Exchanging ideas is invigorating and fun.

I had a client reach out to me last Friday about a strategic planning project – it was so much fun to strategize together about the work that needed to be done. For both of us, it was the last meeting on a Friday afternoon. It was the end of a long week and I think we both left feeling surprised, refreshed, invigorated and hopeful.

That’s what conversations of possibility do.

So many strategic conversations have been delayed due to world events – COVID-19 and the racial revolution have reorganized our thinking and our actions in important ways. 

Organizations have delayed strategic p...

Increasingly, virtual meetings are being utilized to enhance productivity, engagement, connection and communication.

However, more meetings do not always lead to improved outcomes or higher engagement.

We have all witnessed some messy meetings in the last few months - lots of ceilings, 10-minute delays for "technical difficulties", sleeping/barking dogs in the background, etc.

Virtual meetings, like in-person meetings, are strategic momentum creating opportunities. Wise leaders choose to invest their time in preparing for a virtual meeting as carefully (or more carefully) as they would for an in-person meeting.

This articl...

As I lay in bed - eyes open each night, this article has been running through my mind. I wrote it long ago when internal/external organizational changes came and went for my clients - always too slowly but always inevitably passing. Like most everything around us, it's time for a re-write - and here it is....

These days it feels like we are on a monster boat ride - end destination not quite certain - aftermath not quite clear. Change often feels like that - one particular ride comes to mind.

A little while back, my family and I took a ride on a "Monster Boat" on the east coast of North Carolina. It...

The “Passion Factor” is the wild card of the nonprofit world. It's a game changer. It can take an organization off track and/or propel it to new heights. It is one of the most interesting and complicating factors in the nonprofit world.

Passion Positives

Passion is the fuel of the nonprofit organization. It’s what draws many of us to the nonprofit. It brings us to serve organizations as staff members, board members and volunteers. Passion is what inspires us to work long tireless hours in service to the nonprofit.

Passion can cause us to question our priorities and explore new directions. When channeled properly, passion ca...

Challenges are inevitable.

Optimism and positive leadership are optional and, if applied, can transform a journey from one of difficulty to one filled with opportunity and purpose. A leader chooses how to lead – each day – and with every word and action.

Three leadership principles are key:

Calm assurance – a leader must convey a confidence that all is well and that all will be well. The role of the leader is to offer calm assurance that the storm will pass, that thriving is inevitable and that the team is capable of weathering the storm - together. It is the leader who stands at the helm and points in the direct...

One of the most dynamic entrepreneurs and leaders I have ever known knew a secret – listen more than you speak.

I mean at meetings – all meetings.

Powerful outcomes require buy-in. Powerful leaders listen. They create opportunities for strategic conversation.

This presents an ongoing challenge for any leader – particularly smart ones. The majority of leaders that I work with were hired for their expertise and they know most of the answers – but they are smart enough to know that they can’t bring about necessary changes without the buy-in of the individuals that they work with – this requires getting out of the way – di...

There are classic truths about leadership.

As I was preparing for a recent presentation, I re-discovered this beautiful articulation of leadership truths. And so, I thought you might enjoy this book summary highlighting key principles from The Truth about Leadership by James M. Kouzes & Barry Z. Posner - classic leadership at its best.

**Principles and excerpts noted here are extracted from the book.

#1: You Make a Difference
Before you can lead, you have to believe that you can have a positive impact on others. You have to believe in yourself. That’s where it all begins. Leadership begins when you believe you can...

As I write this article, I have a major rope burn on my fingers.

It reminds me to TRUST. It teaches me that I didn’t TRUST – enough.

You see, I didn’t delegate when I had a team at my fingertips. I held on too tight and learned an unexpected leadership lesson.

The lesson came during the “Leap of Faith” activity at a Ropes Course. In this activity the climber climbs to a platform located 40-feet up in a tree; then the climber leaps to the team members below who work together to bear the weight and control the speed of the fall.

It surprised me that, although I have a fear of heights, it was not the leaping...

The story many managers tell themselves about motivation

is that it's going to cost a lot of money. The surprising input from employees

was that, while they acknowledged it would be nice to have more money,

what they really craved was basic recognition.

Monetary rewards are over-rated.

I have been fortunate to hear the perspectives of hundreds of employees over the course of the last year. The topic? Motivation.

Employers wanted to know how they could motivate employees and employees had a lot to say.

The story many leaders tell themselves about “motivation” is that it's going to cost a lot of money.

The s...

Volunteers are the lifeblood of any nonprofit organization, yet many nonprofits find themselves caught in a dialogue of “not enough.”  A complicating factor is that leaders sometimes bring a service mentality which actually prevents them from being served.

Have you ever heard, said or believed any of the following statements?

  • It’s easier to do it myself.

  • I don’t have time to delegate.

  • There are no volunteers to help.

  • There are not enough volunteers to go around.

You may say to yourself, “I have asked,” or “I have tried.” Unless you have succeeded in growing the ranks, it’s time to try again. If you cho...

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