For Impact


Sacred Cows & Baggage

For Impact Ideas | | Tom Suddes

NOW is a great time to turn our SACRED COWS into HAMBURGER! NOW is a great time to shed our BAGGAGE which is holding us back and keeping us from making QUANTUM LEAPS!

In all of my recent trainings (Ireland, 2 Colleges, Junior Achievement, Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits) I have asked the group to spend time at their table writing down the SACRED COWS of both the Industry (Third Sector, Fundraising, etc.) and their particular Organization. I usually provide some ‘yeast‘ with things like special events are not ‘special’ and not ‘events’. ‘Donors’ hate to go. Staff hates to put them on. The ‘triple net‘ is a very poor return-on-energy, return-on-investment. Or, why you can’t ask on the first date.

I find it fascinating that allowing people to talk about their SACRED COWS and the BAGGAGE that they are carrying around unleashes such enthusiastic response.

*I encourage them not to just ‘vent‘, but rather talk about real issues that need to be dealt with… and that are still happening because “It’s the way we’ve always done it.”

It’s the end of the calendar year. Just a few weeks away from the holidays and then a NEW YEAR/NEW START. It’s a great time of the year to gather the Team together and talk about turning all those SACRED COWS into HAMBURGER and dumping all the BAGGAGE that we are carrying.

Special Note: On my trip around the world, I actually saw those ‘sacred cows’ walking around the streets in India. I also learned that once those cows became too old or died, the carcasses would be shipped across the border and turned into hamburger.

Along those same lines, a Hindu sage, Ramana Maharshi, asks: “Would you carry your luggage on your head while on board a train?” He says we are not lessening the burden of the train by keeping it on our head, but only straining ourselves unnecessarily.