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JANUARY 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 Paradigms and Change

While paradigms can be helpful in ordering our world, they can also blind us. Why? Because the paradigm establishes such clear boundaries between what is possible and what is impossible in an individual's (or organization's) universe, it can prevent the person from seeing the 'new.' Ask yourself, "If my paradigm is blinding me, how can I possibly see beyond it?"

All is not lost, however and a new idea provides some answers: Work at clearing your 'mind chatter' ? your internal dialogue. Mind chatter is reinforcing to your current paradigm. Is your first thought response to something new a "but", "can't" or "not"? Then practice looking first for the elements of the idea that might possibly work.

What would be the benefits if such a thing could be made to work? Seek the positive before the negative. Suspend disbelief and judgement.

For more information about thinking on the "edge of your paradigm," visit Syncopation Management Systems, Inc.

by Jeffrey E. Auerbach, Ph.D.

The good news is each of eight emotional intelligence management competencies can be developed. Here are a few notes on the first two: Self-awareness and accurate self-assessment: Without self-awareness and accurate self-assessment, executives and managers will be too quick to get irritated with others, will create problems in their work relationships and in their personal relationships, will come across as abrasive, wonít be able to admit mistakes or accept useful, realistic criticism, and wonít have a realistic awareness of their strengths or limitations.

Initiative: Executives and managers who are rather low in initiative will be responding to events, rather than being proactive, thereby finding themselves in continual crisis mode. Plus when leaders aren't utilizing initiative, they may fail to seize strategic opportunities, either because they havenít started their analysis and planning process early enough or because they may resist taking even well calculated risks.

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

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At a time when nonprofits are under increasing regulatory scrutiny because of highly publicized management and financial scandals, consultants question whether the network approach to board recruiting is adequate to "ensure that our sector remains healthy, productive and well regarded."

Nonprofits "need deeper and broader expertise to address key strategic and operational challenges facing their organization, and better ways to interpret and communicate about their performance," says one consultant.

Nearly half the groups surveyed lost board members in the last two years, with resignations leading term expiration slightly as the reason for the departures. When recruiting new board members, fundraising skills are in highest demand, followed by expertise in program and financial oversight. Of those surveyed, about seven in 10 executive directors and board members believe their boards are appropriately diverse, and six in 10 believe their boards do their jobs well.

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

by Dr. John C. Maxwell

Benjamin Franklin once wrote, "I would rather have it said, 'he lived usefully' than 'he died rich.' "

This wasn't just a casual motto for Franklin. It was the way he lived his life, particularly as an inventor. According to an article on www.pbs.org, Franklin was a practical inventor, specializing in devices that were "designed to help improve or solve everyday problems." These included bifocal lenses, swim fins, the odometer, the Franklin stove and the lightning rod.

Franklin could have made a fortune on these inventions. But, in his desire to make them as widely available as possible, he didn't patent a single one. "Instead of seeing the world in terms of how much money he could make, Franklin saw the world in terms of how many people he could help," says Dr. John C. Van Horne, director of the Library Company of Philadelphia. "To Benjamin Franklin, being useful was its own reward."

Living life usefully was a reasonable goal for an 18th-century inventor like Franklin. But what about those of us who live and lead in the 21st century? Is usefulness worth striving for today?

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

by Michael Hudson, Ph.D.

  1. If you decide, then it's not my fault.
  2. All decisions are situational.
  3. If other people agree, then it must be acceptable.

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


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