Andy Hill wrote an excellent book entitled Be Quick–But Don’t Hurry with the legendary John Wooden, his former basketball coach at UCLA. For any manager or leader, Hill’s book is well worth reading. I did so for the first time over ten years ago. I came back to it again recently and find that it still holds up. I am especially interested in Wooden’s central motto, “Be Quick, But Don’t Hurry”. According to Hill, the primary physical attribute that Coach Wooden looked for when evaluating a player for the UCLA basketball teams was quickness. It’s hard to imagine a college or professional coach drawing that same conclusion today. [Read more…]
This morning a memory popped into my head from my earliest days as a fundraising consultant. It was one of my first meetings with my Vice President and I was expected to present a plan for a client project. I came to the meeting with several suggestions (but no definite idea) about how we could proceed.
You’re restless, and so am I.
In 2013, Penelope Burk surveyed more than 1,100 fundraisers and found the average time someone stayed in a fundraising position was 16 months. 16 months! And we know that it typically takes at least 10-12 months to integrate and acclimate an individual to become productive in an organization. Wow!
Gratitude is “a felt sense of wonder, thankfulness, and appreciation for life.”
~ Robert Emmons
In The How of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky talks about how research is highlighting the multiple benefits of gratitude. These include increased self-esteem, better ability to deal with stress, and increased social bonds. In other words, people who are consistently grateful are happier, more energetic, more helpful, and empathic.
Sidney Mathias Baxter Coulling III, the retired S. Blount Mason Jr. Professor of English at Washington and Lee University died in February at the age of 92. I had the distinct privilege of being taught Old English Literature and Poetry by Professor Coulling in 1981 as a freshman at W&L. It was the toughest “C” I ever earned (one of only two as an undergraduate). How I made my way into a sophomore level course (also taken by many juniors) is a testament to my naiveté–an error that only a greenhorn freshman can make.
No–not dirty dancing. No–not flash dancing.
And, no–not “dancing with the devil in the pale moonlight” (Batman, 1989).
What I am referring to here is the dance between fundraising professional and donor. That’s right, the BIG DANCE. The one where you are present, open, and flexible. The one with JOY. The one with BEAUTY. The one where MAGIC happens.
I recently completed Ron Schiller’s excellent book, The Chief Development Officer: Beyond Fundraising. It’s well worth reading, and I can recommend Ron’s work to you without reservation, especially if you are considering the Chief Development Officer Role (CDO) now, or in the future.
While Ron focuses primarily on the CDO, my work as a leadership coach tends to focus on mid-career fundraising leaders at the various Director and AVP levels. You are our future CDOs!
Over the past few weeks, I had a few conversations with leaders I know about dysfunction on teams. Sadly, this dysfunction is a common occurrence that, in my experience, often arises from a fundamental fear of conflict.
It’s a theme that frequently arises in my coaching work with leaders. Especially fundraising leaders. The fear of conflict is often initiated and promulgated by an insidious saboteur known as the “Pleaser.”
I was exploring the topic of “subtraction” during a gathering of a special group of leaders over the past weekend. Part of our discussion addressed the question: “what do we want to strip off (or leave behind), and what to we want to step into” at the start of the new year. It was a heartfelt, vulnerable conversation that left us invigorated for the possibilities of 2016.