For the first time in a long time, Donda’s House had to be in 3 different locations (unintentionally) at the same time. Generally, we are able to avoid these types of conflicts by being able to reschedule or postpone things. That was not the case tonight. When I first realized that we had to be in three different locations my emotional responses were:
My initial reaction was to panic, because I knew that I could not personally physically be in three locations at one time. Then I moved in to resolve, all three of the events were very important and I was determined to figure out a way to make it work. Then I moved in to anxiety, once I realized where I physically had to be, would I be able find the help that I needed to be in the other locations, and after sending e-mails, text messages and SOS calls, I received more than enough responses to my call, making me feel a sense of relief.
This experience reminded me of a few things. First, we do not have the capacity to do all that needs to be done or to be all of the places we need to be (or are wanted). We have to be able to assess our values and our needs, and make our decisions based on those values and needs. For me, funding and development are the highest priority in terms of need for Donda’s House, so if I have to make a choice between funding and development and other things, funding is going to be my first choice. Second, we don’t have to assume that we are operating in binary (yes/no, black/white, either/or). By operating in binary, I would have either canceled the other events, or altered our initial commitment to participate in those events. Instead, I determined that other people could represent and speak to and for the organization, so we could in fact, be in two places at one time.
Lastly, I was reminded of the importance of asking for help. We can never be too prideful, or too timid to be able to ask others for assistance. The worst that can happen is that someone can say no, but people cannot help you/us/me if they don’t know that you/we/I need help. As you seek to grow and “scale” you have to be comfortable with allowing other people to lead, and you have to encourage other people to take ownership of and leadership of the organization.