Lakeside

Non-Profit Leadership: Your Organizational Story

Woman telling her company's organizational story to her coworkers
Woman telling her company's organizational story to her coworkers

One important aspect of providing therapeutic help to those who are trauma-impacted is to begin with their life story. Our stories are so important for where we have been and who we have become. We have had significant life events that are so important to be respectful of when we come to understand our present and future potential.

I remember early in my career, I heard senior leader mentors tell me that one thing leaders will always be doing is restating their mission. And I often do find myself using our mission and values to remind us of how we provide our services, training and organizational culture.

It is key to our guiding principles.

Our Story Matters

Yet I feel that as we lead our organizations we continually are shaping and redefining aspects of our stories that have had significant impact to our growing emergence. Even as we communicate our messages to our own staff as well as those we serve, our story matters.

It provides the framework for deeper understanding of the identity of our organization and how we have brought it to its current place in society.

Working Towards The Future

As Lakeside has grown and continually is working towards our future, I have recently been challenged to re-tell our story. As I have reflected on each stage of growth and development there are so many important variables that have shaped our history and determined our direction to care for students, their trauma and now those who serve students regionally and nationally.

It is exciting to think about where we have come from and anticipate where we may be going.

The Value In Telling Our Story

Some professionals use this in a marketing or public relations context. That is a valuable part of how we are known as organizations and as leaders. However, I think it is equally important to tell our story consistently in our conversations within our organizations to keep us focused on the amazing journey we have shared with our co-workers. It is inspiring to rehearse our story together.

I encourage any leader to spend some time thinking through the organizational story of those we lead. It has a grounding effect; it reflects the obstacles we have overcome and gives us the context to set the strategy for our future growth and development.

Share it with your staff, your board, your constituency and others who will be inspired by your organizational story.

It can be a great catalyst for new momentum for your mission and leadership.

Gerry Vassar, President/CEO

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