no-negativityRecently I wrote about why your nonprofit does not want to compete, but dominate. If you want to read the article, click here. I was inspired to write it because of a video I watched by Grant Cardone, which you can view here.

I wanted to return back to the subject of motivation and leadership for nonprofits, because I think it’s really important. A lot of what Grant says is what I believe and I’ve been talking about in my book, “The Rise and Fail of Charities In the 21st Century: How The Nonprofit World Is Changing And What You Can Do To Be Ready.”

A few days ago, I was talking to a supplier and he was telling me (again) how he couldn’t get something done for me. It was a list of negativity. And, I would have to pay more and wait for something to be delivered to me. That wasn’t going to happen. I wasn’t going to let it.

Push Forward Hard

When I told him how things were going to happen, or how he would quickly be let go, the episode made me think. I thought of the countless nonprofit leaders who are trying to push forward. Just like Grant, I push forward hard. I believe in making a big impact. I don’t have time to wait for things to happen. The world is not waiting for me to spend more time than necessary figuring things out or getting them together.

Have you ever thought that when you’re not getting what you need to get done it’s not always about you? If you’re pushing hard for something and it’s just not happening, it may not be you. Someone is pushing back. In my most recent case, I had my supplier who had agreed to something telling me it wasn’t going to be possible. I’m old school. You’re word is your bond. Make it happen.

Yes, things happen and come up. But, if I see a pattern of negativity and lack of action, that’s a problem. If I’m moving forward with incredible force and it’s not a reality, it’s sometimes because someone is standing in my way. He or she may not be doing it intentionally, but more often than not when I look for the “problem”, it’s someone who is full of negativity and inaction.

Social Sector Work is a Privilege

Nonprofits have an incredibly important role in our society to play. They’re out there educating our children, fighting hunger, and giving support to those who are suffering. Nonprofits are the front line. Here’s the deal, people’s lives do depend on nonprofits large and small.

Sure, nonprofits may not be in the business of literally saving lives such as hospitals, doctors and nurses. Still, they’re equally responsible for impacting the lives of the people and world they support. If children attend a school or after-school program, every teacher, administrator or aide a child meets is shaping the life of that child. If someone is recovering from a terrible illness and seeks a nonprofit for support, the resources received by that survivor are making an impact. If nonprofits are serving the poor and homeless in a soup kitchen or shelter, be certain, the people who work for that organization are changing lives.

Nonprofit work is incredibly important. It’s vital to the well-being and future of the lives of individuals and our planet. So, if our work is so crucial, shouldn’t we be looking to make sure it gets done? If you agree with me, the answer would be “yes.” And, if the answer is in fact yes, then as leaders we need to cut out of our organizations individuals who are preventing us from getting the job done.

There’s no such a thing as any one of us getting a “redo” on any day of our lives. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.

If you’re a nonprofit, social enterprise or business leader and you’re working hard and pushing forward because you believe, like me, that time is of the essence, then take a look around you. If somehow what you want to get done isn’t happening, it could be because someone is pushing up against you.

There’s no time like the present. Talk to the individual who can’t get it together and nay-says everything. And, if this person can’t or won’t change, he or she doesn’t belong working with you.

It’s a privilege to work in the social sector. Anyone who works at a nonprofit needs to understand the value of staying positive and keeping the negative energy at bay. The work is so vital.


Author of “The Rise and Fail of Charities In the 21st Century: How The Nonprofit World Is Changing And What You Can Do To Be Ready”.


© 2015 Wayne Elsey and Not Your Father’s Charity. All Rights Reserved.