But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood.
You know that part of the job you don’t like to do? Everyone has that one task that drags on them. The one that you avoid, postpone, procrastinate on doing is usually the one that isn’t quite as fun. And yet, necessary.
Nonprofit work is fun. There’s an element of creativity, innovation, and passion which adds up to bringing new ways of serving. The mission is in sight—if only it weren’t for that one task standing in your way!
There are certainly parts of nonprofit work that aren’t as fun. The paperwork and reports, the failed events and lack of funds, the clients that won’t apply themselves and the volunteers who don’t show. The things that can’t be delegated to someone with that strength, or isn’t available, or it’s just flat out your responsibility. These parts are necessary, but not fun.
Some nonprofit leaders shy away from the hard or the parts that make them uncomfortable. They hem and haw, procrastinate, whine. As leaders, though, they should set the tempo for holding the ground and pushing through those necessary tasks. Sooner or later, leaders are held to account. In other words, accountability counts.
God holds people accountable. In my Bible, I wrote next to today’s verse, “I am not responsible for their reaction, but to obey what God asks of me.” This verse reminds me of another that motivates me to stay accountable in the same chapter: “Yet, O house of Israel, you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ But I will judge each of you according to his own ways” (Ezekiel 33:20). If God holds us accountable to do as He asks, we should also hold ourselves and our employees accountable, too.
How do you hold someone accountable? Try these:
- Set a deadline. If you or the other person miss it, get curious and ask why. A lack of motivation doesn’t count.
- Set an award. Find what brings a little joy and save it for after the hard task.
- Set the intention. Realize (together) why this is a need, and communicate it in a way that will resonate. This can’t be done without knowing you or a person better. Understand why this task is a road blocker and help the person to see the importance of what is before them (or you).
- Set the stage by asking questions. Learn how much of a need this is, and how much of it is something that would be nice to have and can move to stage left. Your expectation may not be met, but it may not need to be met.
- Set your eyes on the horizon. Look at your mission and see how this piece fits into the grander vision. A shifting of perspective can motivate to stay accountable.
- Set the outcome. Establish what success looks like. Low hanging fruit is easier to pluck, so consider what is the next success if it is a larger task or project.
Perhaps these quick ideas are ones you can apply when there’s something you will be held accountable to, but isn’t your favorite thing to do. In the end, fun or not, nonprofit work is valuable to your community. Your work is valuable. Staying accountable gets you one step closer to the mission that can change the world.
What do you do to stay accountable and motivated? Share your tip on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks. https://www.facebook.com/HopelesslyHopefulBooks
If organizing your organization is what is that unlovely task that is holding you back from productivity, join me for a FREE webinar on Thursday, June 3 at 5:30 pm Pacific Time. Register here.
Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash
© 2021, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.molliebond.org.