Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Honesty - And The Nut Holding The Wheel

It is said that the most important part of a motor vehicle is the nut holding the wheel. It may be that in starting up a nonprofit you are the nut holding the wheel. So, let’s look at you and your honesty.

Here are some thoughts on the role of honesty in starting a nonprofit group – starting with you!

  1. How honest are you with other people with whom you share common interests?
  2. What do you really want out of it? A job? Board leadership?
  3. You can only have one, a job or a position of leadership on the board; which do you select?
  4. Are you putting some of your own money into the initial coffers for incorporating which can amount to $900 - $1,000?
  5. Can you be up front and tell the people you gather together that your hopes and expectations are for you to have a job or to have the chairperson’s job?
  6. Can you tell a family member or a close friend that they should not be on the board because of the potential for conflict of interest?
  7. If you are looking for a job, what salary are you looking for? The board sets the salary of the CEO, you know?
  8. Are you aware that the board has to evaluate you and can fire you as the CEO?
  9. What are your strengths for this mission and tasks?
  10. How do you monitor your strengths so they do not become weaknesses?
  11. What are your weaknesses?
  12. What is needed in this organization to make up for your weaknesses and to complement your strengths?
  13. Have you read any material about running a nonprofit organization?
  14. As you think about the nonprofit organization what are the mission, the vision, values, passion and activities? Can you write them down on a piece of paper and explain them clearly to others?
  15. Who has talent that is needed but does not always agree with you and will say so? How do you feel about them working with you on the organization?
  16. Do you expect to get everything for free, such as furniture, computers, file cabinets, accounting and legal work?
  17. How will you include the recipients of the services in the planning of the organization, decision making and on the board?
  18. We need dreamers and dreamers need support in the details
  19. Are you a dreamer or a person of action?
  20. How well do you handle your own finances?
  21. How ethical are you in your personal life?
  22. What life experiences do you have that will help toward the mission?
  23. What life experiences do you have that may be a barrier to the mission?
  24. What formal education do you have that will help toward the mission?
  25. Who do you know, other than your family, who share your sense of mission, vision, values and passion?
  26. How are you at paper work?
  27. How are you at technology and the use of computers?
  28. Are you prepared for evaluation of the organization and public scrutiny?
  29. What language skills are needed for the organization?
  30. How do you work with others and in a diverse group of people?
  31. How do you handle supervision? With others supervising you? With you supervising others?
  32. What will happen to the organization when you become seriously injured, sick, tired, move, change jobs or become burned out? What is in place NOW for a written succession plan
  33. Will you know when to let go?

Mirror, mirror on the wall, am I being honest with myself at all? If you are most of the time, keep moving forward and keep learning and checking your honesty quotient. You are the nut holding the wheel for now.

1 comment:

Jeane Goforth said...

Thank you. The no-nonsense resource we need. We have been struggling with the non-profit jargon to get to the meat of what we need to do to succeed.

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