Executive Director Fatigue

Updated: Jan 26

I've had a running joke for a while about the "3 primary duties" of a non-profit executive director and thought some of you may get a kick out of the "research" presented in the graph below. On the surface, this chart might seem flippant, simplistic or too tongue & cheek. But essentially; a. fundraising b. making amends and course correcting and c. sincerely thanking folks and acknowledging and appreciating their efforts is the core work for every non-profit executive. But this work takes its toll, week after week, month after month, year after year. Item b is especially exhausting.

So what can we do? One colleague I know set aside time every week to explore the collections at his institution. Collections "me time" so to speak. Some staff are beginning to remove work email from their cell-phones. Since when did we think it normal to check email for work at 9:30pm? Another tip- remember that most of the time, in a given day, the majority of the world isn't thinking about YOU! They are not concerned with your emotional state, your priorities, your time management, your task list or even your work ethic. Relax. work with passion but with compassion for yourself.

I've learned over the years that saying what you mean and meaning what you say is an essential energy saver. We can't always blame energy vampires for sucking us dry. Standing strong, being kind but direct, and refusing to "stick our neck out" at certain times can be a life-saver!

Seema Rao, thanks for the work you do too!

16 views0 comments