Beware “iceberg beliefs” that can sink your organization

“Ours has always been a hand-to-mouth existence,” the seminary president commented with a shrug and a sheepish smile. “I can’t imagine that thriving is in our future.” Neither can a lot of the other ministry heads and board members with whom I’ve worked. A wide swath of the nonprofit sector has been down so long […]

Generosity in quotes: John Stoker

” . . . there is something to be said for how we treat others on our team and the deliberate attempts we make at recognizing others for their efforts and encouraging them to continue to do their best in providing value in what they do. After all, lifting one another is how we lift […]

Leadership advice worth following

My role with Messiah College’s Master of Arts in Higher Education has expanded recently to half-time, which means I’m thinking a lot these days about leadership, preparing leaders, and what it means to lead. I also serve on the board of a ministry organization that has recently welcomed a new CEO. And beginning in a […]

Taking criticism like a leader

During my short stint as vice president of advancement at a Christian college (one of those ego over good sense moments for me) I was brought up short at how fast people were to put the worst spin on my decisions and actions. After listening to me whine for several minutes about the mean-spirited comments […]

When selecting a leader, be careful for what you wish.

Leadership is on my mind a lot these days, probably because I’ve missed the submission deadline for a chapter I’ve been asked to write on the topic. (Whew, I got the confession over and done.) Then there’s my role on a presidential transition team on behalf of an organization with which I’m a board member. […]

Minding the governance gap in leadership

“Leadership,” as James MacGregor Burns wrote back in 1978, “is one of the most observed and least understood phenomena on earth.” But that hasn’t stopped hordes of scholars from digging into the topic. Over the past three plus decades, hundreds of books and thousands of articles on leadership have been authored by writers representing the […]

New leader + old mistakes = trouble

The congregation of which I am a part has had a rough go of it over the past couple of years. We chewed up a pastor heralded as a “change agent” by the search committee that found him. In the process, we lost nearly a third of our membership, including many of our strongest givers. […]

New leader, you thought the board wanted what?

Nonprofit boards are prone to seek a change-agent as their next CEO. You know, a visionary who can inspire the masses and kick a few strategic asses. A “savior” who, without breaking a sweat, rights all wrongs, separates wheat from chaff, and sets the organization on the path to success.  Within the first 90 days […]

End of the week leftovers

Here’s a bunch of Generous Matters-worthy reads about which I would have commented this past week, had I had time. It’s that time of year. 3 tips for driving your driving a successful annual appeal. 4 questions donors want you to answer. “If you don’t understand how these 4 questions work in your donor’s mind, […]

Rest for the weary, grace for the rest

As this post goes live, I’ll be up in the air (literally), in flight to Dallas, Texas. Along with more than 2,000 young moms, 150 or so paid and volunteer staff, and 12 of my board peers, I’m headed for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) Convention 2012. No surprise that the joys and frustrations of young […]