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Jon Sutton

Executive Director, Empowering Students

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How do I get employees to do their job? How do I motivate them?

I run a non-profit. We are all students and we all lead busy lives. It was formed about seven months ago with the goal of connecting students to charities over the internet.

I am having a hard time of late making sure that people are doing their jobs and keeping them on top of it. Some weeks are great and everything gets done. Other weeks, it seems like we are stuck in neutral. I don't know if I'm not doing a good job motivating or my mind works too fast -- things take time and I need to let natural processes work themselves out. I can't expect someone to work faster than is humanly possible. If they are working with someone, they can only work as fast as that person responds to their emails.

Given this, though, I still feel like I can do more. Our organization is growing by leaps and bounds and I don't want to have the growth stop. I feel like we are at an integral cross roads in our history and now is the time where our organization will prosper or fail -- and I'm banking on prospering.

Any tools, tips, tricks?

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    Mar 21 2012: Really good comments all around -- thank you.

    Stuart, your insight was particularly helpful. At times, I think I get lost in the big picture -- where I want us to be in a year -- and then we get bogged down and miss where I want us to be in a month. Part of that is my inexperience as a manager and part of it is that I'm still a 19 year old kid running a NFP with close to 15 volunteers including 5 full time staff!

    I'm a bit over my head at times but communities like TED give me the help and advice to keep going. Cheers all. Keep it coming.

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