When Being Unproductive Saves a Career

Debra Suh had been a leader in domestic violence prevention for 16 years when she hit a breaking point about a decade ago. Balancing her emotionally charged work and her family had become untenable. She was considering leaving her beloved job as the executive director of the Center for the Pacific Asian Family, which she had held for seven years.

Her father had been the survivor of domestic abuse growing up and yet never hurt her — an experience that gave her a deep conviction that, with the right support, people can break the cycle of violence. But the toll the work took made her question whether she was the right person to keep providing that support. There were never enough hours in a day. She felt as if she couldn’t think clearly. In her head, she repeatedly wrote resignation letters.

Suh is not an anomaly in the nonprofit sector. According to the journal Nonprofit Quarterly, burnout rates in nonprofits have increased in the last few years from 16 percent to 19 percent of their staffs, and the rise is most pronounced among those who do direct service work.

Burnout, in the sense we use it today, is a term that was introduced by the psychologist Herbert Freudenberger in the 1970s. He defined it as a “state of mental and physical exhaustion caused by one’s professional life.” He was particularly struck by the ways in which burnout showed up in those who help others professionally like doctors, teachers and social workers.

But others too sometimes feel the burn. One recent study found that 34 percent of the executive directors and half of the development directors at nonprofits questioned anticipated leaving their current jobs in two years or less. Worse, the 2017 Nonprofit Employment Practices Survey, published last month by GuideStar and Nonprofit HR, found that 81 percent of nonprofits have no retention strategy whatsoever, though such strategies are common at corporations.

The revolving door at nonprofits isn’t bad just for workers; it cuts down on organizations’ ability to address the problems they purport to solve. Significant research shows that overwork does not correlate with higher productivity. And turnover is expensive: According to the Center for American Progress, the average cost to an organization when an employee making $50,000 a year leaves is 20 percent of his or her salary.

What can nonprofits do to prevent losing talented, passionate leaders like Suh?

One increasingly popular option is to offer sabbaticals. It might sound luxurious for a sector that is chronically in need of money, but some organizations are recognizing that there can be cost savings in the long run if leaders are restored in the short run. While sabbaticals are de rigueur at colleges and increasingly common in the private sector, only a small minority of nonprofits have official sabbatical programs.

One pioneer in facing this problem is the Durfee Foundation, a family philanthropy based in Los Angeles. It started a sabbatical program in 1997 after hearing of too many nonprofit leaders who quit simply because they needed space and time to think.

To date, more than 100 nonprofit leaders have taken three months paid time off with Durfee’s support. A study by an independent evaluator and nonprofit consultant, Deborah Linnell, of Durfee’s approach found that foundation-supported sabbaticals have strengthened boards, leaders and organizations.

They appear to work best under certain conditions: The leave is uninterrupted and entails little or no contact between the leader and his or her organization. A staff member, as opposed to an outsider, leads in the interim. The staff, as a whole, has access to additional professional development. Durfee gives $45,000 to the recipient’s organization to cover the cost of the leader’s salary, and also provides $3,000 to the interim leader and $5,000 for organization-wide professional development.

It’s pretty radical when you think about it. Nonprofit leaders, who are normally forced to paint the rosiest picture possible when describing their work to foundations, are instead invited to be honest about the challenges they face professionally and personally.

Durfee’s president, Carrie Avery, recalls one sabbatical seeker who entered the foundation’s office for his interview in a starched shirt and tie, his game face firmly in place, and then melted down when he started being asked questions: “He sobbed while rapidly consuming five cookies,” she said. “He was in a really big position and it was like he finally had a chance to be vulnerable. He got a sabbatical and it had a huge impact on his leadership.”

Avery says that leaders are encouraged to become “rigorously unproductive” during their sabbaticals, which is easier for some than others. “Children of immigrants seem to have a particularly hard time with this,” she observed. “On top of the twisted nonprofit sector message that every E.D. has to be self-sacrificing and overworked, they’ve got parents who worked multiple jobs while they were growing up. A sabbatical can feel very privileged.”

Other foundations are following in Durfee’s footsteps, notably the Barr Foundation, the California Wellness Foundation, the Rasmuson Foundation and the Meyer Foundation. Linnell estimates that more than a dozen foundations now have official sabbatical funding available. Nevertheless, that is a very small proportion of the more than 86,000 foundations in the United States, by the count of the Foundation Center.

