Management and Leadership in Nonprofits


Don’t Be a SALY

Dec 04, 2018
By: Tammy T. Jelinek

Have you heard of the acronym SALY? It stands for Same As Last Year. It’s often referred to in auditing terms as a joke. But as leaders, we can’t afford to be SALY.

If you run your organization the exact same way you did last year, you won’t get the same results, even if you want the same results. Why? Because we are changing at such a rapid pace as a society that we must be forward looking and forward thinking — not SALY.

As leaders, we set the tone at the top:

  • If we are not ready to change, our teams will not be ready.
  • If we are not willing to try and fail (or try and succeed), our teams will not be willing.
  • If we are not ever evolving and ever learning, our team will not be either.
  • If we are not ready to make this year better than last year, why should our teams bother?

As you head into the new year:

  1. Identify what went right last year. Decide what you can make better. (Insert the what-went-right answer here.)
  2. Identify what went wrong last year. Decide what you can make better.
  3. Identify what you need to do new/learn more of/take risks on for next year.
  4. Do it!

Let us know what you come up with for your answers. I may have a gift for the best not-SALY answers!

Wishing you a great day, and remember:  Lead with legacy.


 Tammy Jelinek has over 20 years of experience in working in and with fabulous organizations. This blog will explore what it’s like for her to lead as a woman, as a GenXer, and as a person who truly wants to lead with legacy—meaning she wants to walk her talk. Tammy has presented training nationally across the United States, built businesses, coached amazing people and built a career in the squiggliest path known to man…or in this case, woman. She has a passion for being curious, helping people and making actions happen.

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Tammy T. Jelinek, MBA
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