One day, I started thinking about the opportunity to take a leadership role in a civic movement in terms of it being a job opening.

And I don’t mean serving on a board or committee for an established nonprofit, as worthwhile as that is.

I mean, a cause no one is addressing. It’s a job, just waiting to be filled, but the posting is hidden, and the rules of engagement are ours to make up as we go.

What would you call that job?

My first articulation of this concept was “the CEO of the thing everyone knows needs to be done but no one is doing.”

That was too long, I thought, and besides, not everyone is the CEO. I realized I needed a catch-all, generic word that would stand in for CEO, CFO, bookkeeper, sergeant at arms (and you need every one of these people.)

Then one day, in the shower, the title “Champions of the Lost Cause” came to me. About a month later, I changed it to “Champions of the Lost Causes.” The plural, causes, fits better to build a community of Champions. They’re working on many different worthwhile causes, and the point is to get at the commonalities…not only the common core strengths and values, but also the common challenges and ideas to address them and be more successful.

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