Boundaries and Focus: The Frustrating Path Toward Success
Why do boundaries, fences and restraints bother and frustrate us so much? One reason is that somewhere in our past someone has unfairly boxed us in, and we have decided not to let that happen again.
Or, we have been trained, through the bad experiences of the past, to despise commands, instructions, authority and accountability.
Or, we view any kind of limitation as a rejection of our creativity and our freedom.
Or, our need to self-express is far greater than the need to "work the team agenda," and thus, we reject any attempt, by someone outside ourselves, to direct, channel or control us.
Or, we have never had any good leadership, accountability or management so we really have been left alone to wander, guided by our own impulses, thoughts and ideas about what is right to do.
I had a very interesting experience just last year that helps illustrate this point. A couple of managers called me to inquire about Ann (not her real name), a major-gifts officer (MGO) from another organization whom we worked with at the time. They had an MGO position open and wondered what I thought about her and her work.
I said, "I think Ann is not only a wonderful person but a very good MGO. She is good technically in the area of major gifts, she follows instructions, is a hard worker and is one of the better MGOs I have seen in a long time."
"What?!" they almost screamed. "We heard you thought highly of her, but our experience with her was a disaster. She was lazy, not motivated and more interested in doing her own thing than the work before her. How can you say she is so good? That's impossible!"
I was surprised by their reaction until it suddenly dawned on me what was going on.
If you’re hanging with Richard it won’t be long before you’ll be laughing.
He always finds something funny in everything. But when the conversation is about people, their money and giving, you’ll find a deeply caring counselor who helps donors fulfill their passions and interests. Richard believes that successful major-gift fundraising is not fundamentally about securing revenue for good causes. Instead it is about helping donors express who they are through their giving. The Connections blog will provide practical information on how to do this successfully. Richard has more than 30 years of nonprofit leadership and fundraising experience, and is founding partner of the Veritus Group.