Michael's Articles

Take Part In The Strengths Revolution

Take Part In The Strengths Revolution

We become preoccupied by identifying what’s wrong and then pouring massive amounts of resources onto fixing “the problem”. But what if we were to take that same precious energy and used it to build upon what we do well? Might we benefit more by improving what we are doing right? Is there value in building upon strengths versus fixing weaknesses?

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We Can Get More Business Through Our Philanthropy

We Can Get More Business Through Our Philanthropy

If there is one common complaint I hear from small business, it is the frustration of dealing with a huge volume of requests from charitable organizations. As one beleaguered storefront owner shared a recent Chamber of Commerce gathering, “I get 40 requests per month. That’s more than one per day. I can’t say yes to all, but don’t know how to pick and choose which ones are right for me”.

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When You Have To Fire Someone You Like

When You Have To Fire Someone You Like

Firing someone is a painful and emotional experience. I hate it….hate, hate, hate. It’s a big blow to someone’s financial, emotional and personal life; but if you’re skittish about firing someone because of how it affects you, then you have no business being in a position of leadership. Double down on this if it’s a small nonprofit where you can afford no dead wood.

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The Damage From ‘Just Doing Your Job’

The Damage From ‘Just Doing Your Job’

Hannah Arendt described the ‘Banality Of Evil‘ of the Nazi empire as one where a lot of really smart people – ordinary people – who accepted the premises of their state and therefore participated with the view their actions were normal. So much of the BS we accept in life we do so because we think it normal.

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Is Your Staff Being Quietly Bribed?

Is Your Staff Being Quietly Bribed?

While corruption can kill a nonprofit, equally damaging can be the mere appearance of impropriety. Your image and reputation translate into community goodwill as well as cash…conflicts of interests put that at risk.

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What The Next Nonprofit Leader Must Have

What The Next Nonprofit Leader Must Have

The Great Recession has shaken many of the assumptions held by those in charge. Since half of the EDs in America are 55 and older, this means the majority of our leaders cut their management teeth back in the 70s and early 80s, an age which valued basic administrative skill and virtually ignored creative leadership.

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The Best Idea For Fixing Public Schools

The Best Idea For Fixing Public Schools

The main reason we should stop focusing on fixing traditional public schools is that, for the most part, they don’t want to be fixed. The people who make their living off of those schools have reasons for wanting schools to be as they are and have enormous political resources to fend off efforts to fundamentally change things. Trying to impose reforms…is largely a futile exercise.

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