“It takes leadership to improve safety.” These are the words of Sir Jackie Stewart, the Formula One Racing great and safety pioneer who used his leadership to make a big difference in a very dangerous sport.
These words apply to human services nonprofits as well. Such organizations face complex safety risks. They operate residential facilities, shelters, gymnasiums, pools, kitchens - the list goes on - and each venue presents unique challenges. Moreover, many nonprofits serve vulnerable populations, and virtually all operate under significant cash constraints. These factors increase and complicate the risk profile.
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts recently gave the graduation address for his son’s middle school class at the Cardigan Mountain School in Canaan, New Hampshire. In the address, Chief Justice Roberts emphasized the importance of experiencing failure:
"From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly, so that you will come to know the value of justice. I hope that you will suffer betrayal because that will teach you the importance of loyalty. Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time so that you don’t take friends for granted. I wish you bad luck, again, from time to time so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life and your success is not completely deserved and that the failure of others is not completely deserved either.... I hope you’ll be ignored so you know the importance of listening to others, and I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion."