I stopped reading “leadership” books last year because I realized that I didn’t need to learn anything new. I needed to actually do more of what I’d already learned. I’ll go back to books on leadership eventually, but for now I’m enjoying the freedom not to read more on leadership.
Understand, it’s not that I think I know a lot about leadership or that I’m a good leader, it’s that I need to practice more of what I’ve read and spend less time reading about it. The funny thing about leadership and management type books is that you can fool yourself into thinking that reading the book is the same thing as actually doing the work.
Anyway, with that context, I thought I’d ask you about fundraising and development (and marketing). I’d observe that many fundraising professionals know more about fundraising and development than they’re actually doing. Yet, they’re all about learning new things.
Seminars are great fun. Presentations are a joy. It’s a rush to learn new techniques and strategies. I love presenting and teaching on strategic fundraising. Shoot, give me an audience, a whiteboard and a screen and I’ll wow ‘em and make you proud. Plus, I’ll deliver top-notch, cutting edge, actionable strategies.
Over and over I see organizations and leaders who aren’t doing what they already know to do. They’re not thanking and acknowledging their donors quickly. They’re not connecting their donors with the heart of their ministry’s mission. They’re not fixing that cranky donation form. They’re not . . . (well you get the idea).
So, like I decided to take a hiatus from leadership books, maybe you oughta consider taking a break from learning about fundraising and spend more time doing great fundraising. (Of course you can still read our blog).
So this is one of the crazier topics I’ve covered (which is saying something for sure). What do you think? Have you ever found yourself “learning” about something instead of doing it? Do you find yourself loving the learning but struggling with the doing? I’d love to know what you think.
(photo credit: ralph and jenny)