"It seems nearly impossible for us to believe that any good can come from powerlessness. In this country of pioneers and self-made people, in which ambition is praised from the first moment we enter school until we enter the competitive world of free enterprise, we cannot imagine that any good can come from giving up power or not even desiring it. The all-pervasive conviction in our society is that power is good and that those possessing it can only desire more of it."
Today is the last day for our summer interns. They have been just what we needed and have brought much needed energy to our org. We pray for their futures. Thanks everyone or your hard work, open minds, an great attitudes.
We are scraping paint today and thinking about NL projects. Projects like these make us wonder why anyone would ever take on our projects. We are often asked to do things for others that we often don’t want to do for ourselves. The challenges of helping others are many, but our volunteers continue to surprise us.
I’ve had to kill a few great ideas lately and it always sucks. These ideas have been a culmination of a few years of learning from what works and what doesn’t. They were great ideas, but ultimately had bad timing. You may even question at this point whether it was a good idea or not, and you’d be right in asking that question.
However, it’s hard to kill them when you’ve invested time and resources into their development, and even got the right people on board to execute them. The tough calls in leadership must be made and ultimately those ideas have to be put aside.
The great hope in killed ideas is that there are elements of that idea you can hold onto or adapt to another area or idea you’re working on. In your frustration, be careful not to give up completely and let the often overwhelming thought of, “What’s next?” take over and loose your focus.
The space between vision and execution is a lonely and desolate place to be most of the time. I’m spending a lot of time there this year as I try to figure out what NL is going to be like in the next 12-18 months and in-turn, what I’m going to be like as a result of that. No one feels this space more than the person with the vision. They have the vision and often have a good idea of the steps necessary to move forward, but lack the immediate ability to accomplish those steps. They feel like they’re standing alone on the step their on and are patiently waiting for the next step to appear in order to keep moving.
The success of the NeighborLink model over the past couple of years has brought us to our capacity limits in what one person can do. We’re maxed out in Fort Wayne and with what our model can handle when it comes to successfully supporting our affiliates and non-affiliates in the NeighborLink Network. Fortunately, we have a great board of directors, great affiliate and non-affiliate directors, and the resources to sustain and thrive where we’re at.
Figuring out what to do next based on the demand, changes in technology, and the visions we have is where that gap between the vision and executing on the vision get broad and challenging.
I have no problem dreaming about what could be. I even have several ideas on what we should be doing in order to equip ourselves for the future and to position us locally and nationally as a successful model that can fulfill our mission of leveraging technology to mobilize the church to perform practical neighbor-to-neighbor expressions of God’s love. Dreams and visions are the easy part for me. Executing on those is the hard part.
Part of it is that it’s not necessarily in my gift mix to be the driving agent on an idea, so it’s tough for me. The other part is the nature of our organization doesn’t necessarily attract people that are ready to throw money towards helping us fulfill that mission from an operational support basis. Our model relies on generous donors and foundations that believe that the work we’re able to do is impacting the community in a way that no other organization is capable of doing.
We currently have some major hurdles to overcome in order to get to the level that we need to be. Finding resources to bring on staff and work on the website as the pace we feel we need to is no small task. So, I feel that space between having a great vision and not knowing exactly how to execute on that vision.
This season requires a commitment to staying on track, focusing on the work at hand, and sharing the visions with anyone who’s up for listening with the hope they hold the elements I need to move that vision one step further down the road.