Once again, I am seeing nonprofits that are not growing and moving toward their vision. They are busy. Very busy, in fact. But they are going nowhere.
The reason: the Executive Director keeps him- or herself busy with minutia. Then they claim that they are too busy to do the important tasks. They claim they are overworked.
For example, I recently met an ED who has a major event scheduled for 11 weeks from now. He is expecting nearly 4,000 people. He has not nailed down the venue. He has not signed a single speaker. He has not built an agenda.
Why? “I’m too busy. There is too much going on. I am exhausted.”
He won’t even look for volunteers to take over tasks. When he does get one, he micromanages them until they leave, which usually does not take long.
His organization has had over thirty potential paths to achieve their important vision. They are currently executing only three. And when he retires or dies (probably at the same time) the organization will dissolve, with its mission unfulfilled.
What should he be doing?
He should be finding volunteers to take over the management of various events. Complete management. There are lots of people in this town who can and would do that.
If he is fortunate, he can hand it over with a minimum of instruction. If a little less fortunate, he can let that person shadow him through the process and give him the aegis next year. But, his major job should be finding and freeing volunteers to handle each activity, even if it takes more hours to recruit them and bring them up to speed than he now spends on managing on a recurring basis.
He has turned over the management of one of the paths to a retired executive. That path appears to be working well. It seems to be in the S4 area.