Monday, August 18, 2008

Saying No

In the social services sector, there are periodic opportunities to take on a new program with government funding. Given that most services are cash-strapped, additional funding can often be quite tempting. One of my first moves as a network manager was to tell a senior manager that we should say no to one of these opportunities. He seemed surprised at the time - as if the thought had never occurred to him. It wasn't until later that he came back to me and acknowledged that the decision was the right one and that it had been an important learning occasion for him.

A few years later, it's easy for me to understand how we can fall into the habit of continually seeking out new opportunities and become less discerning with what we take on. Perhaps we all need to be reminded occasionally that we don't have to do everything, that some things are better left to others and that our values should always hold us accountable to the way we engage in mission.

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