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Management and Leadership in Nonprofits

Management and Leadership in Nonprofits


Letting Go

Jul 24, 2018
By: Tammy T. Jelinek

How do you handle it when someone asks to learn how to do your job? Or when someone tells you that you need to teach others to do your job? This is what leadership means — leveraging the talent of others to do what you do now to allow you time to lead in the future. But it can be hard to let go. After all, you have done your job so well. You have been rewarded for it in raises and promotions. It’s comfortable. It’s a part of you.

How you choose to respond — yes, it’s your choice even if you are being told to do it — will be the telling factor of whether you are ready to be a leader. When leaving your legacy (by succession planning long before you plan to retire), ask yourself:

  • Do you share information openly, or does that little voice in your head say, “I had to learn it the hard way. They should too.”?
  • Do you immediately answer a question with what you would do, or do you ask questions back to the person taking on the task, guiding them to their own conclusion (even if it is different from yours)?
  • Do you feel joy and excitement when they take what you have done well and do it even better, or do you feel resentment and jealousy?
  • Do you feel bad when they make a mistake (but know they will learn from it), or do you secretly gloat?

I have led for many years, and I still need to catch myself on these questions. And I need to recognize when it’s the wrong answer and what I need to do to change it.

Overall, even when it was hard, I am so thankful that I have learned to let go, because it’s given me more than I would have had if I had held onto it all.

What have you let go of that made you a better leader? Or what should you let go of to make time to lead?

Wishing you a great day, and remember:  Lead with legacy.


Tammy Jelinek has over 20 years of experience in working in and with fabulous organizations. This blog will explore what it’s like for her to lead as a woman, as a GenXer, and as a person who truly wants to lead with legacy—meaning she wants to walk her talk. Tammy has presented training nationally across the United States, built businesses, coached amazing people, and built a career in the squiggliest path known to man…or in this case, woman. She has a passion for being curious, helping people, and making actions happen.

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Tammy T. Jelinek, MBA
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