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FEBRUARY 2005 

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

On Setting Goals and Priorities for Yourself and Your Organization

Over the years I have had my ups and downs setting goals but I've kept working at it and have come up with a set of rules that seem to work for me. Try them on in your goal-setting activity and see if they might be helpful for you, too. If they don't work for you, don't worry. Make your own list.

  1. Your goals must be REALLY important. Setting goals just to do so almost always ends up in failure. Goals are just the "means" to your dreams.
  2. Goals MUST be committed to paper. (This is not really my idea; almost every goal setting / management consultant says the same thing.)
  3. Use words that will lead to completion and always write in the present tense. It means it has to be done NOW.
  4. Your personal goals need to take into consideration all aspects of your life including financial, social, health, career, family and spiritual.
  5. Not reaching all of your goals immediately or perfectly does not indicate failure, but humanity. Make sure those goals are achievable and remember that identifying the roadblocks and potholes on the journey to your goals and creating detours and roundabouts to foil the challenges is exciting and inspiring work. Begin today.

by Don Tebbe, Senior Associate, TransitionGuides

While the search may be over and the board and staff have been working on the transition for several months, for the incoming executive, the transition is just beginning. The post-hire phase offers a rich opportunity to help the new executive get off on the right foot, to structure relationships in a positive way and to set the stage for achieving the priorities that you identified in the planning stage of the transition. Here is a step-by-step guide to accomplishing an effective leadership transition, including a solid introduction, addressing early challenges, clarifying 12-18-month priorities and building a "board/executive social contract."

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

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by Margaret Henderson, Gordon P. Whitaker, and Lydian Altman-Sauer

No single practice, process, or documentation can adequately ensure that mutual expectations for accountability will be met. Governments and non-profits should employ good contracts and written reports, but these are not substitutes for personal relationships that can build mutual respect and trust, and lead to shared learning.

Governments sometimes give nonprofits a conflicting message when they talk about the importance of building mutual trust but offer no acknowledgment for the nonprofit's living up to or surpassing expectations. Instead, governments generally require one-size-fits-all accountability practices that convey the unspoken expectation that nonprofits continually prove they are not doing wrong, no matter how stellar their performances might be.

For more information or to download the article in PDF format, click here.


by Dr. John C. Maxwell

When I was growing up, I was pretty good at getting into trouble. Once, when my fourth-grade teacher was playing the piano with her back to the class, I talked all my classmates into sneaking out of the room and into the hallway. Mrs. Tacy didn't even know we were gone until she finished her song and turned around.

That kind of behavior might have caused some teachers to write me off as a troublemaker, but not Mrs. Tacy. Despite all the orneriness I displayed in her class, she saw my potential. And she loved me in spite of my conduct.

Back then, Mrs. Tacy was my favorite teacher. Even now, her memory brings a smile to my face because she truly made a difference in my life.

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

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