are you brave enough to ask the question? and deal with the answer?

"I don't believe organizations should exist just for the sake of existing."

That's what I said to our nonprofit Board at their retreat--just two months after beginning my stint as Executive Director.  And then I said that if I ever believed our organization wasn't necessary anymore, I would tell them.  Yowza.

It was scary stuff to put out there.

Try it right now.  Just in your head.  For your nonprofit or business or fabulous-group-that-you-lead.  

Is it still necessary?

And yes indeed, it's smart to ask if the need is still there--the need that caused you to start your enterprise in the first place.  But even if the need is there, are you brave enough to ask these things, too?

Are we still the right people to fill this need?

Is somebody else doing this, too, and doing it better?

Are we actually making any difference?  A real, tangible kind of difference?

If not, am I motivated enough to make the changes we need to make?

It turns out that our Board was indeed brave enough to ask and answer all those questions--and to make some big, risky changes in response.  

That's rare.  And you know what?  We don't know how it'll turn out yet.  We're still in transition. 

But now I know this:  Simply recognizing the possibility that something might not need to exist doesn't have to be depressing.  It can be immensely freeing.  

After all, you only want to spend this much of your life energy on something that really matters, right?

This week, I'm exploring what happens when you admit the possibility that something big and important to you might need to go.
This post is part of a regular series about leading nonprofits and small businesses.