graphic with word success on a road with arrow pointing forward characteristics successful MGOsJeff and I were driving up the New Jersey Turnpike earlier this week, and we were talking about our usual stuff. Then we got onto the subject of what makes MGOs successful. We agreed that it was necessary to have the usual list of relationship, sales and communication skills, and all the other attributes of successful MGOs that you can find us writing about in this blog.
And we touched on the need to understand good strategy and moves management, etc. These are things we all know. It’s a good list.
Then I said: “You know, Jeff, a MGO can have all of those skills and attributes but still not be able to GET THINGS DONE!” I write that in caps because that is how I said it: GET THINGS DONE!
And we spent quite a while wondering why smart, strategic, responsible MGOs often did not live up to their potential. They were so capable – but for some reason things just did not get done, and above-average results did not materialize.
The conversation reminded me of a question we would always ask each other when we’d just finished interviewing a person for a job. We would find out their skills, abilities, work history, job match – all of that usual information – and after we were done, we’d ask: “Did they have DIP?”
DIP was the acronym we used for Drive, Initiative and Push.
Did the person have “DIP”? This was a critical question. Yes, we wanted the smarts, the solid work history, the job match and the good skills. But even more, we wanted to know that the person had DIP. Could they get something done?
Why was this important to us then, and why is it still important today, for us and for you? Because without DIP, no matter how much you know or what experience you have, you will not get things done.
Take a moment to look at yourself as a MGO. How do you measure up to the three elements of DIP?

  1. Do you have drive? You have an urge to attain a goal, and not much will dissuade you from it. You are excited to help donors fulfill their passions and interests, and you are driven to do that with excellence. You go beyond what is expected. You are a driven person.
  2. Do you regularly show initiative? You take action, usually before others. You move quickly and with confidence. You are more focused on making something happen and moving ahead than you are of failure. You initiate.
  3. Do you push through obstacles in your way? You push through resistance and blocks. If there are “no’s,” you don’t worry about it. You try something else. You do not get discouraged easily – you push through.

It’s good to take inventory of how you do in these three areas, thinking how to improve each of them in your daily work life. While it is good to acquire knowledge and “how to” information in major gifts, it is sometimes even more important to look at HOW you work, how you are handling problems, and whether you are taking charge and moving ahead.
P.S. – If you haven’t already signed up for our free webinar on Tuesday, click here. We’re excited to talk with you about program packaging!