People will leave despite how much they love a place, its mission, and its
volunteers at the point it becomes too painful for them to stay. And no one
can make that decision for them. While the support of one's colleagues goes
a very long way, it is necessary but not sufficient. I have been watching,
even in pain and at a distance, the enormous toll it takes for people to go
in day after day and keep doing their work when they have felt unsupported
and unheard by the leadership, the board, and the movement, and uncertain
of the strategy of the organization - and even worse, characterized as
being the wrong people on the bus, so to speak - that this turnover is
"normal" and part of leadership transition. This is not normal.
I sincerely apologize for minimizing that pain, it was not my intention but
I can see how what I wrote can be seen this way. This is not normal, and
even if it was normal, it would still be awful.
Dysfunction at the top does matter. It sets the tone for what is
permissible in the organization. It is part of the
leadership obligation to
create an organizational and systemic environment in which people thrive,
and feel aligned to the mission and the values of the organization. When
that is absent, the resulting toxicity is downright unfair to ask people to
I again apologize, this time for not expanding on what I meant by *really*
matter. The dysfunction of course *matters*. It hurts a lot of people,
people I love, and that's why I can't just sit by idly.
I think I was trying to say that we can get past this. That we're bigger
than this. That our united voice is stronger than the dysfunction, by far.