Build Your Career on Three Hopeful Trends

As I dive ever deeper into the rabbit hole of what I call Positive Professional Development, I keep thinking about how to harness what's positive in our lives, rather than spending so much time with the negative. How do you increase the awesome? Today I was reading this blog post on hopeful trends for 2012 and it got me thinking about how to build a career on hopeful trends--what would... Read more →

Are You Sharing Positive Impact?

In the past few days, I've had some amazing conversations with people about how things I've written here have affected them. Since having a positive impact is one of my most important values and motivators, hearing from people that what I write here makes a difference to them is tremendously rewarding. What occurred to me, though, was how often we DON'T tell people how something they've done has positively impacted... Read more →

What Do You Want MORE Of?

On Facebook yesterday, LaDonna Coy posed an interesting question: Noodling--what would happen if we were actually able to figure out what we want in life (instead of what we don't want) and then focus on it? What would that make possible? I've been doing a lot of reading in and work with appreciative inquiry lately and this is one of its key principles, called the Poetic Principle. In a nutshell,... Read more →

It's a Matter of Trust

So much of the stupid stuff we do at work is because we don't really trust the people around us. We don't trust them to do the right thing. We don't trust that they are essentially good and competent or that they want to do good work for our organization. We especially don't trust that they will do the work. That's why we have dumb systems of control in place,... Read more →

Do You Have a "Growth Mindset"? Are You Fostering Growth in Others?

From the NYT: WHY do some people reach their creative potential in business while other equally talented peers don’t? After three decades of painstaking research, the Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck believes that the answer to the puzzle lies in how people think about intelligence and talent. Those who believe they were born with all the smarts and gifts they’re ever going to have approach life with what she calls a... Read more →

How Much Hidden Talent is In Your Staff?

Paul Potts is a cell phone salesman in the UK. He's completely unassuming--bad teeth, a little overweight, not much of a dresser. The last person you'd imagine taking the stage as a serious contestant on Britain's Got Talent, the UK version of American Idol. But beneath that quiet exterior is a most amazing voice. It literally gave me chills to listen to him. And it made me wonder how much... Read more →

We Need More Beginnings

Rosetta Thurman of Perspectives from the Pipeline points us to a most excellent post--Are You Ending or Beginning? In it, Hildy Gottlieb asks us to stop trying to end things and start focusing on beginning something amazing. She points out that for 40 years we've been had "wars" on poverty, hunger, homelessness--you name it, we've been fighting it. Yet little seems to have changed: And the reason we feel like... Read more →

Is Your Nonprofit Ready to Stop Watching the Clock?

My husband, like many Americans, is unhappy with his job. It is a job that combines impossibly high expectations with little personal control. There is a strong emphasis on "face-time" and productivity is measured by your slavish adherence to poorly thought-out metrics that emphasize process over outcomes. So it was interesting to find, as often happens to me when a problem is on my mind, this post from Ryan Healey... Read more →

Open Source Bidding and Innovation

A few weeks ago, Michelle Murrain asked a great question--How do we make change if we keep doing things the same way? (I would argue that you can't, but that's not the point of this post.) Now David Wilcox and some other collaborators are looking at how they can use a different process for a familiar nonprofit activity--responding to a Request for Proposal/Invitation to Tender (depending on your location). Writes... Read more →

The Power (and Pain) of Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

Fast Company has an interesting article in their May 2007 issue (sorry--not available online at this point) by Chip and Dan Heath of Made to Stick fame on the power of self-fulfilling prophesies. Entitled "Success Can Make You Stupid," the Heath brothers write about how Hollywood pumps out bad films because they get into a cycle of self-fulfilling prophecies. What caught my eye, though, was this gem of a quote:... Read more →