Have you ever struggled with “why leaders don’t get it?” It frustrates me to see so many leaders stop themselves from achieving great success and continue to play small. Unwillingness or fear stops otherwise successful leaders from learning or investing in the things that matter most. Even though the research is clear that successful leaders commit to creating high-performance measurement cultures and are more successful at increasing revenues, efficiencies, and external relationships, the majority of leaders find excuses for why they shouldn’t invest in these practices (Impact & Excellence, 2014).

Many successful leaders in the social sector feel the same way. Here are some comments (directly from our recent survey of social sector leaders) around the challenges nonprofit and government leaders face when trying to implement outcomes and performance measures to increase their organization’s impact and excellence.

  • Many grant professionals (myself included) would love to hire you to help our organization build a performance management culture. But those decisions are so far above my head. Our decision makers are stressed out and my floating this idea past them doesn’t go anywhere.
  • Logic and reason cannot hope to always prevail over emotionally derived opinions. Some people just won’t get this. No matter how clear it is to you and everyone around that person. Some people just won’t get it.
  • Boards have a difficult time recognizing lack of success, let alone approving funding for learning about success measures.
  • We are all so busy and pulled in many directions. Often, we “glaze over” important information.
  • Our biggest challenge is getting substantial and consistent board engagement.
  • One brutal fact I’ve observed is that no amount of logical, strategic thinking can change complacency within an organization.
  • That nonprofit leadership has a hard time wrapping their heads around the importance of, and finding the time and funding to achieve impactful outcomes measurements.
  • There is not sufficient time to engage in high-level evaluation and measurement – Yes, it is great stuff, but we are so busy taking care of everyday tactics and donor relations, that evaluation is very difficult.

Don’t be discouraged; there is hope. There are successful leaders who are choosing to find a way beyond the obstacles. Measurement Resources’ clients are taking bold steps, engaging their boards and funders, and moving past many of these obstacles to achieve lasting success. They are winning the grants, engaging new donors, achieving efficiencies, increasing staff morale, and ultimately improving society. Why the divide? What is different in either these successful leaders or their situation that allows them to achieve greater results and make different choices, even with the same funding constraints, government regulations, and environmental factors?

This month’s “Interview with an Author” guest, Jim Ritchie-Dunham, has the answer to this question. Jim is a scholar/entrepreneur and author of Ecosynomics: The Science of Abundance. He builds communities that are able to materialize their biggest potential. Through his work and research, Jim has discovered that success and extraordinary results are related to a group’s vibrancy. High-vibrancy groups make consciously-chosen, abundance-based agreements instead of unconscious, scarcity-based ones. The best thing is that vibrancy is a choice! Any leader can choose a different path. Listen to my interview with Jim to learn more about this life-changing information: http://InstantTeleseminar.com/?eventid=63372864.

Once you listen to the recording, you’ll want to be sure and visit VibrancyIsAChoice.com to learn more and get your copy of Ecosynomics. And you’ll also be interested in reading our blog about how celebration inspires social impact.