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DECEMBER 2004 

Welcome to our latest issue of Leader Point ? 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

By Sandra Trice Gray

To develop an ethical code for our organizations ? one that is vibrant and practical ? we must know our organization's identity. We must enumerate our organization's values. We must know where our organization is going and its place in the larger community.

I see maintaining standards of ethics as an ongoing process that monitors organizational behavior. Such a process requires an organizational climate that welcomes inquiry and reflection from everyone.

As we practice accountability, we witness the integration of our ethical perspective: we see accountability having to do with the capacity to demonstrate, answer, or explain our organization's actions. We are accountable to society; we hold a public trust. We must be able to respond with reasonable and open answers to the questions that are raised by our many publics.

For more information, see our valuable checklist for developing a statement of values and code of ethics.

by Herb Baum and Tammy Kling

Herb Baum is a transparent leader. As CEO of the $1.4 billion Dial Corporation he has had to make his share of difficult decisions. However, his principles always guide his actions regardless of the circumstances and possible short-term cost.

In Herb's words: "In today's business environment, if you're a leader ? or want to be ? and you aren't contributing to a values-based business culture that encourages your entire organization to operate with integrity, your company is a vulnerable as a baby chick in a pit of rattlesnakes."

Herb Baum's three principles of transparency are: 1) To tell the whole truth; 2) Build a values-based culture; and 3) Hire "people people." Baum not only tells the reader what to do, but how to do it, how to overcome obstacles, and how to sustain transparency in good times and difficult times. He also shares his personal experience with examples of other transparent leaders as well as those who have chosen a different path.

You can download an excerpt in PDF format. The book is also available from the Centerpoint for Leaders Bookstore.

by Michael Hudson, Ph.D.

After dinner everyone is asked to think about someone who has had a significant impact in their life. It could be friend, a mentor, a teacher, or a stranger. The only criteria is that somehow the person affected them in a positive way at some point during their life. Participants take their turn sharing the story of how the person they have selected impacted their lives. But they don't stop there. Before anyone leaves the table, each person commits to reach out and express their gratitude to that person before the the end of the year.

To read the entire article and review the plan of action, click here.

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by Hildy Gottlieb

"If the board doesn't understand that it is not the CEO but the Board that is in the box at the top of the organizational chart, you are not ready to recruit. Being in that top box means accountability for everything that happens in the organization.

"If your board doesn't understand that the buck doesn't stop with the CEO but with the board, then recruiting should be the furthest thing from your minds.

"If the board doesn't understand that it is ultimately accountable, and doesn't understand how to put that accountability into practice, you are not ready to recruit.

"If your board micromanages, you are not ready to recruit. Some boards see micromanagement as the road to accountability. Some see it as a detriment, but still can't seem to stop."

For more information or to read the entire article, click here.

by William Schambra with Krista Shaffer

While we may not all agree with Bill Schambra (in fact, the editor of Nonprofit Quarterly calls him a strange bedfellow), we need to hear what all the quarters are saying about funding for nonprofits.

Schambra laments: "The fact is that foundations are . . . impervious to unsolicited appeals from smaller, less formal nonprofit organizations than is government, and for reasons that are only marginally related to their faith orientation. The best advice I could give them ?? no doubt discordant words, coming from a former program officer at a conservative foundation ?? was "organize, organize, organize."

Organization is needed because, sadly, current major national associations of nonprofits typically fail to speak up on behalf of the smallest grassroots groups, even when, as often happens, they are ignored or harmed by organized philanthropy or government. That cries out for change."

For more information or to read the entire article, click here:


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