It’s easy to misunderstand sabbaticals as little more than extended vacations. After working in the nonprofit sector for nearly 40 years, Linnell believes that sabbaticals are one of the most effective investments a foundation can make in an organization or a cause.

The biggest payoff? The capacity to think clearly and expansively. “Leaders who are stuck in reactive or even adaptive leadership mode have a chance to refresh themselves and reconnect with their original passion for their cause,” Linnell explained. “They are able to do catalytic generative thinking again.”

Rinku Sen, who worked in nonprofits for three decades before becoming a writer recently, has taken three sabbaticals, all supported by the organizations she worked for. After a sabbatical from the Center for Third World Organizing, she was able to integrate a gender strategy into the racial justice work that the group was already doing — something she’d intended to do for a long time, but felt incapable of following through on.

“It wasn’t that I thought obsessively about gender while on my sabbatical,” she explained. “It was that I finally wasn’t tired. When I came back I could see the path: What’s the program? Who’s the staff? Where’s the money? I had space in my body and my head for those answers to come to me.”

Neuroscience tells us that what Sen experienced is a “default mode network”— a way in which our brains make new connections and even solve complex problems when we aren’t actively focusing on them. The default mode network is most likely to light up when we’re “mind wandering” — a term for what people often experience while daydreaming in the shower or waiting for a train. Stress shuts this kind of powerful thinking down, as does our compulsion to grab our cellphones at any idle moment. Sabbaticals, done right, reprioritize mind-wandering.

Sabbaticals have also been shown to strengthen leadership teams. Seventy-nine percent of respondents to Linnell’s longitudinal study reported that the sabbatical had been helpful to the professional development of interim leaders and that nearly half of the boards studied were stronger afterward.

Emily Cohen Raskin was the development director at the Jamestown Community Center when her executive director took a sabbatical. The organization had grown, but everyone still reported directly to the executive director. During the sabbatical, the remaining staff members were able to pilot a new leadership structure and build connections vertically.

“Each of us walked away with such a better understanding of how the whole organization functioned,” she said. “It was a great opportunity for us to stretch our wings and build our confidence, and it built the executive director’s confidence in us, too.” When the director returned from her sabbatical, the organization kept the new leadership structure.

One unintuitive consequence of leaders stepping away is that many build social capital while they’re “out of office.” Some foundations invite grantees to meet and reflect on leadership in their time off; the bonds formed during these gatherings lead to new professional connections, sources for funding, and even formal collaborations. The group get-togethers often extend beyond the three months off and function as a sort of touchstone for the benefits of the sabbatical after it’s over.

Some funders may fear that sabbaticals will lead to more turnover, but the opposite has been the experience. Sabbaticals typically breed loyalty and can encourage leaders to stick around longer than they originally intended. They also create healthier work habits, which influences the culture of the entire organization. Three-fourths of respondents report an organizational culture shift toward a better work-life balance, even 20 years later. “Patterns do change,” Linnell said. “Most people never go back to the level of workaholism they exhibited before.”

Raskin is no longer at the Jamestown Community Center, but what she learned there during a sabbatical that her boss took has changed her life. She is now the executive director of O2 Initiatives, a Bay Area-based collaboration by two family foundations that sponsors an average of six sabbaticals a year. She says that in addition to the funding, O2 plays a crucial role in legitimizing these kinds of breaks for nonprofit leaders. “When a funder puts this out there,” she said, “it creates permission for people to think they can do it and it’s worthwhile. Even if a candidate doesn’t ultimately get the sabbatical it can create a catalytic conversation among the board and staff.”

Avery spends a lot of her time educating other philanthropists about the value of sabbaticals, a task made easier these days with 20 years of data to point to. When asked how she makes the argument to skeptical peers, she responded: “We are not just on the assembly line producing widgets. We are trying to make social change and that is some of the hardest work out there. We have to invest in our sector’s greatest asset, which is its people.”

And what became of Debra Suh? She’s celebrating her 18th year as the executive director of the Center for the Pacific Asian Family. In 2008, she took a sabbatical funded by the Durfee Foundation. During her time off, she went white-water rafting and sailed down a zip line (“I’m not someone who meditates. I decompress by getting active”), and also spent quality time with her family. Despite returning from sabbatical as the Great Recession began, Suh was able to increase her budget twofold.

In 2009, Suh’s father died. She felt gratified that she’d stepped away long enough to clear her head and spend time with her biggest inspiration before it was too late.

