As our society passed through its second spring equinox under a global pandemic, I took personal stock of my spring renewal achieved by successfully leading a team through a significant transition last year. Since change is constant and accelerating, two luminary leaders guided my daily journey of being a leader in transition. They are, President Theodore Roosevelt and author William Bridges, who pioneered “Managing Transitions,” a guidepost for leading a change process. [Read more…]
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…]
Five Ways to Empower Your Unique Working Style
Several years ago, when I got my first consulting job, it did not take me too long to realize one of the “perks” mistakenly not mentioned in my contract was the triggering of my imposter syndrome.
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…]
Identity is who we are. It is the way we think about ourselves. It is the way we are viewed by the world and the characteristics that define us. To say the least, identity is fundamental and it matters. But despite the value of our identity many people spend little time investigating or understanding their own. I believe the exploration of your identity requires curiosity, courage and humility. Why does this matter? Because clarity of identity or lack thereof has a direct impact on how we work and live our lives.
In my work, I have discovered a unique link between achieving equity and understanding one’s own identity. Identity influences who we choose to do life with, our friends, our partners. It can control our leadership style, who we hire and who we fire. Our identities create environments, even systems. That is to say, the cultures we create in our homes and in our offices are manifestations of our values and beliefs. And are ultimately an extension of who we are. If we are not conscious of the impact of those environments, real devastating effects can result to those who do not share your
identity. [Read more…]
Folks, buckle your seatbelts. We’re in for a long road ahead. If you haven’t moved out of the pandemic crisis or short-term adaptive operations phases, now is the time.
To operate safely and sustainably today, a long view, as well as a creative, solving nonprofit leadership style, is required.
And you don’t have to figure out what creative, solving-style leadership means all by yourself.
If you’re finding yourself exhausted or unsure about how to make decisions in this time of disruption, you’re not alone. Leaders around the world are trying to learn how to lead with agility in these unprecedented times. As an executive coach, I am getting many requests like this e-mail from Carlos (we’ll call him Carlos to protect the innocent):
“I wonder if you can help me with the head of one of my sales teams. His name is John. John doesn’t think he can sell virtually to our customers during this pandemic. He feels he needs face to face interaction with them. Some of our customers are still trying to figure out how to adapt their business and frankly we’re not sure if their business will survive. John is also not confident that our products are a good fit for them now. I’m concerned that his direct reports are floundering without direction. Can you help?” [Read more…]