On day one, I was excited to learn how to sell radio commercials. My new manager shared the station’s staff drama, of which there was a ton, and gave me a cassette tape as training. He also sent me out for one day of shadowing his most successful salesperson, who got himself an ice cream cone after each close.
When I arrived at Bucknell University in 2016, I was thrilled by the challenges and opportunities that awaited me as the freshly minted dean of their prestigious College of Engineering. While my career in academia had seen a steady increase in leadership roles, I found myself in a whole new world. As excited as I was, I also recognized that there likely would be challenges ahead for which I had limited experience and (certainly) no formal training. [Read more…]
A few days ago on my morning run with my dog, I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts. The hosts were talking about their predictions for what the top four regrets leaders will have once this whole pandemic has passed.
When they got to their prediction for the #1 regret, I knew immediately they were right.
It is the same issue that I’ve worked on with every leader I’ve ever coached. And one I struggle with, too.
The #1 regret?
I should have taken more time off.
So simple, and yet so true. [Read more…]
As coaches and facilitators, we have watched our community members and their organizations experience tremendous challenges throughout 2020. We have also been inspired by the creativity and resilience both in our community and the nonprofit sector. Each December, the Fundraising Leadership team offers reflections on the past year. Michelle shared her reflections and rituals in 2019 and Janice did the same in 2018.
Reflection can be defined in many ways. It can represent careful thought being given to a topic. It can also mean the image of something in a mirror.
The metaphor of a mirror feels relevant this year as 2020 reflected many important things. It showed us more about ourselves, the nonprofit sector, and society as a whole. It reminded us all of the importance of connection and community.
In this spirit of connection, we decided to highlight some of the voices from the Fundraising Leadership Community. To honour the collective and personal experiences of 2020.
We were inspired by these words of our community members and we know you will be too. [Read more…]
My values are what are keeping me grounded during this time. The work I embarked on early this year with the support of Janice Cunning and her leadership coaching has been crucial to keeping me a little sane during these times, and I feel privileged to have had this opportunity.
As part of this process, my goals were: to identify my superpowers, understand how could I expand my influence for more significant impact in my work, and most importantly, ground my leadership as I took action on the challenges and dreams that I have for my team, my organization and the feminist movement.
I make it a practice to continually check within myself on my perceived values to move with coherence through the intricacies of our sector and the fundraising profession. I believed that writing down and naming my values one more time early in 2020 would not have been so much of a challenge. This was my first challenge as I worked with Janice towards my coaching goals. [Read more…]
There’s an adage, if you need something done, ask a busy person. What people say about certain types of professional development is, “I’ll do it when I’m less busy.” Let me encourage you to overcome that mindset when it comes to the PQ training program coordinated by Fundraising Leadership. When you’re busy, now is the time to do it.
The PQ training is based on the book “Positive Intelligence” by Shirzad Chamine. The book discusses the major saboteurs that make us less able to function well and sets the stage for 5 sage powers that help us to overcome those saboteurs. The PQ model is one of a muscle- your Positive Intelligence muscles that need to be fortified to help you overcome the negative saboteurs and strengthen the sages. While I highly recommend the book for anybody, the PQ training program I did takes that mindset to a whole new level by providing a significant number of additional tools and resources with which to build your PQ muscle. [Read more…]
In the 1967 Film, Cool Hand Luke, Luke (played by Paul Newman), is a prisoner on a southern chain gang. Upon his second failed escape attempt (and receiving his second set of leg irons), Luke is told by the Captain (memorably played by Strother Martin) that he is not going to need a third set of chains because he’s: “gonna get his mind right!”
As we say, “art imitates life.” [Read more…]
As the year 2020 approaches, it is such a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the past year’s successes, what we learned and what we want to create in the year ahead. It’s so easy to just let life take us down the river and to end up in a place where we don’t want to be. Creating a system to check in with your team to make sure you are heading in the right direction is important. And it can be a fun and creative process that you all look forward to each year. [Read more…]
“Do you want to come out and play?” I have childhood memories of knocking on my neighbour’s door and issuing that invitation. Today I am more likely to be texting a friend to set up a “play date.” But play remains an important part of my life.
When I begin a new coaching engagement, I ask clients to rank their satisfaction in eight areas of their lives using a tool called the “Wheel of Life.” One of these categories is “fun and recreation.” As nonprofit professionals, we often focus on other areas of the wheel such as career, family, money or personal growth. And sometimes play gets lost.
So I was excited to get some insights by reading Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Dr. Stuart Brown, founder of The National Institute for Play. Also reading is one of my favourite activities. [Read more…]
Financial literacy is: “The ability to understand financial choices, plan for the future, spend wisely, and manage the challenges that come with life events such as job loss, saving for retirement, or a child’s education.” [source: US Government Accounting Office]
Unfortunately, the education system of one of the wealthiest countries in the world does not teach children, teenagers, and young adults how to “understand financial choices, plan for the future, and manage money.” Here is some of the evidence according to several recent surveys: [Read more…]