…is when you can still do something to change the outcome.
Don’t worry about the meeting with your boss tomorrow. Like most meetings, the outcome has been decided before you enter the room. No amount of psychological jujitsu is going to change her mind at this stage.
The time to worry is when you can change the outcome.
You should worry when community stakeholders go quiet, when you notice enthusiasm has diminished, when priorities are shifting to other areas, when your budget hasn’t increased this year, when your emails aren’t getting replied to as quickly, when you hear a rumour or a remark about the community on the grapevine, or when your boss or colleagues leave.
These are usually moments when you can still influence the outcome.
You can still rebuild relationships, identify what impresses stakeholders, collect emotive stories, uncover real reasons behind diminishing interest etc…
These are the moments when you can still make a difference.