Don’t worry about being awful at the beginning. Go climb that pole!

two pathsWelcome to O.D. Fridays at DonorDreams blog. Every Friday for the foreseeable future we will be looking at posts from John Greco’s blog called “johnponders ~ about life at work, mostly” and applying his organizational development messages to the non-profit community.

I’m going to do something a little different this week for “O.D. Fridays” at DonorDreams blog.

Yesterday, I opened an email from one of my favorite social media blogs — Social Media Examiner. The post was titled “3 Unique Ways to Get Started With Business Podcasting,” and it was written by John Lee Dumas. It is a great post. If you have a little time, it is worth the click.

In the middle of the article, the author solicits tips from the three podcasters he interviewed. Two of the interviewees said the same thing, which jumped out at me and changed the direction of today’s post. Here are those inspirational tips:

“Don’t worry about being awful at the beginning. Everybody is. Every master was once a disaster.” — Michael O’Neal

“You’ll cringe at your earlier work, but that’s okay, because it’s a necessary step along the way to putting into the world that thing that’s in your head and doing it on the level your capable of.” — Jonathan Fields

I thought it would be fun to use this “O.D. Fridays” post to go back to the beginning of the DonorDreams blog as well as johnponders ~ about life at work, mostly

When I went back to my first few blog posts, I found Jonathan Fields words “You’ll cringe . . .” ringing in my ears. Ahhh, those early days were tough and painful, but in hindsight I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Those experiences are gold.

Then I went back to the very first johnponders blog. I indeed cringed but not for the reasons you think.

getting startedJohn’s first post ever was titled “Don’t Climb That Pole.” It was a classic John Greco type of post about the power of organizational culture. It set the stage for everything he has done since that time with regard to organization development and change leadership.

In fact, “Don’t Climb That Pole” is one of my top five favorite johnponders posts if not my very favorite.

I really wanted today’s “O.D. Fridays” post to be about organizational culture; however, it organically turned into a post about change and more specifically the power of taking that first step. This idea is best summed up and translated into “non-profit speak” by Anne Frank:

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

In most of my visits with non-profit professionals, our conversations typically turn to what is stopping them from doing something. It almost always has to do with one or more of the following reasons:

  • Time
  • Money
  • People
  • Not believing that you know where to start or having the knowledge on how to start

If you currently find yourself in this position at your agency, you can find answers on how to move forward in both of the blog posts I’ve referenced today.

John Lee Dumas’ interviewees point to the power of just getting started and not worrying about what it looks like in the beginning.

John Greco points to the power of looking at things through the eyes of a newbie who hasn’t been conditioned to think and behave in ways influenced by your organization culture. Oh yeah, I guess John also would say we need to like bananas and cold showers. (If you’re like ‘huh … what does that mean? Then I guess you just need to click-through and read one of my favorite johnponders posts.)  😉

Are there things that you know need to happen at your agency, but you’re just not moving forward yet? Have you ever been paralyzed and found a way forward just by taking that first step? Have you clicked through and read either of the posts I mentioned earlier? Please use the comment box below to share your thoughts or experiences. We can all learn from each other.

Here’s to your health! Now go get started on that thing you know needs to happen.

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC!/eanderson847

About DonorDreams

Erik got his start working in the non-profit field immediately upon graduation with his masters degree in 1994. His non-profit management and fundraising experience numbers nearly 20 years. His teachable point of view around resource development is influenced by the work of Penelope Burk and those professionals subscribing to a "donor centered" paradigm. Donors have dreams and it is our responsibility to be dream-makers because donors are not ATMs.

Posted on September 27, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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