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Welcome to the fourth 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

Solving Leadership Challenges with Questions ?
The Right Questions:

Centerpoint for Leaders is in the midst of identifying the one question that will help us target our response to professional leadership concerns. Please take a minute to identify the one pressing question that you would like to see explored in these pages and email it to us below. Yep, that's it. Just one question . . . maybe yours . . . could be the basis for the niche service that Centerpoint for Leaders becomes.

What kind of dilemmas do you face that cause you the most consternation? What challenges are not addressed in the run-of-the-mill "leadership press?" While there are many websites and resources that do a fine job covering leadership in general (witness the rest of this newsletter), we're trying to identify your biggest challenge. We'd love to get our teeth into THAT question. Thanks in advance for your kind assistance.

Please with your pressing question.

by Anne Baber and Lynne Waymon

Leaders ought to be hanging around with people who are NOT like them. You could avoid reinventing the wheel by finding some person or organization that's ahead of your curve, stimulating creativity and accelerating your learning speed. Several of the ideas discussed: "serendipity," checking out something new, using the web and, last, but not least, increase socializing ? you might even have some fun!

Please read the full version of this article here.

As an additional resource, here is a sidebar from the article that discusses 10 Ways to Diversify Your Network Instantly.

The key to leading your organization toward continued viability, according to Robert O. Zdenek and Carol Steinbach, lies in mastering three critical areas. Strategic decision making, by definition, precludes other options and therefore requires careful and objective assessment. Finding and retaining good staff is a challenge and can become more effective through staff development, improving the work environment, communication and cross-training. Finally, operating systems need to be state-of-the-art.

According to one executive director, ". . . effective systems can cut an entire day out of someone's time every two weeks. That's how much time good technology frees up!"

Please read the full version of this article here.

If there is a topic on leadership or organizational development that you would like to share or see us address, please send us an e-mail at .

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"The best leaders have a strong vision; they are attached to outcomes, not processes." ? Heidi Richards

In Fast Company Magazine Cheryl Dahle interviewed senior leaders of Internet Capital Group and found that there were four distinct traits the companiesí leaders shared. I believe these traits apply to leaders who serve in any role ? in the for-profit or the nonprofit world:

  1. Emotional toughness;
  2. EGO strength;
  3. Realistic optimism; and
  4. Openness to new information.

Please read the full version of this article here.

by Mimi Carlson and Margaret Donohoe

To perform the central caretaker role, an Executive Director must display important characteristics. The strength of each will differ from person to person, but every Executive Director needs some combination of all of the following:

  • Visionary;
  • Change agent;
  • Relationship builder;
  • Community creator; and
  • Resource wizard.
  Executive Director's Survival Guide

For example, as a community creator, the Executive Director is responsible for a) creating a visible organization with broad stakeholder support; b) communicating with external stakeholders to ensure continuing interest and involvement in the mission; c) building partnerships that further the mission through cooperative efforts and strategic relationships; and d) valuing diversity and creating an organizational culture that appreciates and respects differences.

Please read a sample chapter (Chapter One) here.

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