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APRIL 2006 

Centerpoint for Leaders and The Points of Light Foundation's newest e-publication to give you relevant and concise information on leadership and organizational development.

Thoughts From Sandra

On Being Kind

Is being kind part of leadership? I think so. Which is why I include these words from a website called Universal Art of Healing: "It's easy to act with kindness and understanding toward those who have been kind to you. Yet the real power of kindness comes when you give it . . ." By doing this, we create a healthy work environment by modeling respect.

"Acting with cruelty in response to cruelty only drags down everyone involved. With kindness, you have the opportunity to uplift yourself and others. Being kind does not mean allowing others to take advantage of you. On the contrary, your kindness can give you the positive, undeniable power to make sure that everyone's best interests are served.

Yes, there are those who will not respond well to your kindness. Act toward them with kindness and understanding anyway, and even though they won't benefit from your kindness, you yourself still will.

Think of your kindness toward others as a valuable gift you give mainly to yourself. If anyone else is enlightened enough to accept and appreciate it too, that makes it even better."

Click here to go to the referenced website.

by Dave Anderson

Here are a few of my personal favorite business facts of life. Some may seem harsh and politically incorrect. However, their directness is vital to building and sustaining a vibrant, performance-based culture.

1. It?s o.k. not to like a part of your job but it?s not o.k. not to do it.

2. Everyone on this team has an equal voice but that doesn?t mean you get a vote.

3. Everyone will be held to the same high standard of work ethic, customer care and character.

4. You are expected to prove yourself over again every day.

5. I not only expect you to work hard on the job, I expect you to work hard on yourself. If you don?t grow, you go.

Author Max DePree wrote that the first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. That?s exactly what the business facts of life in your organization accomplish. Lift the fog off your expectations. It?s hard for your people to be aggressive when they are confused.

Cited and used with permission from
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by Anne Hays Egan

I believe that, by and large, nonprofits do good work, and don?t need to be ?fixed.? Often, however, nonprofits are pressured by changes in the external environment and stressed by their own developmental challenges. Many nonprofits could expand their capacity with additional resources and technical assistance.

Moving forward, nonprofits will probably find continuing challenges. There will be opportunities and pressures to leverage, and with new resources and partners. External pressures will require nonprofits to collaborate, to improve community services and the service delivery system. Hopefully, nonprofits will move more to the center of our communities, leading, convening and guiding dialogue about civil society.

Cited and used with permission from
To read the entire article, click here to download a word document called Tools and Resources for the Nonprofit Community.

What are the critical leadership challenges that you face in your current job? (Please select six)

More than two-thirds of respondents (68%) named "managing change and complexity" as a critical challenge facing them in their current job. Respondents also included "developing others for leadership roles" (59%); "working collaboratively by building and maintaining relationships" (54%); "communicating effectively" (54%); and "building an effective team" (53%) among their most pressing challenges.

What are the critical leadership challenges that your organization faces? (Please select five)

More than two-thirds of respondents (70%) said that "developing leadership at all levels" is a critical challenge facing their organization, followed closely by "developing a climate for innovation" (66%); "developing high potential and emerging leaders" (61%); and "operating from an integrated understanding of the organization" (59%).

Cited and used with permission from Center for Creative Leadership. To read the entire article, click here.

by Roger E. Herman, CSP, CMC, FIMC

Leadership teachings of most of the twentieth century focused on directive, autocratic (or at least top-down) management. The boss was expected to know the answers, or at least what to do. He would tell people what to do . . . and they did what they were told.

As the nature of work evolved, expanding from manual labor and crafts into white collar occupations, the directive system was decreasingly effective. Some workers had the audacity to believe they could think for themselves, that they could manage at least some of their own work.

Used and cited with permission from The Herman Group. Click here to read the entire article.