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I was leading a recent nonprofit board retreat when one of the board members prompted me to chuckle with this Marine Corps saying: "We have done so much for so long with so little, we could probably do everything with nothing forever." It was offered within the context of a discussion about envisioning, inviting and planning for financial abundance at this particular nonprofit. So many of us function with this frame of reference - in our nonprofits and even in some areas of our lives. There is so much more for us if we can envision what we want, believe it is possible and plan for its inevitability. Wishing you...

I'm in a summer state of mind at the beach - I hope the summer promises some rest time for you too. (Create a vacation in your mind as often as you can.)

As I sit here on the beach, it's a good time to think about the past, present and future - and today I am thinking about miracles.

Recently I heard myself say, "It will be a miracle when [fill in the blank] happens." 

A light bulb went off right away and my inner wisdom gave me a talking to as she shouted:

Miracles do happen.
You are thinking about it all wrong.
We may think of them as unexpected, unbelievable, seemingly impossible things that happen in our l...

Getting others to follow is a key skill for any volunteer leader.

Ensuring that we have other volunteers working with us also ensures the future of the organizations we are supporting.  We often feel alone as volunteer leaders - that there is no one else out there to help. But this is not true.

You are not alone. Getting others to work with us requires thought and determination.

These "8 Pillars of Leadership" offer thoughts to get you started.

(1) Self-Awareness - What gifts will you share with the world?

You have a unique set of skills and abilities that make you a unique brand of leader. Know what you're good at. Capitaliz...

"Who we gonna end up being?...What you gonna spend your free life on?" We can learn a lot from rock climbing - determination, exertion, connection. Let the music and images inspire thinking about your goals and dreams. Listen - dream - write down steps you can take this week. Wishing you big dreams and clear next steps. ~Kathy~ ("Free Life" by Dan Wilson)

"Take the first step in faith.

You don’t have to see the whole staircase,

just take the first step." ~Dr. Martin Luther King~

This quotation was on the wall in the meeting room where I was presenting yesterday. I was meeting with an organization that is establishing new directions in uncharted territory. Once I saw this quote, I rewrote my opening comments.

Each of us finds ourselves in the position of initiating new beginnings on a regular basis. And the magic of “making it up as we go” can be delightful and frustrating at times. There is no other way.

When my children grew old enough to understand it, I loved to share the...

We find our vision by answering two questions: (1) Where am I now? (2) Where would I like to be? Whether it is personal or organizational vision, we have to be able to put the vision into words. It is important to speak the positive future vision. What are you wanting? Write it down. Then tell a close friend or confidant what you envision. Anything is possible - tell others what you see. ~Kathy~

Vision is critical. Articulating the long-term goal or end point is critical. But we often forget to break the goal into smaller steps. Write out the steps to get from here to there. Give yourself credit for every step taken (check it off). Focus your attention on completion of the first step. One day at a time. One step at a time. You've got this! ~Kathy~

Spring is the perfect time for getting your “house” in order. The strategic plan could not be a better place to start in your efforts to spruce things up and bring new energy into your environment.

Strategic Planning Overview

The purpose of planning is forward motion.

Strategic planning is a process, not an event. At its best, a strategic plan is a living document that is consulted on a regular basis to guide decision-making. It is a collective compass by which the organization and its members move forward.

The most typical pieces include the vision, mission, rationale/discussion, strategic priorities (3-year targets), goals...

Every vision or life process unfolds in steps. We may be able to articulate where we want to be and feel overwhelmed by a process that feels endless. We are hard on ourselves for not accomplishing "the goal." We forgot that reaching the goal is only accomplished through a step-by-step journey. Breaking a process into steps makes it more manageable and allows us to offer small rewards instead of self reprimands. Every journey (or goal)  is comprised of steps. Be easy on yourself. Write out the steps. Reward yourself for every step taken. And remember that everything happens - one day at a time - one step at a time. ~Kathy...

 

A few years ago, I started setting a theme for each year. I'm not exactly sure how I backed into this practice, but it has become a signficant - and fun - exercise to integrate into my personal visioning and planning.

 

As you prepare for a new year and, inevitably, think about what the year holds for you, I'd like to suggest that you adopt a theme that reflects what you want your year to represent.

 

Let me explain....

 

A theme is a recurring idea you'd like to invite. It might be thought of as a central idea, subject or issue. As you imagine a theme for yourself, allow it to become a reference or decision point for the yea...

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