The most telling are the instances in which Mr. Gordon differed with the bloated NAACP board:
I have consistently said that the NAACP is bigger than one individual (me), and I believe that. Rupert Richardson’s quote confirmed the basis for my decision. I did not accept this position to follow orders. I did come here to help the association become more effective.
You should also know that I have spent the past two days trying to contact prospective donors that I have been cultivating for major gifts. I do not want them to “leave the table” in the wake of my departure. I will continue to make those calls but my initial efforts have not been fruitful. I don’t want to set false expectations. I have, however, succeeded at keeping two important Centennial Campaign volunteers involved in that initiative. That is good news.
I have read and received direct feedback from board members questioning what it is that is out of alignment. You deserve a response. Let me mention some examples:
§ Some Executive Committee members want to be directly involved in how I manage the staff. They want to approve organization structure. They want to make hire and fire decisions. They want to influence vendor selection. I view that as micromanagement.
§ Many directors and trustees do not feel that they have an obligation to fundraise. They are offended when I express appreciation for the success of some and the non-productivity of others. I believe that board members have an obligation to “give or get” money, particularly the SCF trustees.
§ I believe that the Centennial Plan (The “Pitch”) presented at last year’s annual meeting was a superb piece of work. It was developed with the consultative support of Booz Allen Hamilton. While it is not perfect, I see no evidence of a better strategic planning effort in recent years. The staff and I have subsequently provided detailed plans of execution for almost every part of the “Pitch” but my failure to stakeholder the effort has resulted in the Executive Committee asking me to develop a new document. I think there are more effective ways to use the limited capacity and resources of our staff.
§ From the beginning of my tenure I have been criticized for actions that I considered to be progressive. For instance:
Ø We initiated a Katrina Relief Fund that raised $2.6M but were chastised for not getting board approval first.
Ø I convened a meeting of national high profile leaders from across the country. The purpose of the meeting was to develop a unified position on post-Katrina government response. Instead of applauding this effort, I was faulted for attempting to “set policy.”
Ø I arranged one-on-one meetings with the President, Secretary of State, and Attorney General and was challenged for violating association policy planning to attend these meetings alone.
Ø We initiated a Medicare Part D enrollment effort and enlisted Bill Cosby and Danny Glover to create public service announcements but were told that this was a service initiative and we are an advocacy organization.
I have come to accept that my view of my role and the association’s role is not aligned with the board. I am willing to accept that our points of view regarding governance and strategic direction are in conflict. This is not about right or wrong…this is about difference. We can agree to disagree. We also could have found a way to blend the best of our respective points of view but in 19 months that did not happen.
Ouch! AAPP's opinion here. I generally agree.