Ep 146: Why Unbecoming Is the Key to Innovative Leadership (with Kerri Hoffman)

nonprofits are messyInnovative leadership involves more than just figuring out which new ideas or technologies will propel your nonprofit organization toward its mission. It also involves determining which old ways of doing things need to be left behind in order for your org to thrive in the present moment.

This has never been more evident than right now.

As our post-Covid world emerges, many of us are finding out that the changes that we once thought were temporary are here to stay — and that many of the systems, processes, revenue models, and leadership styles that used to be so “normal” to us were actually quite flawed.

So we are left with two choices. We can keep hoping that things will return to what we used to call “normal” or we can innovate in (and around) how we do things.

Today’s guest, Kerri Hoffman (CEO of the nonprofit media company, PRX), credits this philosophy of “unbecoming” one thing to become “something else” as a catalyst that has helped her lead her organization gracefully through a transformational merger.

But what does this process of “unbecoming” look like for today’s nonprofit leader? And how can it help your organization emerge stronger than ever in our post-Covid world?

Kerri has some very valuable insights on this subject. Listen in as we discuss why “unbecoming” just might be the key to innovative leadership in the “new normal.”

Listen to learn:

  • How does the process of “unbecoming” foster innovation?
  • Why is it important for today’s nonprofit leaders to embrace the “new normal”?
  • What is the definition of innovative leadership?
  • What is the role of innovation in nonprofit leadership?
  • How has nonprofit leadership changed since the onset of the global pandemic?

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Ep 145: How Tiny Habits Create Big Change (with BJ Fogg)

nonprofits are messyToday’s guest is Stanford professor and author of the New York Times bestselling book, Tiny Habits: The Small Changes that Change Everything, BJ Fogg. According to BJ, you are far more likely to succeed at something if you don’t bite off more than you can chew.

But for nonprofit leaders, this habit can seem impossible to break (been there). Especially during those times when everything feels equally important — the donor who is all about her thank you note…the grant proposal due at 5pm…a client who will be homeless if they don’t get the check from your org on time…

With so much important work to juggle at once, you’re probably wondering, “Is prioritization even possible?”

The answer is yes, but as my guest, BJ Fogg, explains in this episode, good habit formation starts by first creating tiny habits that over time add up to monumental changes. In this episode, we discuss what this looks like for busy nonprofit leaders like you and how you can apply his strategies to improve your everyday life.

BJ’s book, Tiny Habits, is based on twenty years of research on behavior design. He has also coached over 40,000 people in the art of habit formation.

In This Episode:

  • What are tiny habits?
  • Why is good habit formation important for nonprofit leaders?
  • Which tiny habits help with prioritization?
  • What is the Fogg Behavioral Model?
  • What is behavior design?

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144: A Fresh Perspective on Inclusive Leadership (with Dr. Ella Bell Smith)

nonprofits are messyInclusive leadership requires more than just attending DEI training and then integrating what you learn into your nonprofit organization — this work goes much deeper. Join me as I dive into this topic and do some self-reflection with today’s guest, one of the leading experts in the management of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace, Dr. Ella Bell Smith.

It is no secret that the nonprofit sector has a major diversity problem. Don’t believe me? Consider the fact that the percentage of people of color in the ED/CEO role in our sector has remained under 20% for the last 15 years.

As a white woman involved in this work, I can admit that at times I have found myself totally oblivious to my own privilege and power. Before embarking on my own DEI journey with my team at the Nonprofit Leadership Lab, I naively assumed that my time as an LGBTQIA+ activist would make the road less bumpy.

But when it comes to DEI work, there is no room for assumptions — especially for leaders. Inclusive leadership requires you to keep your mind open so you can ask the right questions. This is how you begin to build the bridge between you and the people in your organization and lay the groundwork for a culture of belonging. That’s what inclusive leadership is about.

In today’s episode, leadership and DEI consultant and professor of business administration at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, Dr. Ella Bell Smith, shares a fresh perspective on this topic and shares some sound advice for nonprofit leaders who are ready to invest in diversity, equity, and inclusion work.

You see, DEI training is not some not some standalone project or checklist — it is a must-have for intentional leadership in today’s world.

In This Podcast:

  • Why is diversity and inclusion important?
  • How do leadership and diversity intersect?
  • What is DEI training?
  • Should nonprofit leaders invest in DEI training?
  • Why is it so important for nonprofit leaders to self-reflect on their own privilege?

