I have just become a Principal with The Osborne Group in Toronto. At least, that’s the line that’s being added to my bio. You could also call me the rookie, the greenhorn, the tenderfoot or the new kid on the block.
But what a bunch of kids. And what a block.
The experience of sitting around the table at my first Business Development meeting, a meeting chaired by Managing Partner Jane Rounthwaite, was breathtaking. One guy was helping transition a $45 million family-owed plastics company into a company with a more sustainable structure, a situation he appeared, by his winsome demeanor, to have totally in hand.
The woman at the end of the table had been charged with overseeing the merger of two subsidiaries of a well-known charitable brand. She was calmly looking forward to the challenge; able to smile about the likely bumps in the road, which she knew would be there because she’s just that good and experienced.
Another Principal has been called on to help an LGBTQ organization become more effective at saving the lives of LGBTQ people living in homophobic cultures around the world—literally whisking them out of harm’s way. She also looked forward, with cheerful practicality, to getting them sorted out and on their way.
These people, I can tell you, embody excellence. That’s an easy term to toss around these days … excellence. You’ve likely seen that particular brand of posters associating the concept of excellence with a bald eagle flying against a cloud-studded sky or a runner leaping over a wide chasm. But what does excellence really mean in the context of the work we seek to do together?
After my first Business Development meeting with the other Principals, I understand it can be really, really good at something while being down to earth; of anticipating the pleasure and intellectual challenge of untangling tough problems; of embracing an expectant and wholehearted desire to work with the people who are bringing you their toughest predicaments.
I bring a new category to The Osborne Group: Fundraising, Communications and Advocacy. I want to help charities be more impactful. And although I’m a greenhorn at The Osborne Group, I have, like the firm’s other Principals, been around the block a time or two in the overall scheme of things. I’ve worked in front line service, owned my own company for 16 years, sold that company and did independent consulting for five years.
I want prospective clients to know, first of all, that we are here to help. I want them to know if they come to me, or any of Osborne’s principals, with a problem or a project that needs leadership—a stalled campaign, a notional campaign, concern about impact, a program start-up—we are interested in their situation, whatever it is. Maybe they have a sense of spinning their wheels but can’t put a name on it. No matter. My professional mission is to help them name and then solve problems.
I am here to help my clients succeed and have the greatest impact they possibly can.
At The Osborne Group, we are here for you.
We are—as I am—fired up and ready to go.
The Osborne Group provides interim and project management and consulting services for clients in the not-for-profit, public and private sectors. All Osborne Group Principals have senior-level knowledge and significant experience leading major projects. Since 1993, their executive leadership skills have helped more than 1,000 clients achieve key priorities and sustainable results. Learn more about us and our other talented Principals at www.osborne-group.com
Visit Osborne-group.com for other Principals’ ideas and opinions on a range of topics. The Osborne Group provides interim executive management, consulting and project support across all sectors and over a broad scope of service areas.