The Two Things Every Leader Of A Nonprofit Must Have

Dr Seuss QuotesA vision and they must care, a lot.

I’ve worked with many Nonprofits,  as well as volunteered on several boards (currently president of one and vice president of another). I’ve seen the good and the bad, the purpose driven and the lost souls.

One day going back and forth with a good friend discussing the growth strategy of Nonprofit organizations she pitches me, “if you want to run a successful Nonprofit the person in charge has to have a vision of what they want to create and they must care a whole lot.” This struck me as odd because how could something so complex as the leadership of a Nonprofits be summed up by satisfying two variables? It couldn’t possibly be that simple could it?

This moment in time reminded me of a Woody Guthrie quote.

“Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple.”

Nonprofit leadership comes down to two things. Having a vision and caring. A leader with an inspirational vision but doesn’t care is a snake oil salesman. They have grandiose ideas, they’re smooth talkers, they could sell a Ketchup Popsicle to a women in white gloves. But when the chips fall, when the going get tough, when the real work begins, this snake oil slinging fella is nowhere to be found. Continue reading »

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Why I Think My Sister Is Brilliant

Amy and MeI had an enlightening conversation with my sister the other day. She works for a company in Calgary. She really understands the industry (realizing this after many probing questions of course) she’s worked her way up to a point where she’s quite valuable in the company, and she still doesn’t know how smart she is.

She isn’t lazy, hates being board, and understands that a stressful, hectic, growing company is much better to be working for than a stale, easy to do job, at a company going no where. The way she thinks is simply refreshing. A great person to have on the team. She truly wants to see her company grow and has a pretty good handle on how to go about doing that.

The best part? She doesn’t have a University degree. Nor do I think she needs one, I think she’s brilliant.

School was never her thing, so she couldn’t pay attention in class and learn, just like many kids back in the day and even more so today. She probably would be diagnosed with a mild version of attention deficit hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). But she’s so intelligent in how she thinks. She understands how actions affect other people, she’s self-aware, and really has the companies best interests in mind.

She’s a women in a industry dominated by men, has been told but popular education that her grades just aren’t good enough and still she’s excelling at her job in an enormous way. That’s awesome.

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How Risk-Averse Entrepreneurs Succeed

Timothy Ferriss

Learning  relearning how to start a business is something we all need to remind ourselves about from time to time. You only fail when you think you get “it”.

Here’s a video that Timothy Ferriss put on his blog. An interview with another entrepreneur (Noah Kagan of App Sumo). But not just an interview these two go back and forth on how to start a new venture, what questions to ask, how to test early as possible, how to call your own bullshit, and how to begin with the customer.

They even take an audience member and help him create a business. Literally, he pivots during the interview and they actually begin taking orders for this “new product” on air. Ridiculous!

Watch it…

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Are Newspapers Dying?

WhoKilledTheNewspaper-The Economist

Are Newspapers Dying?

Warren Buffet doesn’t seem to think so, buying up some 60 odd papers in the past two years. He’s not alone either, other billionaires as of late have been splurging on traditional print media companies like Takeru Kobayashi at a hotdog eating contest.

So the obvious question is, why?

Buffett thinks it has to do with a monopoly on local news. People will always need their news, off or online. As long as local Newspapers can focus on the local news he think they’ll be just fine.

Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos’ just purchased the Washington Post for $250 million. From Fastcompany: “Observers were surprised when the Amazon Chief purchased the prestigious-and ailing-Washington institution, but history shows that sometimes buying a media property is like buying a boat.”

So now rich people to show off, instead of buying a yacht, mansion or real estate, they’re buying newspapers.

The Boston Globe was sold to John Henry, owner of the Boston Redsox for $70 million. If you think that’s a lot, to put it into perspective, the New York Times Co. purchased the Boston Globe in 1993 for $1.1 billion. The return on that investment is breathtakingly horrible.

And a little closer to home, the Leaderpost, as of May 14th along with many other of Post Media’s entities have gone  subscription fee after you’ve read your 10th article for free. I’d be curious to see the numbers of people subscribing to the online Leaderpost, again, I don’t necessarily think the Leaderpost is in trouble. People need their news. And people want to trust the source for their local news. I can see the Leaderpost online entity being a very value online publication for little ol booming Regina. As Warren Buffett says, “as long as they stick to delivering local news that readers can’t find anywhere else.”