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Ep 143: Lollipop Moments and Everyday Leadership Lessons (with Drew Dudley)

nonprofits are messyYour value as a nonprofit development director – or somebody in any nonprofit leadership position – is not (entirely) measured by the amount of money you bring in.

In fact, sometimes the money you end up making for your organization comes in long after you are gone. You see, when you approach everyday leadership in a way that prioritizes impact and culture, your value extends well into the organization’s future.

Feeling relieved?

Drew Dudley is a highly dynamic speaker and leadership expert who’s on a mission to help people unlearn the most dangerous leadership lessons.

According to Drew, we may not be in charge of what we need to get done everyday, but we are always in charge of who we are. He joins me today to talk about this and other valuable leadership lessons, and their impact on the biggest source of leadership in the world — the nonprofit sector.

As the Founder and Chief Catalyst of Day One Leadership, Drew Dudley has helped top organizations around the world increase their leadership capacity. His popular TED Talk “Everyday Leadership (The Lollipop Moment)” was voted “one of the 15 most inspirational TED Talks of all time”.

You’re going to love this one!

Listen in to learn:

  • What are some of the most dangerous leadership lessons impacting nonprofits today?
  • What are lollipop moments?
  • What role does identity play in everyday leadership?
  • What happens when you think your work matters more than you do?
  • How can a nonprofit leader ensure that their values become intrinsic to their organization’s culture?

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Ep 142: How Kindness and Community Empower Today’s Nonprofit Leaders (with John Hoffman)

nonprofits are messy

I love a good AHA moment.

I recently had one on the role of kindness in the work of today’s nonprofit leaders while watching the 2020 documentary, The Antidote. In this episode, I’m joined by one of the film’s directors, my friend and six-time Emmy Award winner, John Hoffman.

As I watched this film, which features the stories of people who are really touching the work in their communities, I realized the true reason why I embrace the word kindness — it implies action. It requires commitment. You see, kindness can be thought of as something gentle, but it also has real strength.

To quote one of the heroes the movie spotlights, “Kindness is a practice. Kindness is a stance.”

Much like the nonprofit leaders of our world, The Antidote inspires a commitment to using kindness as a force for good and a vehicle to bind our communities together.

Listen in as John and I continue the conversation that the film drives on the roles that kindness, decency, compassion, and respect play in nonprofit work and our society as a whole.

In this episode:

  • What role does kindness play in the work of today’s nonprofit leaders?
  • How is kindness defined in today’s world?
  • What is the difference between an act of kindness and sustainable kindness?
  • What can nonprofit leaders take away from The Antidote?

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Ep 141: An Honest Conversation About Donor Stewardship (with Lisa Greer)

nonprofits are messy

If you lead a nonprofit organization with a mission that requires financial support, an effective donor stewardship strategy is a must-have. My guest today, philanthropist Lisa Greer, knows this all too well…

When she and her husband became members of the 1% overnight, they were thrilled at the idea of contributing to causes as five-star philanthropists…but, as more and more nonprofit fundraisers began to reach out seeking sizable gifts, Lisa uncovered some hard truths.

Only 18% of people who give do so a second time. Why? Because unfortunately, many nonprofit fundraisers struggle to maintain positive donor relations that stand the test of time — and this ends up costing their orgs (and the causes they champion) millions of dollars.

As a philanthropist and the author of Philanthropy Revolution, Lisa Greer has some valuable, firsthand insights on how organizations can cultivate strong, lifelong donor relationships.

From treating donors like ATMs to not keeping them in the loop, she joins me today to fill us in on some of the most common donor stewardship mistakes organizations make and how you can avoid them.

Listen in to find out:

  • What are the most common mistakes nonprofit fundraisers make when it comes to donor stewardship?
  • How can nonprofit fundraisers improve donor relations for their organizations?
  • What inspires a one-time donor to give again (and again)?
  • What exactly do nonprofit donors need to hear (or not)?
  • Why are there currently $150 billion in donor advised funds that are not going to individual charities?

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Ep 140: How to Attract, Develop, and Retain Top Nonprofit Talent (with Gali Cooks)

nonprofits are messy

It’s no secret that attracting, developing, and retaining the best nonprofit talent is not always our sector’s strong suit. Today’s guest, Gali Cooks, is a nonprofit leader who works daily to help organizations find rockstar talent and set them up for success in lasting nonprofit careers.

