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Why, What’s My Purpose, Am I Living a Purposeful Life? – Blog Post by Laurie Rovin

By Laurie Rovin

“Why, What’s My Purpose, Am I living a purposeful life?”  These were questions attendees of May’s Shine the Light Nonprofit Forum pondered as Jovian Zayne and Tan Davis inspired the audience.  Jovian and Tan Davis had us all leading forward, and examining the mindset of our own nonprofit leadership.

Being in an innovative environment like The Warehouse Theater had us exploring together important question, “Am I a purposeful leader? Why am I doing what I’m doing?”

Since leaving Pendleton Place, these thoughts have been top of mind, yet, I never connected the dots that these were questions critical to anyone’s life journey – nonprofit or not.  Attending last month’s session highlighted important mindsets of the innovative nonprofit leader:

  1. Know your purpose, what values are at your core and/or are those values resonating at your organization?
  2. Culture Matters – I have learned how critically important it is to always be mindful of the workplace culture.  Are employees engaged?  Are you asking questions, examining the current culture, and most importantly, model the culture that you envision for your organization?
  3. People First!  Invest in the personal and professional growth of team members and allow them to shine.  You, me, we’re just a piece of the puzzle – people are our business, so let’s not forget about the people who help us to be successful.
  4. Diversity and Inclusion – it’s not as simple as black and white.  To be an effective nonprofit, as leaders it is important to create an environment that is welcome of diverse opinions, and, creating opportunities for inclusion will create an engaged environment, which will result in outcomes.

Whether you’re seeking to strengthen your current organization or seeking new opportunities (like me,) these are important points that merit periodic reminding.  Jovian and Tan also shared that being mindful alone is not enough, to be effective data must be incorporated.  Data helps us to understand impact and fosters decision making.  Data has been an important tool in my nonprofit work, and both of my last employers used data to assess our work & drive decisions.

Are we bold enough to make sure that ALL team members – staff and board of directors understand the “why” behind the data?  Getting to that why – understanding the purpose –  creates transparency for the organization and motivates everyone to stand behind decisions.

The session ended with pointing out the key to innovation – What if? Why not? Is there a better way? “the better the question, the better the answer, the better the world works.”   This session reminded me of a Pendleton Place staff meeting that incorporated two short videos to help us address our changing culture. It’s not about the Nail and The Innovation of Innovation.

I believe that attending the Shine the Light Nonprofit forums is a must for all nonprofit leaders and board members.  The July 12th session, “Creating a Vibrant Culture that Fosters Forward Thinking” I’m sure will not disappoint.  Let’s learn together, will you join me?

Posted June 03, 2016 in: Blog by Guest Blogger

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