About Me

September 9, 2013

To quit or not quit, that is the question!

Long night last night, trying to make decisions about commitments that are proving to be more taxing than I was anticipating. In June, I was elected to a national board as the President. This is an organization I've been involved with for the last 14 years. It's an honor to be asked to take on this responsibility. I set aside other engagements so I could fully concentrate & do a good job. 

But 12 weeks in, I'm ready to quit!!

Anyone who knows me well, knows I'm not a quitter. I will fight to the bitter end to finish a project or tackle an issue. I am an activist who has strong beliefs in certain areas, especially around health, the environment & education. I will not take on something unless I can give it my full attention. 

But this is different. 

I feel misled. I feel disillusioned. I feel let down. I feel trapped. I feel overwhelmed. I feel angry. I feel exhausted. I feel hopeless.

But I can't quit, because if I do, the way this organization has been running will not change. There is indications of fraud on the bank account & disorganization around the structure. All of my research, hundreds of hours, show that the previous leader was not truthful in her leadership. It is clear she did not fulfill the duties of her presidency in an honorable manner. She left the mess to me but ironically, she's still involved. She refused to step away from the organization & convinced the current board members that she'd be so valuable in a new non-board position. They agreed, as no one else really wants that job anyway but I'm now wishing they had said no, as her continued involvement is making this mess even worse. 

Last night, after repeated emails back & forth between the two of us, she finally called in tears & we talked for an hour. Clearly, we are at opposite ends in terms of what needs to be done to get this mess straightened out. Her husband, who behind her back has been sending me nasty emails, was also involved in the call, but I won't be bullied & I hope he's getting that idea, as I didn't back down. We didn't solve anything last night but did agree to hold a meeting with all board members, either in person or by Skype in October. I sent out a note & so far, only one can attend in person, so a Skype approach will have to be executed. 

But that's not good enough now. She wants a face to face with myself & other board members, to, in her words "let them see what kind of leader you've turned out to be, far different from what we thought we were getting," What? Because I'm asking the critical questions & laying a new path, now I'm a terrible leader. 

So decisions need to be made. I stay, go thru the process, lose a few people in the process but the organization survives. Or I quit, leave the mess in her hands & walk away, knowing I did what I could. 

Ugh, I hate stuff like this!! Childbirth without drugs, au natural, is seriously less painful ....


Lorrie said...

Yikes, I'm sorry to hear about this. If you can, stick to your morals - integrity will win out in the end, although perhaps not immediately and without heartache.

Elizabethd said...

That's very hard. I'm not sure how long I could go on being the 'whipping boy'.
You can only be who you are, honest and righteous. If it isnt acceptable maybe its time to go.

tljwlj said...

Sometimes things can get rough. My grandmother called it character building. It means to see what kind of stuff you are really made of. Now you can leave but that won't change a thing for this group you are tying to help. Seems to me this one woman has run the show so long that no one wants things to change. If you really want what is best then hang in there. Tell the board what is and has really gone on. If they see it her way then they are part of the problem.Things will never change unless you get new people in to help make changes. Sad that is what happens to so many boards and presidents they want it their way no matter how wrong it might be. If this causes you to much stress then let it go it isn't worth it not matter how passionate you are to the cause.

Chy said...

Thank you everyone for your kind thoughts. It is definitely a character building experience. This pas week was the worst, culminating in the resignation of our past president. She will remain connected to provide the history as needed but won't be working for us anymore in the capacity she had fought so hard to keep. Fortunately, this new development was her decision and not one we had to suggest. I've got a big mess ahead of me but at least there will be one less thing to worry about.

Now we move forward and create a new future for this once vibrant national organization. Wish me luck!!