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Thoughts From Sandra

The One-Page Memo ? A Leadership Tool

Dr. Abela informs us that the 1-page memo discipline has been in full force at Procter and Gamble for 20 years. Every communication has to fit on one page, and follow a fixed format. It was ? and remains ? a very powerful discipline.

Here it is, with some of his own embellishments.

1. The Idea. What are you proposing? This is typically one sentence.

2. Background. What conditions have arisen that led you to this recommendation? Only include information that everyone agrees upon in the Background ? this is the basis for discussion, so it needs to be non-debatable.

3. How it Works. The details. In addition to How, also What, Who, When, Where.

4. Key Benefits. This is the "Why?" There are usually three benefits: the recommended action is on strategy, already proven (e.g. in test market or in another business unit), and will be profitable. You can think of these three in terms of the old Total Quality mantra of "doing right things right." The first (on strategy) means you're doing the right thing. The second and third mean you're doing things the right way, because you're being effective (proven to work) and efficient (profitable).

5. Next Steps. Who has to do what and by when for this to happen?
It is a document structure that is designed to sell ? a product or an idea.

You can check out Dr. Abela's blog here.

#1 Awareness of the Needs Around You ? Leaders interact in an environment abounding with needs. Customers, partners, and co-workers all have needs. Needs are all around us, but they are also within us. Leaders are able to look beyond their own needs to sense and respond to the needs of others.

#2 Awareness of the Reality Before You ? Decisions have consequences ? positive and negative, intended and unintended. Leaders with a flair for timing are able to foresee the implications of their courses of action.

#3 Awareness of the Influencers Behind You ? Every organization has key influences that must be on board for pivotal decisions to be made. To excel at the art of timing, leaders must court the support of these influencers. Many leaders make the mistake of chasing after attractive opportunities, only to be hung out to dry when a major donor or investor backs out of their pledged assistance. Can you count on the support of the influencers behind you?

Three areas of Awareness are provided this month; three more will appear in the November 2006 issue.

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

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Other Management/Leadership distinctions include:

These are not mutually exclusive, but what often happens is that the management stuff crowds out the leadership stuff, or ?only Directors? are supposed to operate in the right-hand, leadership dimension.

Because the management requirement is more tangible, it can be perceived (especially in tough times) as more desirable, when in reality, it?s leadership that will move you out of tough times more quickly, or help prevent them in the first place.

The effective organisation can be management and leadership led.

Cited and used with permission from Structured Training. To read the rest of the article, click here.

Once collaboration is established, accountability becomes crucial. Some  factors that each organization must realize and balance:

  ?   Responsibility to own organization
  ?   Responsibility to clients and constituents
  ?   Responsibility to collaborative partners

So, how can you help manage these responsibilities? A linkage agreement which can include:

  ?   Mission/Purpose
  ?   Duration
  ?   Description of projects/goals
  ?   Means of termination
  ?   Governance structure
  ?   Decision-making process (consensus, voting, etc.)
  ?   Means of resolving conflict (mediator, etc.)
  ?   Limits of liability

Cited and used with permission from Trustee Leadership Development. To read the entire article, register and then click under "Publications" and "Newsletter" here.

A Great Electronic Leadership Resource

David La Piana's Real Collaboration: A Guide for Grantmakers

  ?   Real Collaboration necessarily involves nonprofit leaders working closely together on substantial content-laden issues. It is inherently interactive. It may entail conflict, but it must involve engagement.

  ?   Real Collaboration is relationship-based; it requires that the partners get to know one another well enough to eventually develop trust. This trusting relationship includes a deep commitment to work together.

  ?   Real Collaboration is voluntary. Nonprofit leaders should come together because they perceive potential synergies and benefits for their constituencies, not because a funder ?encouraged? them to do so, and least of all because a grant may be available.

  ?   Real Collaboration takes time. It cannot begin, be nurtured, and mature within the limited timeframe and high-pressure environment created by most funder-sponsored Requests for Proposals.

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