Go With Your Gut
His credo hangs over my desk: "May I deal with honor. May I act with courage. May I achieve humility."
Jerry and I were discussing how much we miss his wise counsel and quiet help in making connections with great people.
I could write volumes on his advice, but there is one thing I'll never forget. He asked, "Do you know the time you should fire someone?" I thought, a bit bewildered. "The first time you think of it," he said.
Had I heeded his counsel earlier in my career — and even since then — I would have saved a lot of grief and seen much better results.
Nelson was saying to go with your gut and make a decision.
This goes beyond personnel decisions — though that also rings true. Only once in my decades of hiring people have I truly reversed a decision on someone. I'll never forget how, at that friend and colleague's retirement, he thanked me for pushing him to a new level. It was exasperating, I have to admit. But rewarding!
If you are struggling with an employee or a board member and your gut says to move him or her along, then make a plan and do it!
Likewise, if your gut says to reach out to a new potential donor, or a current or lapsed donor — do it. Discern. Take action! Go with your gut and you'll end up with less stress and greater results for your organization.
Looking for Jeff? You'll find him either on the lake, laughing with good friends, or helping nonprofits develop to their full potential.
Jeff believes that successful fundraising is built on a bedrock of relevant, consistent messaging; sound practices; the nurturing of relationships; and impeccable stewardship. And that organizations that adhere to those standards serve as beacons to others that aspire to them. The Bedrocks & Beacons blog will provide strategic information to help nonprofits be both.
Jeff has more than 25 years of nonprofit leadership experience and is a member of the NonProfit PRO Editorial Advisory Board.