Part 3: A Trusted Advisor
Volunteer Spotlight with Danny Markstein
Projects Unlimited, Inc (PUI): How do volunteer leaders and key executives know when they need outside help to develop a new strategic direction? What advice do you have to prepare them to take the next steps?
Danny Markstein (DM): One of the first signs that will tip off a volunteer leader or executive that they need to seek outside help to develop their strategic direction is when they feel or know that their organization has become diluted. Typically, they are engaged in a variety of activities, but the masters of none. Other common signs we see are when an organization’s message is unclear, and the community does not know what it does, or even that it exists. We are at a tipping point in our community at which we must reduce and eventually eradicate the duplication of services. All of these issues result in a leadership group questioning its organization’s relevance and strategic direction.
It can be hard to find focus when you come to the realization that your organization may be lost and possibly is not fulfilling its original mission. The advice I give is for the leader to step back and find a true understanding of what the organization was created to do; reevaluate your mission and vision and recommit. Say no – something that can be incredibly challenging for nonprofits – to things that do not help you serve your mission and constituents. It is very important at this time to clearly chart your next steps, focus on those steps, and hold yourself and your organization accountable.
Want to learn more about Danny’s background? Go back to Part 1 of the interview to learn more about how volunteer leadership has helped him develop and why continuing to volunteer is so important to him; in Part 2 of our interview, Danny covers the advice he would give to someone thinking about joining their first board of directors.
Leading up to Projects Unlimited’s 5th Anniversary on April 30th, we have been releasing a series of posts from a recent interview with Danny Markstein, a committed professional and Birmingham advocate.
We have one final post with advice from Danny – subscribe to the blog and watch for it to drop next week. His final comments will touch on the importance of his industry – strategic planning and communications – to the broader economy.