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...

Things do change, if we let them.

~L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables~

Many years ago, I was sitting in front of the television watching Anne of Green Gables - a favorite from my childhood. 

As I recall it now, I remember Anne getting ready to start a new adventure that would bring her away from everything and everyone she knew. Her loved ones, naturally wanted her to stay. Liking the consistency and predictability of the daily life they had lived together her sister offered, "Things don't have to change." 

Anne, excited for the new adventures ahead, gently looked at her sister and without he...

This is the perfect time of year to revitalize your team's core strength.

In the field of fitness, core strength refers to those central muscles that power our bodies to function at optimum performance.

In the organizational setting, we build collective power by building consensus and refocusing awareness on core concepts. With our core in place, we can improve systems, solve problems and build a foundation from which optimal performance can be achieved.

More specifically, "core strength for business" encourages us to re-center our attention on the following:

  • Annual Check-Up (general health)

  • Mission/Vision (what we...

Leaders are critical to the formation of organizational cultures. Words, actions and interactions are the building blocks of culture formation. The language and behavior of leadership has fascinated me for many years - my doctoral research explored its impact (see Sturgis,1997) and I have taught leaders at many organizations how to identify and implement positive changes to impact their cultures.

Edgar Schein, recognized expert on the topic of organziational culture, talks about the role of leaders. Schein confirms that "culture is utlimately created, embedded, evolved and ultimately manipulated by leaders....If elements...

 Let’s take it to the next level. How can you bring your team or organization to "the zone?" 

We all want it – it’s that place where high performance, creative ideas and positive attitudes reside. It’s that place where we are working together, supporting one another, celebrating individual accomplishments and recognizing the role of the team toward getting there.

Creating a zone is a little more complicated when it involves a group. It requires leadership – at all levels. One person, the leader, needs to set the intention and create a mental environment where functioning “in the zone” is a possibility. Sometimes hitti...

It's time for March Madness - the NCAA Tournament is in full swing.

Regardless of the team you are rooting for, there are some winning (and simple) strategies applied by coaches that nonprofit leaders can use to win.

Here are 5 universal strategies for winning as a nonprofit Board member and/or community leader.

  • Recruit the best players. Know what you need. Ask for what you need. The "fill the seat" strategy won't win games. Chances are you will need players with specific skills, specific attitudes/work ethics, and a shared hunger/passion for organization's purpose.

  • Create buy-in for winning strategies. Outline y...

If you are a volunteer leader, practice saying this: "That's a great idea! Would you be willing to be in charge of that?"

If you have been a volunteer at any point in your life, you have probably been the receptacle of a wealth of good ideas from well-meaning parents, church-goers, club members, enthusiastic supporters, etc.

Most of the ideas that I have been given in my career as a volunteer leader have been excellent ideas and for many years, I felt burdened by the responsibility of executing all good ideas given to me. 

These great ideas might be delivered in a way that sounds something like this: "Have you ever thought...

Although I've taken a number of teams on team-building excursions, your team doesn't need to travel further than your conference room to benefit from this group activity. Read on and happy rock climbing. ~Kathy~

I almost missed them as we drove on the winding road on the side of the massive white rock that draws mountain climbers to western North Carolina. There they were - little specs on a breathtakingly large slab of white rock. They were stretched far and away from one another but, as I looked more closely, I could see that they were also attached to one another by a safety rope.

They were rock climbers. I th...

Are you leading a volunteer organization? Are you serving in one? Are you watching from the sidelines saying, "There has to be a better way?"

If you are a tired volunteer leader - or if you are observing one - this article in intended to offer renewed energy and hope to support the attraction and retention of qualified volunteers. There is a pool of volunteers waiting to be engaged. And the 10 secrets revealed in this article have the potential to change the landscape of volunteerism in your organization. 

I'd like to tell you where my passion was born. I have taught leadership principles for 20+ years, but there is n...

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