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Pages tagged "Inspiration"


Bite-Sized Leadership Lessons

main.jpgEver since hearing the inspiring words of Bush Foundation CEO Jen Ford Reedy and Humphrey School Associate Dean Laura Bloomberg at the 2014 YNPN National Conference, I’ve been thinking about how impactful it is to hear an individual speak about his or her perspective on leadership.

After all, what really is leadership? You can’t put it in a box or a clear-cut definition. Everyone lives leadership in his or her own way, and it is something entirely different and powerful when it emerges from a team of individuals.

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Moving On

Loading a Moving Van“HelloGoodbyeHelloGoodbye… I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello.”
-The Beatles, Hello, Goodbye

These lyrics come from what feels like my theme song of late: Hello, Goodbye by The Beatles. Since graduating college in 2007, my now husband and I have moved four times, never staying anywhere longer than three years. Perhaps we’re not so different from you or many others in our generation, who chase job opportunities wherever they lead.

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Can we stop talking about passion for a minute?

It seems to be pretty standard for career books and blogs (even this one) to tell you that the secret to career success is to channel your passion and do the thing you love.

That’s crap. Well-intentioned, but in my opinion, crap.

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Jump into work head first

Not that long ago I came across the poem “To be of use” by Marge Piercy. I barely got through the first stanza and thought she could be writing about YNPN Twin Cities. The entire history of our organization is filled with people who “jump into work head first/without dallying in the shallows”. It’s in our DNA. It’s what inspires me at every event and with every interaction. I read the poem as a reflection of pieces of YNPN-TC’s vision to connect through purpose and lead together.

When members saw a gap in the leadership development opportunities of young nonprofit professionals, YNPNers came together with a clear purpose and created a Leadership Institute that has just launched. 

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All in: Leaders who learn

For most of my life I’ve considered the act of learning something that happens in a classroom: there is a teacher who has expertise and knowledge, and there are students who do not yet have that knowledge. Students sit quietly, take notes, study, and eventually learn new information and skills.

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Dear Giacomo: Resolutions

Nonprofit master Giacomo Crostini is here to answer all your burning questions about life in the nonprofit sector. Email him at info@ynpntwincities.org for advice and guidance.
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giacomo.jpgDear Giacomo, 

The New Year is here, and I need your help! I feel like all the resolutions I’m coming up with are pretty boring because everyone else is doing them. I really want to make a big splash at my job this year - any recommendations on meaningful resolutions that would help me succeed in the non-profit workplace?

Sincerely,
Be Right Over ’14
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Dear Giacomo: Office Romance

Nonprofit master Giacomo Crostini is here to answer all your burning questions about life in the nonprofit sector. Email him at info@ynpntwincities.org for advice and guidance.
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giacomo.jpgDear Giacomo,

I’ve got a crush on a major hottie at work - yowza! I love his passion for our cause and the flirting has gone up a few notches the last few weeks. I’m thinking about making my move. Any advice on how to navigate workplace dating?

Sincerely,
Single And Saucy and Super Yolo
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Contemplating leadership: Breakfast of Champions with Timothy Clark

The following blog is by Wesley Durham.

who.jpg“Who am I” as a question often feels clichéd, relegated to the leads of sleepy winter movies, to shopping mall philosophers, to those with too much time and too little to do. “Who am I?” I’m an AmeriCorps Member. I’m an Eagle Scout. I’m a musician. I’m a hard worker and a loyal friend. What more do you need to know? Life’s too busy for idle identity contemplation. Don’t talk about who you are, be who you are. Or as I tell clients at my site as we’re working on their resumes, “Show, don’t tell.”

And yet, onsite at Urban Ventures on a Friday morning, CEO Timothy Clark reminded us all that maybe there is some room for contemplation. In fact, maybe it’s very, very important. At this YNPN Breakfast of Champions event, Clark spent a large portion of the time taking us from college graduation to taking the wheel at Urban Ventures. He did this not to trace back his ascension to “leadership” in rote fashion, but because taking this tour opened up many valuable questions, questions that can contribute to our own growth if we think hard enough on our own answers. He posed questions like “What do you stand for?” and “Do people know what you are?” Clark had many answers to such questions. Clark defines himself through authenticity. He calls himself a “quiet leader.” He is a “sheep dressed in a wolf’s clothing.” I find that last one amusingly colorful, but also illustrative in its specificity. Clark asserted that you can’t lead others unless you know yourself, and he leaves little doubt that he does.

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Failing into the future

Think of someone you greatly admire or consider a hero. While ruminating about their secrets for success, have you ever also considered how much they may have failed to get to where they are? While that may not be the first question that springs to mind, when you’re curious about how they accomplished certain heroic feats, doesn’t that consideration make them seem more human and relatable, once you know that they’ve also struggled and overcome obstacles along the way?

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Challenge to Change: Why Passion Isn’t Enough

If I had a dollar (or even a dime) for each time I read or was told that “following my passion” is the premier pathway to a successful career and overall life satisfaction, I’d be a very wealthy woman. I don’t doubt the tremendous value-add and personal fulfillment that accompanies a strong connection to your work and/or your organization’s mission. But personally, I find the ‘passion ethos’ lacks a healthy dose of practicality, especially for a mid-career professional who may be asking themselves, “What’s next?” (Spoiler alert: I am this person asking myself this question.)

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