• Katie Kelton

Female Leaders, What Obstacle Is Standing in Your Way?

Updated: Jun 4

Published for Women's Nonprofit Alliance


2020 has been a doozy and our June matra feels appropriate: seeing through obstacles. From a global pandemic to nationwide injustice, the stress has made it feel difficult to keep your work, family, and life afloat. But as a leader, you also know a thing or two about facing and conquering a challenge.


“For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

- Matthew 17:20


This promise from Jesus puts a fire in my belly! We are mighty women of faith who have the strength of the Lord to overcome anything that stands in our way. Jesus doesn’t promise that it will be easy or pretty, but he does assure us that even on days that our faith feels weak and small, nothing will be impossible for us.


When you envision the road between you and your desired outcomes as a leader, what stands in the way? Personally, I can become overwhelmed by a lengthy to-do list. To tackle a big endeavor requires hard work and perseverance, which can be difficult to muster day after day. I have learned to approach my to-do list one item at a time, setting an achievable number of goals for the day and giving myself the satisfaction of crossing just one item off. Often, the obstacles are bigger than a long to-do list. They might include:

  • Fear of the unknown or fear of failure

  • Insecurity as a leader

  • Nay-sayers who don’t affirm your God-given calling

  • Conflict management

  • Accepting difficult feedback

  • Confusing vision

What steps can you take today that will dismantle an obstacle in front of you? How can you move forward with courage and wisdom?


In light of recent events and as an organization representing many nonprofit leaders of color, Women’s Non-Profit Alliance also recognizes that to be a female black, Latina, Asian, or Native American leader is to face one of the greatest obstacles of all time: systemic racism. If your career reflects years of being the only woman of color at the table, struggling to make your voice heard, code-switching to match your environment, or enduring microaggressions, then you have shown immense resilience and courage. Thank you for living out your God-given mission. Thank you for your perseverance. Thank you for being you!


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©2020 by Katie Kelton Storytelling