"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: That the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issue from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets:

‘Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.’

This quote is from W. H. Murray, part of a famous Scottish Himalayan Expedition. Mr. Murray’s words go far beyond sentimentality; they are truth. Whether conquering the world’s tallest mountain, fighting the enemy of your convictions or determining the best course of action for your organization, commitment is key.

Although we try to design systems that work otherwise, it is unlikely that a nonprofit will thrive without a strong commitment by its board of directors, both collectively and individually. If this is not in place, it is time for a change.

How committed is your board of directors? Perhaps a self-assessment of “commitment in action” will help to answer this question. Have each board member answer the following, then discuss as a group:
1. Am I and all board members familiar with and supportive of the current mission statement? Goals and objectives? Programs and services? Are our board discussions and policy decisions reflective of the mission?
2. Do we have written job descriptions, contracts or other clear directions on the board role and responsibilities to the organization? Are we meeting the outlined expectations?

3. Am I prepared, and are all members prepared and encouraged to participate at board meetings? Are there means for making non-performing board members accountable?

4. Does the organization have a conflict of interest policy? Have I disclosed my personal conflicts of interest to the rest of the board and in a timely manner?

5. Do we provide new board members with a thorough orientation that includes an outline of board member expectations?

6. Does a climate of mutual trust and respect exist between the board and chief executive? Do we give the chief executive enough authority and responsibility to successfully lead and manage the organization?

7. Do I understand the annual operating budget of the organization? Are we effectively utilizing limited resources and do we abide by written fiscal policies?

8. Do I/we talk about the organization to key people within the community?

9. Do I/we provide financial support to the organization on an annual basis? Do I/we actively ask others in the community to provide financial support? Does the board have a clear policy on each board member’s responsibility to raise money?

10. Do I contribute of my personal time at a level that is demonstrative of a committed leader within this organization?

Strong Leaders / Strong Stories

Strong leaders have strong stories, and a solid sense of "self" as a leader.  But too often, even strong women view themselves or are perceived as being very good at "getting things done," but not as valuable strategic resources. What can you do to change this?  Find Out More Here