Change. Meaningful, lasting, effective change.
Over the past few months, the topic of change has been a major focus of the Emerging Leaders Networking lunches. In culmination of the series of lunches dedicated to this theme, Stephanie Jacobs, Program Director at the Nonprofits Assistance Fund, ignited a discussion around the ways nonprofits work towards real change.Read more
The following blog is by Wesley Durham.
“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.Read more
How many times have you heard someone say, “Own it”? It’s motivational - go forth and spread your ideas! Be confident and powerful!
But leadership is not necessarily about projecting this kind of forceful power. At last month’s Emerging Leaders Network Lunch, Susan Campion reminded us of the importance of not owning our ideas. Campion, a consultant and change agent, spoke to the group about what it takes to get our ideas heard. Asking how to get my idea heard, she says, is actually the wrong question. It is too egocentric and closes us off to hearing and incorporating other ideas that could improve or trump our own. If we really want change, we need to innovate and listen.Read more
by Leah Lundquist
follow me on Twitter: @leahlundquist
The Twin Cities nonprofit/philanthropic community just lost an incredible man. Ron McKinley died very suddenly on Sunday, July 21st when a driver who crossed the centerline on a Washington highway struck his motorcycle. As Bridget Ulrich previously shared on this blog, an event like this shakes the community to its core. It compels us to reflect on his incredible legacy. I’ll let you marvel at Ron’s career achievementselsewhere. Here, I’ll share what I appreciated so much about him as a boss and mentor in hopes that we can all be inspired to be kinder bosses, more generous mentors and impassioned changemakers.Read more
Organizational transparency is key for businesses and nonprofits to operate successfully, unless you want to run things like the Wizard of Oz (a lying magician who rules through smoke, curtains, and quid-pro-quo agreements). YNPN Twin Cities is no Oz, and we are eager to share about the inner workings of our board, including our most recent board retreat in June. This year’s retreat was my first, but from what I hear, every YNPN board retreat is different, fun and makes the leadership team stronger. I can say all of my expectations were met—and then some!Read more
Every year, young nonprofit leaders from all around the country gather together for the YNPN National Conference. We head to a different city each time to make new connections, build skills, and get inspired to be stronger leaders in our communities. And we are beyond thrilled to announce that the conference host for 2014 has just been announced as....drum roll please....YNPN Twin Cities!Read more
One of the most exciting and challenging parts of being a young professional is transitioning from “the newbie” to “the one with experience.” Every transition brings a few growing pains; with a little patience and an open mind, every transition will make you ready for your future in the nonprofit world.
Recently, my job duties have grown immensely as a result of organizational change at work. I will admit, I have not quite figured out where my energies and time are best spent from day to day. However, I have learned a few things that are helping me maintain my sanity while I transition into my new position.Read more
By Kelly Rowan
Follow me on Twitter: @kellykay30
Over brunch with some wonderful YNPN members* recently, we had a lively discussion about the importance of taking the time to recognize and celebrate the excellent work and leadership of our peers. This is one of the things I’ve been trying to be more mindful of in all areas of my life.
We could all benefit from being more thoughtful and intentional in taking the time to do this – in ways big and small. We can put a little more effort in hand-written thank you notes, serve as references and write letters of recommendation for our colleagues when they are poised for their next stride forward, or simply show genuine interest in work that is outside of what we usually immerse ourselves in.Read more
When People Work for Little, Who Pays? or What Nonprofit Employees Could Learn From Freelance Writers When It Comes to Compensation
Last month, freelance writer Nate Thayer posted the transcript of an interaction he had with an editor at The Atlantic. The editor in question had read a piece Thayer wrote for another publication and asked him to repurpose it for The Atlantic at no cost. When Thayer pushed back, asking for compensation for his professional services, he was denied. As you can imagine, with the changing landscape of print and online journalism, this story took off, garnering over 700 comments on Thayer’s blog and inspiring a number of responses.
It was Cord Jefferson’s story for Gawker, which this piece draws its title from, that pushed the conversation one step further. Jefferson made an astute and terrifying observation, stating:
“… it doesn't look like media outlets… are going to stop asking for free writing anytime soon. And that means at least one awful thing for the foreseeable future: The writing game will continue to be one rigged for people who already have money.”Read more
by Leah Lundquist
follow me on Twitter: @leahlundquist
Watching fellow board member Nathan Magel’s great collection of videos focused on ideation last month got me thinking. A few years ago, the best kept secrets of the design world took off in the business world. Top managers sought to foster creative confidence in their employees and crack open space for abductive logic (what might be) amidst the deductive logic (what is) and inductive logic (what should be) that traditionally fill the work day. The fad continues. TED talks tagged with “innovation” or “creativity” still get millions of hits and best sellers on design thinking continue to fly off airport bookshelves.Read more