It’s going to be a rocky road ahead for the Leaderpost, Washington Post, and Boston Globe, Google is set to make more revenue than the entire U.S. print industry combined.

Google Rakes In More Ad Dollars than All Print Media

Image Source: Google Rakes In More Ad Dollars Than U.S. Print Media

Looking at this graph it’s hard not to think Newspapers could be dying faster than we think, that’s trusting that this graph is 100% true as well. ;)

What do you think? Will Newspapers disappear? How would you go about saving them?

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The Riskiest Thing We Can Do

From Mitch Joel’s new book CTRL ALT DELETE he uses this quote from Seth Godin. I love it. Being more average isn’t going to get you anywhere. Being like everyone else won’t work. You must be different.

Seth-Godin-Quote-You-don't-win-by-being-more-average-than-other-people-in-your-industry

“You don’t win by being more average than other people in your industry.
You don’t win by being more compliant than your fellow co-workers.
Being more obedient at what you do every day is not going to make you more indispensable.
What makes someone indispensable is that they do something that other people can’t do.
We go to work every day trying to not do that. We go to work trying to be just like everyone else, because that feels safe. In today’s economy, and for the foreseeable future, that’s the riskiest thing we can do.”

For more quotes check out this post here:

17 Lessons (Quotes) on Strategy, Leadership, and Advertising
Best Business & Marketing Quotes of 2012
11 Facts You Need To Know About Your Brain

 

 

 

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6 Parables of Business Strategy

beautiful women

I found these a while back, I didn’t write them but they are gems of business advice.

Parable 1:
A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower, when the doorbell rings. The wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs downstairs. When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next-door neighbor.
Before she says a word, Bob says, “I’ll give you $800 to drop that towel.” After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Bob After a few seconds, Bob hands her $800 and leaves.

The woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs. When she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks, “Who was that?”
“It was Bob the next door neighbor,” she replies.
“Great!” the husband says, “did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?”

Moral of the story :

If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk with your shareholders in time, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.

Parable 2:
A priest offered a Nun a lift. She got in and crossed her legs, forcing her gown to reveal a leg. The priest nearly had an accident. After controlling the car, he stealthily slid his hand up her leg.

The nun said, “Father, remember Psalm 129?” The priest removed his hand. But, changing gears, he let his hand slide up her leg again. The nun once again said, “Father, remember Psalm 129?” The priest apologized “Sorry sister but the flesh is weak” Arriving at the convent, the nun sighed heavily and went on her way. On his arrival at the church, the priest rushed to look up Psalm 129 It said, “Go forth and seek, further up, you will find glory.”

Moral of the story:

If you are not well informed in your job, you might miss a great opportunity.

Parable 3:
A sales rep, an administration clerk, and the manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out.
The Genie says, “I’ll give each of you just one wish.”
“Me first! Me first!” says the admin clerk. “I want to be in the Bahamas , driving a speedboat, without a care in the world.”Puff! She’s gone.
“Me next! Me next!” says the sales rep. “I want to be in Hawaii , relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of Pina Coladas and the love of my life.”

Puff! He’s gone.

“OK, you’re up,” the Genie says to the manager. The manager says, “I want those two back in the office after lunch.”

Moral of the story:

Always let your boss have the first say.

Parable 4:
An eagle was sitting on a tree resting, doing nothing. A small rabbit saw the eagle and asked him,

Can I also sit like you and do nothing?”
The eagle answered: “Sure , why not.”
So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the eagle and rested. All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.

Moral of the story:

To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high > >> up.

Parable 5:
A turkey was chatting with a bull. “I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree,” sighed the turkey, “but I haven’t got the
energy.”
“Well, why don’t you nibble on some of my droppings?” replied the bull. “They’re packed with nutrients.”
The turkey pecked at a lump of dung, and found it actually gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree. The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch. Finally after a fourth night, the turkey was proudly perched at the top of the tree.
He was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot him out of the tree.

Moral of the story:

Bull might get you to the top, but it won’t keep you there.

Parable 6:
A little bird was flying south for the Winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field. While he was lying
there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to
realize how warm he was. The dung was actually thawing him out! He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy.

A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him.

Morals of the story:

(1) Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy.
(2) Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend.
(3) And when you’re in deep , it’s best to keep your mouth shut!

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