I’m not naïve. I know that filling positions in a nonprofit organization comes with many challenges. After all, you want the right people in the right seats on the bus (not just butts in seats) — and the time and money constraints are real.

But, so too is the reality that having the right talent by your side is essential if you want your organization to last in the long run. That’s why having solid nonprofit leadership development and effective succession planning strategies in place at your organization is a must.

Luckily, helping organizations navigate these issues is today’s guest’s sweet spot. Gali is the founding president and chief executive officer of Leading Edge, an organization funded by organizations and formed to influence, inspire, and enable dramatic change in attracting, developing, and retaining top talent for Jewish organizations.

She joins us today to share how you can create a nonprofit workplace culture that empowers your best talent to grow and thrive.

Listen in to learn:

  • How do organizations attract and develop top nonprofit talent (Rockstars)?
  • What are the six ingredients that impact nonprofit workplace culture and, in turn, nonprofit talent retention?
  • How do nonprofit leadership development and succession planning impact an organization’s future?
  • How do nonprofit leaders get started with nonprofit succession planning?
  • How do today’s hiring decisions impact the future of your nonprofit organization?

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Ep 139: Interpersonal Skills are Hard Work (with Carole Robin)

nonprofits are messy

Executive directors, your interpersonal skills have a much bigger impact on your org’s success than you might think. Yet, so many nonprofit leaders struggle to navigate workplace relationships — with staff, with volunteers, and yes, with their boards.

Why do so many nonprofit leaders have a hard time with these interpersonal dynamics? Today’s guest, award-winning Stanford University professor and Co-Founder of Leaders in Tech, Carole Robin, is here to give us the scoop.

She’s the co-author of Connect: Building Exceptional Relationships, a book modeled off the most popular class taught in Stanford’s MBA program — Interpersonal Dynamics, affectionately called “Touchy Feely Class”.

Today We’ll Uncover:

  • How do interpersonal skills impact nonprofit leadership?
  • How does the power balance between staff and leadership affect interpersonal dynamics at work?
  • How does modeling vulnerability lead to exceptional workplace relationships?
  • How can nonprofit leaders vet potential hires for strong interpersonal skills?

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Ep 138: Joan’s Favorite Books for Nonprofit Leaders

nonprofits are messyIn my book, reading is one of the best investments you can make in your professional development. That’s why, today, I’m in the hot seat. Ah yes, the tables are turning and Cindy Pereira is asking all the questions—about my favorite books for nonprofit leaders!

I’ve shared with you some of my favorite books on nonprofit leadership on my blog. But it recently occurred to me that there is so much that nonprofit leaders can learn from every genre.

That’s why Cindy and I thought it would be fun to put together a summer reading list for nonprofit leaders that covers everything from nonprofit leadership to murder mystery (hopefully not in the same story!)

Cindy produces my podcast and runs my consulting business. She also worked closely with my team to launch the second edition of my book, Joan Garry’s Guide to Nonprofit Leadership in 2020. Needless to say, Cindy and I have had lots of talks about books…and today we’re adding you to the conversation.

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Ep 137: Cryptocurrency and the Future of Donor Advised Funds (with Robbie Heeger)

nonprofits are messySometimes I feel really cutting edge. Not often, but every now and then.

A few months back I hosted an episode with Beth Kanter and Alison Fine and we talked about how artificial intelligence can be used in nonprofits. I actually kept up with the conversation. Like I said… cutting edge.

But I have to admit that the topic of today’s podcast made me a little nervous. Cryptocurrency and its role with donor advised funds. Really? Why yes.

It seems that more and more folks are donating with cryptocurrency. You know, bitcoin, ethereum, stuff like that? And meanwhile, only a few large nonprofits have any idea what to do with it.

So I’m kind of a podcast host toddler here being thrown into the deep end of the pool without swimmies. So it’s a little daunting. But it’s also really exciting!

My guest today is Robbie Heeger who is the CEO of Endaoment, America’s first Community Foundation to be powered by a blockchain. Blockchain? I leave it to Robbie to explain.

Here’s the thing. This new financial infrastructure just might be the future of fundraising. It’s fascinating stuff and I invite you to have a listen.

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