Posted by: Don Linnen | 31 March 2011

Who’s In Charge?

Popular uprisings in the Middle East are fascinating to watch. Today in Libya it’s apparent that the rebels have no one in charge. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad and so scary. Who’s in charge in your organization?

Recently I attended a development team meeting without a director of development. Interviews were under way to find a new director – but donors, volunteers, and special events cannot wait.

The executive director led the meeting. He effectively led a calm information exchange and critical priority setting. He encouraged the formation of new processes without mandating how the team will work for the future fundraising boss. He included the entire department and even a few from outside.

This was unique. Too often I’ve seen good organizations drift without a permanent leader and important meetings occur between just a few managers. Everyone on the development team was there – not just managers. What better way to capture ALL ideas that need exploring, mistakes that need analyzing, and plans that need preparing?

Watch the evening news.  Learn from the mistakes of Libyan rebels. Who knew they would be such great learning opportunities for us?

Here’s to those who are willing to step in to lead. And to those who follow with an eye to the future.

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