Well, my blogger red flag goes up whenever I hear “most would agree.” So here’s why “most” end up leaving resources on the table.
Harnessing resources is good, yes, But it’s the natural after effect when you focus on the most important aspect of the process: seeing and clearing the obstacles that stand between you and the flow of resources. Once the obstacles fall – obstacles that we ourselves put up – resources just naturally move toward good ideas and projects.
One big obstacle is the false belief that money is a scarce commodity. Let that one go. Did you know that individuals are expected to put more than 10 times the amount of money into private foundations over the next five years than in the preceding 100 years combined? That’s a staggering number. And here, in 2012, you’re smack in the middle of it!
We simply have to overcome the nagging belief that there’s ‘not enough.’ The same is true about other resources: time, networks, creativity, ideas, passions — there’s plenty of all of them out there and our job is to see what obstacles we are putting in the way that’s blocking our receipt of them.
Another obstacle is fear. People use fear to justify inaction. Fear convinces us that the problems in Africa are too big. That the environment is too far gone. It’s the mind’s way of keeping a safe distance, of telling itself that nothing can be done. But It’s nothing short of transformational when you, to trot out on an oldie but goodie, face the fear. Look at it, exam it from every angle, and it wilts under the bright, searing light of scrutiny. Remember, though, this is about seeing fear, not fighting it. Fear loves a good fight — and usually wins if you call it out for a school yard brawl.
A final obstacle: the 30 second elevator pitch. This is a hot button of mine, because it never works. People aren’t parrots. Squawking an agreed upon organizational line doesn’t move the agenda or others forward. Let your partners discover what to say based on their own experience and their own reasons for being a part of the work you are doing together. When it comes from the inside out, not the other other way around, it is not only more authentic, it sticks.
Don’t be afraid to let go of some control. It’s the only way you’re really going to grow.