Is having a shift in allegiance from ensuring the boss-is-happy to ensuring the organisation’s-purpose-is-achieved a wrong thing? Probably not – depending on the situation or type of job responsibility. We often do find ourselves in a rut especially when we are constantly unhappy at work. Sometimes it could be because of our constant asking of where is my allegiance; to- my superiors or to the organisation?
When I say, allegiance, I am basically referring to loyalty. Who or what are we really loyal to? Which is it? Is it instruction/guidance from the superiors or the words from the purpose which sanctifies the organisation existence? This is a subtle change in mental thinking but the impact to one’s own zeal and motivation at work is enormous.
There are two kinds of talent I have categorised based on my observations on a typical working adultscareer life. The first kind are the ones who have been working for an organisation for years, who then decide to move on mid-stream in their careers by either taking on a job with a nonprofit or during their spare time commit to being a volunteer with a nonprofit. I think this predicament happens to most of us as we look to solve this allegiance shift within. I recognise the fact that not everyone can move out of their current jobs, so finding a solution to fulfil that shift in allegiance can translate to many ways.
The second kind of talent are those who continue to pursue their allegiance to their superiors throughout their career and this continues even after retirement or when they change jobs. This kind of talent often find themselves suited to certain jobs for example, the army, hospital, manufacturing, etc.
The talents that do not shift their allegiance generally find it very challenging to work in an environment that is mission oriented, or, if there is an inherent expectation to challenge their superiors who have derailed from the goals and objectives of the mission.
Nonprofits in my opinion must find a way during the recruitment process or during their appraisal process to pinpoint or identify this particular characteristic of allegiance. I am sure it can help avoid issues of why certain talents behave in a certain manner. It will also help in ensuring the right behaviour fits nicely into the right job role. Thus, issues that give rise of conflict within a workplace can be reduced.
It is important the Nonprofit Leaders know who their allegiance is to. While being loyal and faithful is the duty of all leaders, especially the Board members, but this sometimes has to be translated to also an undivided allegiance when making decisions that can affect the organisation. The Board and Management must always remember their collective impact is to have that special ability to be an independent group of thinkers representing their purpose of mission such they will serve allegiance always to the mission of the organisation.