You Are Not Alone: Exploring What Matters

You are not alone. It can feel that way when you are running through today’s to do list while racing to that first breakfast meeting; when you wake up in the middle of the night remembering that difficult conversation; when you stay late going over the budget or finishing a proposal hoping you have enough funding for your staff. But you are not alone.

It can feel that way when you are

“Wondering if I really have what it takes”

“Feeling like I’m never doing enough”

It can feel that way when you think:

“There are times that I have ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE what I’m doing and there is no real playbook to help me figure it out”


“I am an imposter”

You are not alone. Everyone feels overwhelmed, under skilled, lost, fake…from time to time.[yop_poll id=”1″]

These four quotes are just a sampling of the dozens of fears expressed by smart, dedicated, and competent non-profit, government agency, and philanthropic leaders answering a survey I sent out in February asking, in part, about what keeps them up at night. In the work that I do with scores of organizations, I get to hear about leaders’ passions and fears.

We, as humans, all want to know that what we do matters. We all want to create and contribute to what matters, and we all want to (to a greater or lesser extent) do so in community with others. These three desires drive why we get out of bed in the morning. They also drive our fears as we tend to classify our anxieties around feeling inadequate or held back by others. Leaders surveyed echoed what I hear from them in my work about what keeps them up at night and what gets them up in the morning.

Determining what matters

Getting what matters done

Feeling like I matter, you matter, and we matter

Funding what matters

My hope with this blog is to share some of what I have learned from leaders in the civic space with you and to help you see that you are not alone. Leaders I work with have shared their tools for fostering resilience, confidence, and resourcefulness. Over the next few months, we will explore topics like:


This blog is inspired by the great work and ideas of the many leaders and organizations I have had the honor to work with over the years. I hope it will continue as a conversation and grow from the needs and ideas of those of you helping to make our civic spaces more vibrant for all. Please jump in with comments and questions below, answer polls, and share this blog with others. I will be posting each Monday morning. Start your week out with some thoughtful conversation on What Matters.