Internal and External Communications
The most common communications issue for emerging sages is that their favored organizations either don’t have a marketing plan, or don’t know how to tell their stories effectively, or simply don’t have a clue about its importance. Personnel in government social service agencies sometimes get so focused on the burdens of their work that they forget how to communicate the benefits and joys of what they do; and of course working within slow-paced government bureaucracy is always a challenge in getting people to perform as a team in achieving goals. Moreover, navigating politics is a hazardous business, as is dealing with a “silo mentality”:
For so many years it was the silo mentality, agencies being very protective of their money and resources and saying, “That’s not our kid.” I remember a couple of cases throughout my career where I could not find a solution, and doors were closed. I did some pretty radical things to get action from department heads and professionals who had a “keep out” policy. We were just bouncing kids and families in crisis around with no results. It is the greatest reward to see what we have in place now.
Internal Stress and Conflict
Emerging sage leaders find the sources of internal stress and conflict especially onerous. As mentioned earlier, some experience incredible frustrations of working in a large government bureaucracy. Others attribute internal stress and conflict to ineffective leadership, infighting, people vying for power and lashing out to sabotage good work, or the inability of their organization to work collaboratively. Within the nonprofits they serve, a number of emerging sages place the blame on weak or timid boards, people’s fear of change, inability to negotiate, the lack of infrastructure and staffing, over-dependence on volunteers, and simply internal culture. As one emerging sage observes:
The greatest roadblocks have involved finding the balance among directing, delegating, and supporting. Currently my staff members are all women, with most of us in a similar life stage. Since it is such an intimate office, it can be a bit challenging when it comes to personnel issues. I sometimes find myself responding as a mother rather than as a boss or colleague.Download Article 1K Club