Browsing the blog archives for October, 2014

The Right Answer vs. The Best Answer

We are taught to seek out the single, right answer.  And we are trained to learn the formula that leads us to the single, right answer in most all circumstances. The problem for development leaders, of course, is that there is almost never an unconditionally “right” answer.  Qualitatively complex human interactions are far too varied […]

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When a Board Asks Questions

“It’s the board’s responsibility to ask questions.  And it’s the staff’s responsibility to respond.” We were discussing the roles of a non-profit governing board and the relationship between a board and an institution’s administrative leaders, especially as it relates to strategic planning.  The Executive Committee Board member who made this statement is new to non-profit […]

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If you don’t ask. . .

Despite its triteness, the following platitude regarding our work is true: “If you don’t ask, the answer will almost always be ‘no’.” We need to be out of our offices, asking for specific gifts.  However, to do this work well, asking alone is not enough.  To round out this statement, I would add the following: […]

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5 Alternate Questions You Should Be Asking

Instead of asking, “what’s new?” ask, “what’s working?” Instead of asking, “who failed?” ask, “what are our strengths?” Instead of asking, “how do I feel?” ask, “how are others reacting?” Instead of asking, “what went wrong?” ask, “what does ‘high functioning’ look like?” Instead of asking, “why did we make that choice?” ask, “what do […]

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Your Calling

My hope is that you are in this work we call advancement because you are driven to make the lived experience for others better. My hope is that you chose this work because you are committed to a meaningful mission. My hope is that you wake up most days eager to fully live into a […]

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Getting From “Me” to “We”

A personality trait that most leaders desire in individual staff members can best be described as “being a good team player.”  This trait is a combination of behaviors that, overall, puts the team’s goals and interests above those of the individual.  You will hear people say positively, “he has more ego for the university than […]

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