Browsing the archives for the Leadership tag

The Day-Trading Boss

If you haven’t yet worked for him or her, you probably will at some point. He’s the VP who focuses more on metrics than on the relationships and processes the metrics are there to measure. She’s the President who wants to know why gift officers aren’t asking for major gifts during a first meeting. Day-traders […]


3 Ways to Market Giving

“Marketing,” to an advancement professional almost always refers to the marketing of their institution’s programs and services.  You market what you do.  Or more importantly, the impact of what you do.  You market your mission as a way to communicate the rightness and goodness of people giving in support of your institution’s efforts and outcomes.  […]


Pushing the Elevator Button. . .Twice

This past week I found myself standing in the lobby of a hotel and, having lit the elevator button with an initial push, decided that I needed to push the button again. . .and again.  As I became aware of my rather foolish actions I smiled – did I really believe that pushing the elevator […]


Leading Up

One of the more regular issues I encounter in working with CEOs and advancement leaders centers on the notion of “leading up.”  Everyone understands their role in “leading down,” or leading those in their care on the organizational chart.  But the real work – and your ability to be successful – rests in large measure […]


The Urban Legends of Fundraising – Part III of III

Urban legend – An urban legend, urban myth, or urban tale is a form of modern folklore consisting of stories thought to be factual by those circulating them. (Wikipedia) The final installment of the 3-part Urban Legends of Fundraising messages focuses on the faulty thinking that the broader economic environment will greatly impact your organization’s […]


Which leadership style will you choose?

In my work with university leaders I’ve come across 3 basic categories of leaders: The Teller – this is the leader who thinks of the plans herself and then tells those in her charge the end goal as well as the path to get there.  From my experience, I would say this is about 60% […]


From tasks to relationships – the real work of the executive

For many first-time college presidents, the new position is exhilarating but also overwhelming.  Many say that the time demands are breath-taking and the sheer scope of the enterprise is daunting.  However, for many new presidents, the biggest challenge they will face is more nuanced but more difficult to tackle – an adjustment from a task-orientation […]


The A, B, C, and D’s of Effective Boards

I work with governing and advisory boards of non-profit organizations regularly. Here is what I have learned – Highly effective boards are characterized by the following A,B,C and D’s: Affluent – Boards of great non-profits have affluence.  Not all members are affluent, but an active core of members have personal financial capacity.  Substantial financial gifts […]


How will you perform under pressure?

Ever notice that some people perform well under pressure while others seem to wilt? As the chart above suggests, we typically need some level of anxiousness in order to care enough to perform. But at some point the level of anxiousness becomes debiliating causing a drop-off in performance. But at what point does this happen? […]


Leaders as Designers

Have you ever noticed how creativity and individualism actually flourishes within order and structure?  Think about the artist’s canvas.  We typically see the exquisitely creative final product but many artists will tell you that the first step in becoming creative is to bring order or structure to the canvas. So, many artists first overlay a […]

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