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Archive for the ‘Mission, Vision, Values’ Category

editorialIn an article in today’s Washington Post, Rev. Ted Haggard, President of the National Evangelical Association (NEA) revealed that “he bought methamphetamine and received a massage from a self-described male escort.” Now mind you, this admission contradicted his denial only two days ago.

To put this in perspective, the NEA under Haggard’s leadership has been doggedly conservative and virulently anti-gay. The organization’s current crusade is to “save marriage” from the peril of committed same-sex relationships.

Personally, I could care less if his sexual predilections were to monkeys or if he had frequent flyer miles in a crystal meth club. It is none of my business. It became my business when a self-anointed guardian of morality pontificates on what is ethical behavior in America, uses a national bully pulpit to demonize a minority group and spends millions to pass state-based legislation to “protect marriage.” Only to be discovered to be a hypocrite.

Over the past decade, we have witnessed a tidal wave of business scandals with Enron and Tyco at the top of the list. Unfortunately, the nonprofit world is not far behind with New Era Philanthropy’s Ponzi scheme that bilked over three hundred creditors – many of which were nonprofits – out of $107 million. And no list of nonprofit shenanigans is complete without recalling William Aramony’s gutting of The United Way of America.

For me, the takeaway is clear. We work in organizations that are built on powerful mission statements and lofty values. We stand as the living promise of their dreams. The government underwrites our work with tax-exemption, and society is our ultimate customer. If we are going to lead, then our lives must be one of honesty, clarity, and even some humility. Anything less is just not acceptable.

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