If you saw my feature in #thestartupgrowth (click here if you missed it), you know that one of my greatest joys is helping clients formulate their next steps and then bring them to fruition. No one is a better example of this than Michele Reiner. Like many of my clients, Michele is highly educated, accomplished and has chosen to spend her recent years focusing on her family. When we started working together, she was beginning to formulate her next steps.
During our sessions, I found Michele to be creative, relationship oriented, analytical, and deeply interested in solving complex problems. Her breadth of talents and skills made choosing one thing that interested her complicated because she is capable of doing so many. However, after many honest, soul-searching sessions, Michele began to have a clear picture of a project that could both capture her imagination and intellect. It's called Storied Awareness.
Storied Awareness is a chance to explore important questions in a more intimate manner and to listen, learn, gain insight and take action. The stories and information uncovered will be shared through publications, trainings and direct service to others. Currently, she is researching an issue very near and dear to her heart. She is exploring why talented nonprofit leaders leave the industry. She calls it nonprofit leadership drain. If you were a 1-2 time nonprofit executive director and then left, please consider taking the time to share your insights with Michele. The link to her survey is here. She may follow-up with you for a listening session to learn more.
You may not know this, but I started my career as a political science major with the goal of running a nonprofit and worked the first 5 years of my career focused on women's and environmental issues. However, I quickly saw that the work we did was solely determined by the funding we could procure and often, great projects got shelved because we couldn't find the money to do them. This was really difficult for my idealistic twenty something year old self and I decided to leave the nonprofit world to go make some money so I could be one of those people who one day who could fund projects.
I maintained many friendships with my nonprofit friends, my then husband ran a nonprofit, and my father was the Executive Director of a Red Cross chapter - so I saw firsthand the challenges nonprofit leaders face managing fundraising, program management, team development and reporting to their board of directors. This personal experience is why I believe Michele's research is crucial. We need the most talented people leading our nonprofits and yet often they leave to use their talents elsewhere. My hope is her project could be a starting point for changes in how we think about nonprofit talent management.
Please support Michele's project by taking her survey if it is applicable to you and by sharing it to your networks, so that your colleagues in the nonprofit sector have an opportunity to share their insights and experiences.
And as always, if you or someone you know is looking for coaching, you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out my contact form on my home page www.clairepearsoncoaching.com.
Claire Pearson is an award winning life/business coach for busy creative women - because she is a busy, creative woman. In addition to running a thriving coaching practice which services clients across the world, she tours with her folk rock duo The Ormewoods, chases after two teenagers on a daily basis, wrangles three rescue dogs, volunteers with women's organizations and is part owner of Bennett's Market & Deli in Grant Park, Atlanta, Georgia.
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