4 Fundraising Ideas to Develop Your Fundraising Plan

A goal without a plan is just a wish.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Embarking on a new year—whether it’s a calendar or fiscal year (or both!)—is always an opportunity for a fresh start.  After all, that’s why resolutions are written at the start of a new year.  New year. New goals.  It’s the same with writing a development plan for your nonprofit, which you can think of as a business plan for fundraising. It helps you develop the discipline of looking at what you’ve done well and where you need to improve, setting your sights for the year ahead, and mapping out what you will do to reach your goals.  Simply put, it translates your wishes to goals.

Let’s pause for a moment to think about the 30,000 foot view. Fundraising is not just about raising money.  The core of our work as fundraisers is as relationship architects between our organizations and the donors who currently or, we hope will eventually, support us. Our goal is to create two-way conversations that are not transactional or circular exchanges of asking and receiving money. We know this isn’t sustainable in the long-term. A development plan is more than just a set of lists, calendars, and activities.  It’s a strategic compilation of all the ways you can connect and communicate with your donors which, if done effectively, leads to increased revenue. It’s a competitive market out there. There are 1.8 million nonprofits in the US with about 75,000 new ones registering with the IRS each year.  If you feel like the room is getting crowded, so do our donors.  What makes the difference to them is if they feel valued by you and connected to your organization.  If not, they’ll go somewhere else to give.

So, your development plan should focus on four key areas:

  1. Balancing your portfolio—If your funding generally comes from one source more than others, it’s time to think about how to rebalance things. This might mean looking at how to welcome more individual donors instead of relying primarily on foundations and/or corporations. It could also mean thinking about others ways to build donor relationships besides the one major gala or one major direct mail appeal you do each year. Putting all your eggs in the proverbial basket is not sustainable.
  2. Setting the stage for major gifts—Every organization no matter how small can, and should, be raising major gifts. A successful major gifts program does not focus on high net-worth individuals with no connection to your organization. In fact, you probably already know who your major (current and potential) donors are. Your next major gift will likely come from one of these donors who has capacity and who has been supporting you for a long time (and not at particularly high levels) and may also have been involved as a volunteer. Carving out a little time for more personal interactions with these donors will help you qualify those who can make larger gifts down the road.
  3. Creating greater donor engagement—It’s easy to become complacent and think that just because donors have chosen to invest in our cause, they will unconditionally support us and that when we ask again they will give. Nonprofits on average lose more than 60% of their donors each year because they haven’t figured out the right way to connect with their donors. Good donor engagement involves a regular calendar of touchpoints, updates, and communications that highlights stories of successes, progress, results, and even failures and challenges. Donors want to see, feel, and touch the impact their gifts are having. They want a donor relationship and an exceptional donor experience. You are most likely already doing it without defining these activities in that way: annual reports, newsletters, special webinars hosted by your key program leadership, holiday and birthday cards are all examples of ways to leverage communications to enhance your relationships with your donors.
  4. Laying the foundation for tomorrow—Without question, your limited bandwidth should be focused on donor retention because once you lose the donors who already opted to give to you, it’s hard to get them back. That said, it is still important to plant the seeds for the next pipeline of donors to your organization. The best potential new donor names are people who self-identify in some way or who are connected in some way to you. Perhaps it’s through a sign-up on your website, following you on social media, attendance at an event, or a visitor book if prospective donors can visit your facilities. This is also a way board members and other volunteers can play a key role in introducing your organization to their networks.  Every follower, volunteer, and new name that crosses your doorway should be considered a potential investor in your work.  Welcome them.

Source: https://www.networkforgood.com/nonprofitblog/goal-without-plan-just-wish/

How to Make Giving Easy for Your Donors

Behind every great nonprofit is a great group of people who make it all happen. For all the grants you apply for and donations you receive, there’s a single contributor who invested their own time and money into funding your mission. At the root of your nonprofit is achieving that mission, and loyal donors who contribute major gifts are there to help you.

We’ve written before about the different options you can explore to fund your nonprofit and how silly it is to rely solely on grants. Of these options, your most reliable and most important is to continue building a donor base.

Here are some tips on how to grow your individual donor list so that you’re not just leaning on outside foundations or banks.

Milk what you’ve got

Amy Eisenstein suggests that when creating a “prospect” list of those you feel would be interested in donating to your cause, start with board members and staff who already understand what you’re doing and why you do it. Reach out to them and remind them why they work with you. If your organization is able to stay afloat financially, not only is it furthering your mission, but it’s job security for them too.

Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family who know how near and dear the cause is to your heart. These people see the everyday ins and outs of what goes into running a nonprofit and understand how even the smallest contribution can go a long way.

You likely already have a list of donors, be it big or small. Planning campaigns and events for continued engagement, appreciation and communication will help solidify advocates and keep them around for the long-haul.

Recruit new donors

The key to capturing new donors is getting them to understand your mission. Often times meeting with them in-person is a great way to do this—but not always! The more they get to know the people behind the organization, the more likely they are to engage. Before sitting down with a potential donor, do some extra research to find out what they care about and what problems they are passionate about solving. See what you have in common with them, and how you can connect to them. From there, you can make the ask.

Here are a few ways to recruit new donors:

  • Plan a social media campaign (we recommend starting with Facebook) to attract more small to medium-sized donations—keep track of those who donate!
  • Strategize an exciting (and on-mission) fundraising event to gain one-off donations of all sizes. This also adds the fundraising potential of ticket sales, sponsorships and establishing a strong public presence.
  • Develop a storytelling donor newsletter, be it a print or digital publication, showing the impact of the work you do to target donors.

Stay engaged

Both you and your contributors reap the benefits of working together. When a new donation is made, you’re closer to achieving your mission and they feel good about being part of the process. And the best way to keep a donor around is to make them feel important and keep them in the loop on what you’re able to accomplish with their help.

Engage with them on a regular basis (without being annoying!) and thank them for what they do. Make sure to do so on a personal level. Yes, that means you should be segmenting your list and strategizing your messaging to be specifically targeted for each group! When a contributor feels appreciated and like they’re making a difference, they’re more likely to come back and contribute again.

Source: http://nonprofithub.org/fundraising/how-to-grow-your-individual-donor-list/

Empathy is a simple yet effective driver of success

Marcel Shawantes , Time Inc.

Chicago, IL. – February 14, 2017

Imagine you could have a skill where–in any given conversation with colleagues, clients, or subordinates–you could be keenly aware of, and even experience, their feelings and thoughts.

Sounds like some X-Men-like psychic superpower right? Well, what if I told you that anyone can have this uncanny ability and use its strength and charm to have successful conversations?

Well, you can. The superpower I refer to is called empathy.

But this skill–and it is a learned skill available to anyone–is often misunderstood because there are variations of it. I’ll get to the science of it shortly.

How Do You Define Empathy?

To better grasp what people mean when they talk about empathy, the most common uses for empathy fall in these categories:

1. The type of empathy where we directly feel what others feel.

2. The type of empathy where you imagine yourself in others’ shoes.

3. The type of empathy where you imagine the world, or a situation, from someone else’s point of view rather than your own.

4. The type of empathy that researchers sometimes call “mind reading.” It involves being good at reading others’ emotions and body language.

Where do you fit in?

The Research Behind This Superpower

If you’re skeptical that this is touchy-feely campfire nonsense with no business value in a transactional world, consider the research.

Global training giant Development Dimensions International (DDI) has studied leadership for 46 years. They believe that the essence of optimal leadership can be boiled down to having dozens of “fruitful conversations” with others, inside and outside your organization.

Expanding on this belief, they assessed over 15,000 leaders from more than 300 organizations across 20 industries and 18 countries to determine which conversational skills have the highest impact on overall performance.

The findings, published in their High Resolution Leadership report, are revealing. While skills such as “encouraging involvement of others” and “recognizing accomplishments” are important, empathy–yes, empathy–rose to the top as the most critical driver of overall performance.

Specifically, the ability to listen and respond with empathy.

Ray Krznaric, author of Empathy: Why It Matters, and How to Get It, sums it up nicely:

Empathy in the modern workplace is not just about being able to see things from another perspective. It’s the cornerstone of teamwork, good innovative design, and smart leadership. It’s about helping others feel heard and understood.

This whole premise does have an air of genius about it, considering that when you take on the perspective of those you are talking with, it engages people on the spot. This can be a difference maker. That’s the good news.

The Bad News

The DDI report reveals a dire need for leaders with the skill of empathy. Only four out of 10 frontline leaders assessed in their massive study were proficient or strong on empathy.

