“New Beginnings Are Difficult…”



Blog submitted by Ellen Faye, CPO®, Immediate Past President, NAPO

… so spoke my son Alex in a speech he gave when he turned 13. Yes! For a child going to a new school, or summer camp, or moving to new town these are challenges that cause angst or, as his younger brother Max would say, “give me butterflies in my tummy!” Not until he was 7 or 8 did he realize that butterflies were not alive flying around in his tummy! I know, cute, right?

Now, my boys are 24 and 21. As we grow and have new experiences we gain the insight that doing new things are in fact challenging and angst-causing. It is simply part of the human condition to fear the unknown. However, we also learn that only by “doing” do we grow and create the opportunities to live a full life, be our best self, and give meaning to the things we do.

What new beginning are you facing this week?

This week begins the nominations/election cycle for the NAPO National Board of Directors. Serving in leadership for NAPO, or any entity for that matter, absolutely pushes you into a new place and unknown situations. The unfamiliar can be scary, like speaking in front of 600 members at our annual conference, but wow – what an opportunity! The first time I did in in 2010 it was terrifying. And by 2017, I relished that moment. Approving a seven-figure budget; speaking to national media; leading planning meetings; building teams: Sure those are all scary at the beginning, but all of these experiences have helped to form who I am – as a leader, as a professional, and as a human being. I would not be who I am today without having taken that risk and having stepped into NAPO National leadership. The benefits are many and the risk? 1000% worthwhile!

Next May we install a new Board at NAPO and it will be my first time in seven years not on that stage. As NAPO Immediate Past President one of my responsibilities is to chair the Nominating/Leadership Development Committee and lead the committee in bringing the best and brightest onto the Board of Directors. It’s easy to click off and say nope…not doing that. Yet, we all know that the best things in life are never easy. Is this your year to step out of your comfort zone and serve? If you are a NAPO member I urge you to review what your current leaders have shared in the section The Rewards of Board Service. In a nutshell, by stepping out of what’s easy into something challenging and new, we find fulfillment from collaboration, gratification from making an impact, and joy from sharing the experience with “thoughtful, committed, diverse, and fun colleagues.”

Yes, new beginnings may be difficult, but the best things in life are never easy.

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