Tomayto, tomahto–

The abrupt resignation of Bruce Gordon, the NAACP’s relatively new executive director, sounds like the classic conflict between ED and Board over "the vision thing," with the former advocating expanded activities and the latter insisting on concentrated pursuit of current ones.  Certainly, if the question is, "What constitutes the advancement of colored people?" it’s the Board of the National Association for same that gets to decide. 

But when the conflict is on that level of generality–the Exec wanted to offer social services, the Board didn’t–one has to wonder what exactly got said while they were hiring this guy, and who was listening.  My guess: in hiring Mr. Gordon from a for-profit company, the NAACP Board underestimated the difference between the two sectors.  As a for-profit CEO, Mr. Gordon would have expected (and gotten) a Board prepared to defer to his vision and enthusiastic about the prospect of big change.  It apparently didn’t occur to either party that the Board would regard precisely the ability to prevent substantial change as the hallmark of its own good stewardship of the organization, the essential measure of how well it continues to preserve the group’s proud heritage.  Result: mutual expectations that weren’t. 

Anyone with actual facts to bring to bear on the Nonprofiteer’s speculation is earnestly entreated to post.


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