Helping people. This is what working in a nonprofit organization is all about. In this column, I will share things I’ve learned that can help you in your role including best practices, industry news, resources to look at and even some fun tips and tricks.
Why History MattersJul 17, 2018
I recently presented a full-day in-kind planning session at the Region IV Head Start Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The session focused on ways for the audience to break down in-kind into actionable items when they got back home.
Leadership Blog: Can you really love your job?Feb 28, 2018
A group of up-and-coming leaders asked if someone can really love their job.
I asked them a question back: Do you always love your family, friends, significant other…even your dog (think about a middle-of-the-night trip to the bathroom only to step in something squishy)?
Leadership Blog: New Year—Now What?Jan 30, 2018
I am not into new year’s resolutions, unless it is to continue to eat cupcakes—because I can make that one happen!
What I like about a new year is that you can take the time to regroup. You can look at your written goals (see that subliminal suggestion there—“written”) and decide how you are doing on them by asking yourself some questions.
HS/EHS Blog: Impact – What You May Never KnowDec 14, 2017
I often offer preconference presentations, as well as breakout sessions, through the National Head Start Association’s annual conferences. This past week I presented at the parent conference. Because the Policy Council and parent involvement have been an important part of the program since the 1970s, this conference focuses on helping parents and community members learn the rules, regulations, and requirements of the Head Start/Early Head Start program—and there are A LOT!
HS/EHS Blog: You Are the Best-Kept Secret – NOW STOP IT!Nov 09, 2017
I have a rant. A soap box. A super-sized concern. And I need your help. I often travel to clients to offer internal training or consulting, and I have seen a trend that needs attention. I will go into a gas station, store, or restaurant and mention that I am working with the local Head Star/Early Head Start and…wait for it…wait for it…they have no idea what I am talking about.
Leadership Blog: Leading With LegacyOct 27, 2017
What do you mean I have to coach all the time?!?!
I am a leader. And for me leadership means so much. I lead as a
new partner in a CPA and consulting firm. I lead people, projects, and lasting impacts for the legacy of the firm. I lead me. I lead those who are more tenured than I am as they transition into retirement. And I lead the next generation of leaders, who will not lead the same way the generations before them have led. That’s a lot of leading—right?!?!
HS/EHS Blog: Understanding WhyOct 25, 2017
I just finished a client engagement on which we (their leadership team, my colleagues, and I) spent three days digging into the Head Start Program Performance Standards. We went through the regulations, then they discussed their current monitoring approaches, with the goal of meeting the new Monitoring Protocol standards of less “check it off the list” type of monitoring.
Vacation BrainOct 24, 2017
I did it. I took a vacation and mostly disconnected. I handled two ASAP requests. I kept my email under 100 by checking/responding/cleaning it out every few days. But mostly I ate, slept, read, indulged in an adult beverage (or a few), and had a great vacation in the sun for my annual girls’ trip.
Is It In-KindAug 25, 2017
I had the opportunity to work in a Head Start program back in the early 1990s. At the time, the hot (and by hot, I mean what the monitors were focusing on) topic was in-kind. And decades later, it’s still the hot topic! We are asked all the time, “What is allowable in-kind?”
Intolerance of IntoleranceAug 22, 2017
When should a leader be intolerant? Let's talk…
A few years ago I had the opportunity to spend a few days in Munich. I struggled with going and could hear my parents’ voices stating how they could never set foot in that land (although my father was there as an American soldier in World War II). As I walked the streets feeling incredibly secure and welcomed, my mind often wandered back to what this would've been like 70 years prior. I would have been wearing a yellow star, marking me as someone not to be tolerated. I would not have been welcomed in shops or in public. I could have been beaten or arrested only for the reason of me being who I am. And worse, the people who warmly greeted me during my trip were most likely raised by people who were part of the intolerant folks of 70 years prior.
Let GoMay 02, 2017
Things change. People agree and disagree. Ideas happen and fail. And we have a choice. We can hang on to our successes and our failures, continuing to relive them (becoming a prisoner of our past behaviors like those who were in Alcatraz). Or we can let go.
Make Opportunity Great AgainNov 11, 2016
In light of recent election results, I couldn't resist this blog title. Regardless of which candidate we voted for, we now have to make do with the results. Here's my challenge: Let's look inside and outside our organization, let's reinvest in our mission, let's focus on our desired outcomes, and let's create the impact we know that we can.
Change isn't bad...Oct 06, 2016
…it's just different! I had this nugget of knowledge shared with me the other day. Actually, it's brilliant. What would happen if we all just looked at change from this perspective?
PrognosticationJun 22, 2016
Today is a big word day, and today's big word is prognostication. Webster's says that prognostication is "a statement about what is going to happen in the future." Leaders are prognosticators! So I dare you to start your next discussion with this statement: "Have I got a prognostication for you!" Then, of course, you need to accurately predict the future.
Leadership BrandMay 10, 2016
I spend a lot of time reading leadership books and articles. Every author has a great idea on how leadership style affects leadership effectiveness. For me, the bottom line always comes down to one thing: My behavior as a leader has consequences, both good and bad. And it's consequences I'm talking about, not results.
Culture and a CurseApr 05, 2016
Last night was opening day for my beloved Chicago Cubs. They started the season on a winning note, defeating the Angels 9-0. But that's not what this blog is about. It's really about the culture around an organization and how that culture can drive your outcomes.
I Am (Not) ResponsibleMar 10, 2016
Today's topic is responsibility. Yes, the “R” word. You know it. You may have even felt it. So here's my question: Do you live it?
Will It Help?Jan 29, 2016
If you saw the movie “Bridge of Spies,” you probably heard this dialogue repeated several times by two of the main characters:
James Donovan: “Aren't you worried?”
Rudolf Abel: “Would it help?”
ReflectionJan 06, 2016
In my last blog, I wrote about the need to think. This generated some interesting discussion on the differences between thinking and reflecting. I hadn't really thought about this, and I want to thank those (especially Denny) who prodded me to think about the differences.
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