Richard S. Wellins, senior vice president of DDI and one of the authors of the High-Resolution Leadership report, had this to say in a Forbes interview a year ago:

We feel [empathy] is in serious decline. More concerning, a study of college students by University of Michigan researchers showed a 34 percent to 48 percent decline in empathic skills over an eight-year period. These students are our future leaders!

We feel there are two reasons that account for this decline. Organizations have heaped more and more on the plates of leaders, forcing them to limit face-to-face conversations. Again, DDI research revealed that leaders spend more time managing than they do “interacting.” They wish they could double their time spent interacting with others. The second reason falls squarely on the shoulders of technology, especially mobile smart devices. These devices have become the de rigueur for human interactions. Sherry Turkle, in her book, Reclaiming Conversation, calls them “sips of conversations.”

Final Thoughts

Keep in mind that empathy shows up in different ways, as I mentioned at the beginning. It’s not just “feeling.” Think how it can translate to both verbal and non-verbal behavior so the person hearing you will feel your empathic nature. And, it goes without saying, people see right through you if your empathy is not expressed in a sincere and authentic way.

Don’t underestimate for a second its true potential. Begin developing leaders to learn this relational skill for competitive advantage.

Your ability to empathize, as a leader, will make a difference in the performance of others. And it is critical to good teamwork.

Source:
http://www.inc.com/marcel-schwantes/the-science-behind-what-really-drives-performance-its-going-to-surprise-you.html

How to Lead in Uncertain Times

Joan Garry, Joan Garry Consulting

Washington, D.C. – January 20, 2017

The word I hear lately more than any other is uncertainty.

Here in the US, every four years on January 20 there is a change of power. It comes with the awesome privilege of being part of this great democratic experiment called the United States of America.

In my lifetime as a voter, there have been plenty of times when the guy I voted for lost. In fact, that’s probably more the rule than the exception. And no, I didn’t vote for the man being inaugurated this week.

But this feels different. I am anxious in a way I never have been before. More uncertain. Less because of the “who” as much as the “how” and what all of it says about the world we live in.

In this, I know I am not alone. Not at my kitchen table. Not in my neighborhood and certainly not among nonprofit leaders I connect with every day.

And the anxiety isn’t just coming from those who didn’t vote for him. I know Republicans who feel uncertain as well. Sure, they voted for our new President. But they’re not entirely sure what to expect going forward.

There’s a lot we all just don’t know yet.

But this blog isn’t about politics. It’s about nonprofit leadership. And that’s what I want to discuss today – how nonprofits are navigating a world turned upside down.

I have questions. I know a lot of you have questions.

– Has there already been an impact on the way nonprofits are doing things?

– How are nonprofit leaders approaching the uncertainty strategically?

– What’s the best way for nonprofit leaders to lead those in their organizations that are feeling particularly anxious or vulnerable?

I asked some folks in the trenches – five wonderful and diverse nonprofit leaders across sectors – to share their thoughts about how they are approaching the uncertainty in their organization and to offer a piece of advice on how to contend with the unchartered waters ahead.

One important note. The uncertainty does not rest solely in what would be called “progressive” or “liberal” organizations. And the list below is hardly representative. I do hope that folks of all ideological stripes will weigh in with comments.

My “panel” today is comprised of these five wonderful nonprofit leaders:

•Kathy Ahearn-O’Brien, Hyacinth AIDS Foundation

•Paul Bland, Jr., Public Justice

•Alison Nakamura Netter, Zana Africa

•James Roe, Orchestra of St. Luke’s

•Rachel B. Tiven, Lambda Legal

•A big thank you to each of you!

Here’s what I asked them…

WHAT IMPACT IS THE CHANGING OF THE GUARD HAVING FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION?

“We are deeply concerned, especially about the impact of folks living with HIV on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act… One staff member told me, ‘My soul hurts.’ I am reminding people that we chose this work because we are fighters.“

“Our team is motivated and we feel prepared and ready. This moment feels very pregnant since everything is all so theoretical and not yet real.”

“As a performing arts organization, the magnetism of political polarization can distract from our core mission. The Arts take on a renewed urgency in an atmosphere of division and distrust. The work of orchestras tangibly demonstrates the power of unity as we reach for something greater than ourselves.”

“Staff is responding differently. Some struggling, but many are jumping into a new state of concentration, looking for new opportunities as well as focusing on how to preserve gains.

“The uncertainty has galvanized us. My staff is inspiring me!”

Summary: Renewed focus, a sense of urgency, deep concern

HOW ARE YOU APPROACHING THE UNCERTAINTY STRATEGICALLY?

