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MARCH 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

Leadership's About Spirit and Heart

I spoke recently to a large group in Michigan about the "intelligences" of leadership. And while researching for my presentation I came upon this Secretan quote and that of Deepak Chopra: "Leadership is the heart and soul of any group." ? Those who fulfill the deep purpose for which a group, organization or community, comes together.? Leaders are the symbolic soul of a community, passionately holding the vision and enabling others to share in that vision.

As I prepared for that presentation, I relearned: while methods (including intelligences) are all part of becoming better leaders, leadership turns out to revolve mostly around our hearts. While we can learn techniques about how to inspire others, the true inspiration comes from deep inside. While we can continuously learn about processes that increase our ability to lead, the most effective leadership experiences are from the stories that begin in our hearts. Routines can be effective but the power of the heart is the ultimate leadership activity.

by Margaret Henderson

At any stage in a nonprofit?s life, the effort or the personality of one person can hold it together. The centralization of authority and energy may be temporary, due to circumstances such as several key employees leaving at once, or essentially permanent, based on personal characteristics or practices, like the founder being strongly charismatic or the director not liking to delegate responsibility.

If a nonprofit organization primarily depends on the strength, the influence, or the will power of one person, it risks a crisis if that person disengages from the organization. Also, the whole organization may be operating under the unacknowledged biases, natural habits, or personal preferences of one person. It may be inadequately positioned to listen and respond to the community it is intended to serve.

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

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by Relly Nadler, Psy.D.

In a performance group or on a sports team, over 90% of the participants' time is spent practicing ? standardizing their routines or processes, identifying roles and responsibilities, improving communication effectiveness, working on their coordination, alignment or teamwork. The focus is learning from mistakes until they are ready to perform for the audience or fans.

It is a fact that, in the corporate world, less than 5% of an individual?s time is devoted to off-line learning. In fact nearly all the learning in organizations happens after the fact and in front of customers, where mistakes are costly to organizations reputation and bottom line and the individuals career development.

In today?s organizational environment, it is unnatural for teams and individuals to take the same time which athletes, performers and teams do to practice their skills and improve their weaknesses, but there are ten key ingredients, which organizations must incorporate into their work to master the use of teams: shared vision, trust among members, established expectations and guidelines, communication skill and conflict resolution, systems thinking, personal leadership. appreciation of differences, accountability and consequences, ongoing learning and recognition and mentoring others.

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

by Martha Lagace, Senior Editor, HBS Working Knowledge

Most scholars (not to mention boards of directors) gauge the effectiveness of leadership almost exclusively through a lens of economic performance, specifically return on investment, say professors Joel M. Podolny and Rakesh Khurana, and doctoral student Marya Hill-Popper. Yet the focus on economic results usually gives a one-sided picture of what leaders can accomplish.

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

by Brigette Rouson

In today's nonprofit sector, with a growing emphasis on an entrepreneurial mindset and investment thinking, business planning is a topic for capacity builders and nonprofit organization leaders alike.

Although distinct earned income ventures are often the starting point for business planning, it may be that a nonprofit's main activity generates fees or contracts (for instance, workforce training and placement, a business incubator, housing or economic development). However, capacity builders find that applying principles of sound business planning can benefit most nonprofits in a variety of settings.

For a more in-depth article on business planning for nonprofits, click here or to download the entire pdf report, click here.

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