Management and Leadership in Nonprofits



Sep 30, 2019
By: Tammy T. Jelinek


“Busy” seems to be the standard answer these days to the question, “How are you?”

Busy is defined online as “having a great deal to do — or keep occupied.”

This came to mind after my husband asked what was on my work agenda for the day. 

I found I was tired of saying it was a day full of meetings. In jest, I answered that I was spending the day collaborating with various people to make great things happen. And you know what I realized? I really was doing just that in my day — if I came into each meeting with the correct mindset.

My challenge to you, because it is my challenge to me, is to reword what you have going on in your day — and really mean it.

Instead of “busy” or “in meetings” as your answer to, “How are you?”, try these on for size:

  • Busy = I’m being productive by finishing this project that will make this impact.
  • Busy = I’m in learning mode so I can better serve this group of people.
  • Busy = I’m planning to ensure we make an impact.
  • Busy = I’m looking at how we did to learn what went well and repeat it and/or what went wrong to tweak it.
  • Meetings = I’m collaborating with the team to do X.
  • Meetings = I was asked to share my thoughts on an upcoming venture.
  • Meetings = I am learning where the direction of our work is headed so I might learn how to adapt or thrive in it.
  • Meetings = I am leading a team to help them realize they can do what needs to be done.

Don’t just be occupied — be occupied with what matters. Don’t just meet — collaborate to make impact.

You get the drift. And if the answers above don’t sound good to you — make up your own. Then share them with us! I might like one of yours better and “borrow” it. 😊

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, a GenXer and 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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