“Fostering non-politicized spaces for interaction is an act of radical service to society right now. I am reminding our musicians and as many people as I can that we have a shared purpose to meet the human need for beauty with music.”

“We are consulting with allies at other nonprofits – trading ideas, strategies, and suggestions. We are focusing on sharing approaches with friends and colleagues.”

“As an organization, we are turning to history, reaching back to challenging and uncertain times we have faced to remind all of us that we have been here before – and triumphed.”

“We are participating in conversations – as many as we can – to learn as much as we can about what could happen. We are working hard not to be reactive (and not to overreact) but to be strategic. We have a strong strategic plan and now more than ever, it needs to be a living and breathing document – if we have to shift, we will. Our goal is to work to anticipate and get out in front.”

“We raise money to help young girls internationally and so we are looking to partner with US based organizations to raise awareness of the work.

Summary: Build partnerships, create bridges, find ways to engage outside of politics, look to the past for inspiration

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR YOUR COLLEAGUE NONPROFIT LEADERS?

“As a leader, ask yourself how you can lend your voice to creating a shared global movement? Focus on your voice and your messaging. People are listening.”

“Tap into the fierce passion about your mission. Keep your eyes open as you may be forced to make rapid decisions in a setting in which there is so much we do not know. Be alert, nimble, act with urgency and be fierce!”

“Keep your board in the loop – the good, the bad, the ugly and share what you are uncertain about – be authentic and offer them the opportunity to support and partner with you.”

“Be patient. Have we not learned that government moves slowly? Many changes may be 12 – 18 months down the road. We may have more time than we think (or feel).”

“Stick to your core. When you are not sure what to do, make sure that everything you do comes from your mission. Collaborate with others, reach beyond yourself, and do this with total clarity about what you do, whom you serve and why it all matters.”

“How can you be a leader in these times? Not just in your organization. You have a unique role in your organization, your sector, your community, your state, your neighborhood. People respect you, admire you and look to you as models. Use your platform to engage people in real conversation about what really matters.”

“Remember that regardless of what you do and the anxiety you may feel, your work elevates society in deep and profound ways.”

Summary: It’s hard to miss the theme. Focus on your mission. Don’t let yourself get distracted. Be agile. Communicate well. Partner and collaborate.

HERE’S WHAT I THINK…

The nonprofit sector has such a critical role to play in lifting us all up in times of uncertainty. And that has ZERO to do with who you voted for, who is in the White House, and it’s true regardless of the mission of your organization.

At times of uncertainty, people look to the voices of the leaders around them – not just to assure them but also to engage them.

You know how folks say that going to the gym and working out can reduce stress? If you’re not actively engaged right now, maybe it’s time to think about volunteering and moving from the stands onto the field. The nonprofit sector needs you. And maybe – just maybe – you need them.

I am reading a terrific book and I highly recommend it. Particularly now. It’s called Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives, by Tim Harford.

Not coincidentally, Tim will be a guest on an upcoming podcast. He and I both use the word “messy” in a factual and not in a pejorative way. In fact, my podcast is actually called Nonprofits Are Messy.

LISTEN TO WHAT PARISA PARSA HAS TO SAY

 

Parisa Parsa is from a small and mighty organization called Essential Partners, which is advancing the work of the Public Conversations Project by fostering dialogue across divides.

Parisa and I spoke recently for the podcast about what we can do at our kitchen tables, in our classrooms, in our houses of worship to help reduce polarization. Solving conflicts feels so very hard. And maybe our society is too raw.

I told her I was hearing folks use metaphors like “battle plan” and “crisis management.” But maybe we should just begin by learning to talk to one another. To have difficult conversations with those who have different (or diametrically opposed) points of view on issues that matter to you.

One thing Parisa told me is that the image to keep in mind is The Karate Kid.

Focus, balance, power.

I found our conversation both inspiring and therapeutic. I felt a lot better. If you haven’t already, you can click this link to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Android, Google Play, and other platforms. The episode will be available on January 21.

Hope you will join us.

BUILDING A COMMUNITY

One of the common threads from my panel of nonprofit leaders above was just how important it is to reach out to each other. To partner. To become part of a community of leaders.

I’ve been thinking a LOT about how to help build just such a community and will have a lot more to say about this in the coming few months. We need it now more than ever before.

SOURCE:

http://www.joangarry.com/uncertainty/