Describe yourself in four paragraphs. Not so easy, is it? Putting together my About Nonprofit Chapin page on this blog turned out to be just as challenging. And updating it was even worse.
I had been waiting to update the page until I had started both my new job and new graduate school program. They both are directly related to what I write about in this blog so I knew they’d be applicable. So, I waited, and waited… and waited. Then, the time came. I needed to update the page.
Putting together the history of my employment and involvement in the nonprofit sector wasn’t so bad. That’s really all facts. It’s what comes after that which was so difficult. Not difficult, per say, but… weird. And interesting to see how much had changed in the last six months.
Do you remember what your goals were six months ago? I do, mostly because I’ve been in the process of applying to graduate school, jobs, and the like, so I’ve needed to write everything down. What has been most striking to me is how much my goals have changed in the past six months.
I’ve always been on the path of becoming a nonprofit CEO. I’ve admired the way CEOs get the opportunity to connect with all types of people, collaborate, and make decisions that have huge impacts on their organization and ultimately the cause they are working for. Three out of my five most important values relate to things a nonprofit CEO would do: leadership, leaving a legacy, and making a difference.
But in the past six months I’ve really been thinking about what these values mean. What does making a difference mean? What does leadership mean? And that’s got me thinking – why do I want to be a nonprofit CEO?
In fact, one could argue there are bigger ways to affect the nonprofit sector. I’ve recently been thinking a lot about becoming a consultant. One consultant could affect multiple CEOs in one week, which in turn could affect multiple organizations and multiple causes. And although a consultant isn’t necessarily the leader of an organization, she is a leader in her own right, forging ahead with best practices in the sector. And she’s definitely leaving a legacy and making a difference.
Of course, I don’t know where my path will lead, and the most important thing is that I’m keeping an open mind. Especially with this Masters in Nonprofit Administration, I know I’ll end up somewhere I can definitely exercise my most important values.
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