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…]
When you think about leaders and managers who have brought out the best in you, what qualities come to mind? I remember those who listened, empowered me, demonstrated trust, offered support, and were dedicated to my growth.
Workplaces are starting to recognize and promote the idea of coach-like managers. Someone who asks more questions, acknowledges strengths, and empowers their team members to develop and grow as employees and human beings. [Read more…]
The world has gone mad. Or, so it seems.
Volatility. The world is constantly changing, and becoming more unstable each day.
Uncertainty. It’s becoming more difficult to anticipate events or predict how they’ll unfold.
Complexity. Problems and their repercussions are more multi-layered, harder to understand.
Ambiguity. Not everything is black and white.
“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…]
- You are greeted with genuine warmth and interest
- You notice you are asked what you think rather than told what to do
- You are given space to create and design, to express, reflect, and consider your thoughts
- You set goals – personally and as an organization
- You experience subtle and not-so-subtle forms of recognition and celebration of your successes – big and small
- Your mistakes are framed as opportunities for further learning and are encouraged as part of “the process”
This is every day. Welcome to our coaching-based organization, Future Possibilities for Kids (FPK). [Read more…]
This scenario plays out frequently at many nonprofit organizations: top-performing professionals gets promoted to lead a team but has never been trained to lead or manage. This is often a disaster—results suffer, people head for the door, and the new manager flames out (and may even get fired).
There are a few key reasons why some frontline professionals struggle as leaders and others do not.
Feeling out of control is a nasty feeling. When we are out of control, we are often reacting to what’s going on:
- The tears are ready to come, and it is NOT the time to cry.
- A sarcastic comment slips out, and we didn’t mean it to.
- We bite someone’s head off…and then regret it.
- Our voice quivers, telling the world how nervous we are.
- That cuss word just tumbled out, when it shouldn’t have!
All of these are examples of losing control. We feel powerless to hold onto our feelings and behaviours.
We simply react. [Read more…]
Listening at the speed of sound;
More curious than an inquisitive cat;
Able to access and express intuition in a single blurt.
It’s Superleader. Disguised as a mild-mannered nonprofit professional, Superleader is endowed with extraordinary qualities and fights a never-ending battle for mission, impact, and results.
Sidney Mathias Baxter Coulling III, the retired S. Blount Mason Jr. Professor of English at Washington and Lee University died in February of 2016 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 first-year student can make. [Read more…]
For many non-profit professionals, the end of the year can feel like a whirlwind. There is often a big push to secure those year-end gifts, which then creates a demand to process all of those gifts before December 31st. Frequently there are year-end board meetings, which create significant amounts of extra work for staff. Fundraising staff is busy organizing with volunteers to call donors or write personal, hand-written notes to thank them for their support. And then there is the endless parade of holiday parties and lunches. Who’s got time to even think!
Since it is often a busy time of year – both professionally and personally – you might suddenly find yourself facing the New Year and wondering where the time has gone. And, you may be asking yourself: “how did I get here?” [Read more…]