be apart of the community!