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MAY 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

Demonstrating Organizational Ethics and Accountability

The future of our sector organizations as tax exempt bodies may depend on how well we provide that kind of leadership.

To develop an ethical code for our organization . . . 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.

Voluntary sector organizations 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. To do that well, we must have standards of accountability that are ?reasonable and necessary.?

INDEPENDENT SECTOR has created a ?Checklist of Accountability?.

You may secure a copy from their web-site here.

Credible Communication

by Dr. John C. Maxwell

Consider this metaphor: A leader with credibility has a pocketful of coins. As long as the pocket is full, the leader is believable, worthy of respect, and able to be trusted. Each time the leader breaks a promise or acts inconsistently with professed values, he or she must pay out some of the coins. When the coins are gone, so is the leader's credibility. No amount of persuasion or personal appeal will be able to buy it back.

Here are the four keys to establishing credibility in your leadership:

1) Speak the truth.
2) Don't hide bad news.
3) Never over-promise.
4) Do what you say you will do.

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

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The Perils of Positive Thinking

by Estienne de Beer

Positive thinking without common sense is like operating your computer without anti-virus software. It causes illogical and unnecessary threats to one?s career and business that could easily be avoided. Please don?t get me wrong! No one can deny the exciting impact that positive attitudes have on the outcome of our strategies and events, but positive thinking on its own doesn?t pay the bills or grow market share.

Positive thinking without substance is nothing but a fairytale for adults. Overemphasizing positive thinking at the expense of other critical success factors will only lead to embarrassment and disappointment.

Cited and used with permission from leader2leaders.
To read the entire article in PDF format, click here.

The Breaking Point

by Bruna Martinuzzi

Selecting the information that is worthy of our attention is a key competency for reducing stress and ultimately, being more effective as a leader. Some strategies to consider:

1. Make sure your newly-minted leaders have the tools for people management responsibilities.
2. Create conditions that allow all your constituents to be in ?the flow? while they achieve results.
3. Learn the personality traits of stress-hardy people: commitment, control, and challenge.
4. Focus on your core business ? that which you do best is the most efficient way to bring about long-term growth and profit.
5. Pick your battles wisely.

Cited and used with permission from The Point Newsletter. To read the entire article in PDF format, click here. To subscribe to The Point Newsletter or read the current issue which includes this article, click here.

All In A Day's Work: The Role of the Leader Coach

by Sharon Ting

Coaching is considered one effective way to help managers establish and achieve clear goals that will result in improved business effectiveness, both for the individual and the organization. A good coach helps the "coachee" develop clarity of purpose and focus on action so that he or she can:

? Make specific behavioral changes;
? Leverage strengths to become more effective; and
? Think strategically about his or her development over the short and long term.

Three key elements make a leader coach different from a manager who gives feedback or handles evaluations: Leader coaches are intentional; Leader coaches focus on performance and development; Leader coaches take a systemic perspective.

Used and cited with permission from Center for Creative Leadership. Click here to read the entire article.