Magazine article Success

Be the Change You Want to See in the Work

Magazine article Success

Be the Change You Want to See in the Work

Article excerpt

MARIA, SECOND-IN-CHARGE of a well-known nonprofit, wanted to step out as a leader. Her vision was to create a new model for working with vulnerable women in Boston's urban communities. She gained insight through feedback from her team, colleagues, boss and civic leaders, who described her best qualities as a strong relationship builder with a great reputation among clients. They said Maria's best skills included marketing programs in the community, managing people and implementing programs that helped women transition from public assistance to work.

But Maria lacked key executive skills such as strategic planning and fundraising. This was holding her back. Her boss, reluctant to take a chance on her, assigned her the same old projects and her job lost its challenge. Getting out of bed with less enthusiasm for the workday ahead, Maria fretted about the future and felt stuck. She could never become head of this nonprofit as long as her manager was in the leading role. He'd made it clear he was there to stay. She felt she had two choices: Learn new skills in her current job, or leave for another nonprofit.

But there was a third option. Maria needed to answer three questions, which would make her feel more engaged at work:

How could she ...

* FIND MORE FLOW in her current job so she could reclaim her passion and the sense of challenge and accomplishment she once felt?

* PROVIDE A VALUABLE SERVICE or outcome to the organization, so it could be even more successful in achieving its vision and goals?

* PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE, so she could move toward what she envisioned next? …

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