Wednesday, September 2, 2015

6 Great Readings for Labor Day and College Football’s Opening Weekend


Why a speaker shouldn’t “speak from the heart” — and a professional shouldn’t focus on passion…
By Scott McKain via Create Distinction

This is a really great article for association professionals! 

  • A key point: “The audience deserves your SKILL…not whatever condition your heart may be in at that particular juncture. And, they deserve the most skillful presenter that you can become.” 
  • When speakers (or just about any other professional) fail, it is very seldom because they didn’t put enough “heart” into their presentation. 
  • It’s because they failed to develop the skill required to do their job in an extraordinary manner.
Communicate More Often to Renew More Donors
By Dennis Fischman via The Fundraising Coach

It’s a facial expression that’s become way too familiar. When I talk with nonprofit organizations about communicating with their donors, they give me a sheepish look.

“We know we should be in touch more often,” the Executive Director says. “But we have so little time, and there are so many ways people expect to hear from us. Newsletters, annual reports, website updates, email, social media...not to mention local newspapers and community TV. How do we keep coming up with new ideas for stories?”

You don’t need to wear that sheepish look in your organization. Yes, you should be in touch. And yes, there are so many channels for your communications today! But there’s a simple way to make sure you always have the stories to tell and the messages to share: repurpose.

Board Leadership
By Fred Wilson via AVC blog

The board is tasked with governance. The Board doesn’t run things, but it governs who runs things and how things are run. I’ve heard it said many times that a board does only one thing – hire and fire the CEO. While that is somewhat true, it simplifies the role of the board and trivializes it.

A board’s job is to make sure things are going in the right direction and when they are not to step in and make changes in an attempt to get things back on track. While that can and does include leadership changes, it also involves acting as a sounding board for management’s plans and being a body that management is accountable to.

How Do You Fix a Board Power Struggle?
By Mark Athitakis via Associations Now

Glenn Tecker presented three scenarios from anonymous associations to show a few of the ways this problem manifests itself: The president-elect who wants to bully through a bylaws change, the president who pursued merger discussions with another association without consulting with the rest of the board, the president who busily engaged in management activities better left to staff. Nightmares all, but all cases where leaders were given a lot of leeway to interpret an association’s goals, without recognizing that interpreting an association’s goals is a fundamentally collaborative act.

Recognizing the opening of College Football Season, here are two football-oriented articles of value to associations and nonprofits.

The Power of Ohio State’s Positive Thinking
By Ben Cohen via The Wall Street Journal

The incredible ascent of Cardale Jones, Ohio State’s third-string quarterback who has carried the Buckeyes to the brink of a national championship, is as puzzling as any development in college football. How does Ohio State have not one or two but three quarterbacks better than almost every other school’s? Why did it take so long for Jones to get any snaps? Could he really beat Oregon for the title next week and return to Ohio State’s bench next season?

But here’s the better question: How was Jones so prepared to play right away? The answer is that Jones, like every other Ohio State player, went through extensive emotional training over the past two years, studying a formula that he wears on a wristband on his throwing arm.

“E plus R equals O,” he said. “Event plus response equals outcome.”

The Seduction of Jim Harbaugh  “Endzone: The Rise, Fall, and Return of Michigan Football.”

By John U. Bacon via The Wall Street Journal

In December, after Michigan finished a miserable 5-7 season that resulted in coach Brady Hoke’s firing, Hackett and Harbaugh had long talks on Saturday nights, developing a good rapport. (To avoid anything leaking to the media, Hackett always referred to Harbaugh internally as “Unicorn,” which reflected Hackett’s belief that Harbaugh was a one-of-a-kind candidate.)

“The interesting thing is,” Hackett later told me, “we never talked specifically about Jim being head coach. We talked about what Michigan needed. After a few weeks of this, we’re going back and forth and getting really excited about the possibilities, and Jim says, ‘We’re getting excited about this, aren’t we?’

“Yes we are,” Hackett said.

“You didn’t offer me the job, did you?” Harbaugh asked.

“No, I haven’t.”

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