Managing yourself

Who do you manage?

Our teachers raised this question during our Area Director training, with surprising results.

All of us knew that we needed to manage our Staff.  Some of us had thought about managing upwards.  Few of us had a vocabulary for self-management.

Joe Ho, my former Area Director first introduced me to this concept, challenging me to take time every week to work on my Staffwork.  For a year, I spent a morning every week in Barnes & Noble, reading books on teamwork and volunteer motivation.  It made a huge impact on my capacity to do my work on campus well.

Taking time for self-management proves very difficult in non-profit work, where we feel accountable to our donors for every dollar and every minute spent.  And even when we know that our short-term investment in personal development will pay long-term dividends, we fear lest we should be misunderstood.

But if we don't, we'll burn out and miss out.  Sabbath.  Sabbatical.  Training.  Mentoring.  Focus.  Study.  These keep us sharp and keep us going.  It's not enough to manage others.  You must manage yourself.

What would you do if you had time set aside to manage yourself?

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