Thoughts

Weightlifting and Work

My wife and I exercise at LA Fitness. I don’t know about all their locations, but the one near us is filled with lots of DudeBros. If that’s an unfamiliar term, let me clarify. You can most easily recognize a DudeBro by some of the following traits:

  • Grunting (often)
  • Taking up multiple machines at one time
  • An overwhelming scent of Axe Body Spray
  • Meandering around the gym using their phone

Apart from all that, you will often find them trying unsuccessfully to lift more weight than they can manage. That, my friends, is a problem I notice all the time around the nonprofit world.

It’s okay for something to be a challenge. Some of the best colleagues I know are people who thrive under a little pressure. However, if there’s any chance you can’t finish what you started, re-think what you’re doing or ask for some help. This could be one of the myriad reasons there is mind-boggling turnover in our field. Someone lands somewhere, bites off more than they can chew, and then they flee. Heck, in fundraising the average tenure is only 16 months; that’s not even enough time to figure out where they keep the good coffee.

Of course, there’s more to it than that. A lot of it relates to hiring practices, how honest the organization is when it brings in someone new (so do all the staff have to pick up the ED’s kid from daycare?), the environment and so on.

But seriously, think of your efforts in your jobs much like you would weightlifting — don’t lift it up if you can’t see it through. Rant, over.

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