Sunday, June 10, 2007

Leadership on the Edge

On Wednesday I attended a workshop entitled "Leadership on the Edge - How to Create, Manage and Survive Change" sponsored by the Dodge Foundation. Program Director, Ross Danis, facilitated the workshop. This interactive workshop provided skill development for nonprofit leaders - both Staff and Board.

The first skill addressed was communication. Using an audience member to ask a tough question, Ross skillfully answered it using a simple three point technique: (10 Point with Pride, (2) Acknowledge the Problem and (3) Hope for the Future. In response to a question about failing 4th grade scores, he responded by noting the excellent SAT score results, acknowledging the concern about the 4th grade scores and explaining that a committee of Board and Staff had been appointed to assess the problem and recommend solutions. What a great response!

Ross used a Franklin Covey quandrant chart and humorous video to demonstrate the importance of scheduling time to spend on the things that that aren't just of immediate importance. This is a big issue for nonprofit managers who frequently seem to be moving from one crisis to another.

The day was topped off with a game where both teams improved their output by understanding how well the competition was doing and some tips on leading people.

All together a great set of exercises which helped us think about what is important, how to communicate in an effective manner and how important it is to make time for strategic planning and long term projects. All of these skills should be in our personal leadership "toolkit."

Marion Conway Consulting

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