Thursday, February 23, 2006

Disempowered

I found out something this week that has put me at emotional odds. My old boss in DC was fired last week for mismanagement. One day, the board chairman walked into her office and asked her to leave. I imagine she saw it coming. When she was hired, she had no previous executive director experience, nor did she ever work for a non-profit. But I was there. I already had systems in place to make sure every "t" was crossed. The Board relied on me to make it all work.

And I did.

Now, there are many things I will admit I cannot do, however running a business is not on that list. I have foresight and vision when it comes to finances, budgeting and expectations. There were several times while I was working there that I had to sit with my boss and explain that what she was doing or wanted to do was not prudent at the time. And one of my reasons for leaving Empower was that I was slowly watching this company (that I had worked so hard at saving) being poorly managed. And all my talking wouldn't prevent what I could see as the inevitable.

Empower had a solid staff for two years with no turnover. However a month after I left, the Director of Marketing quit. A month after that, the Director of Programs quit. In December, the Coordinator of Girls Programs quit. And the founder of the organization who spoke publicly on behalf of Empower, was refusing to do so. Two-thirds of the staff resigned within four months.

So my emotions are mixed: part of me feels vindicated for all my unheeded warnings about poor financial decisions and bad direction; and part of me feels very sad that this place I loved is crumbling to the ground. Time will tell how this plays out. And however that will be, I am just thankful I am not there to see it.