Category Archives: Leadership

In Coaching and Managing, the Question May Be More Important Than the Answer!

Michael Kogutek, nonprofit management coach

Michael Kogutek

 

 

When I am done coaching a client, I usually convene the evaluation committee in my head to assess the session. The first criteria is, did I ask good questions that led to the critical thinking process. Recently I came across a book devoted to the subject of asking the right questions in coaching as a manager. The book is: “The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More and Change the Way You Lead Forever” by Michael Bungay Stanier.* Michael is an Aussie who runs a coaching and leadership consulting firm in Canada. The book’s focus is to managers who employ coaching as a managerial and leadership style.Here is a list of the questions he puts forth: 1. Kickstart  Question: What is on your mind? Let’s talk about the thing that matters most. 2. The Awe Question: And what else? The underlying assumptions here are to stay curious, ask it one more time, avoid advice giving, and move on when it is time. 3. The Focus Question: What is the real challenge here for you? Focus on the real problem and not the first one. 4. The Foundation Question: What do you want? 5. The Lazy Question: How can I help? What do you want from me? 6. The Strategic Question: If you are saying YES to this, what are you saying no to? A YES is nothing without the NO that gives it boundaries and form. 8. What do you think I should do about? It is the cheddar on the mousetrap!

I enjoyed the book and highly recommend it. It puts us in the mindset to engage in the process of curious inquiry in our coaching.

  • The Coaching Habit-MIchael Bungay Stanier (2016) Box of Crayons Press, Toronto,Canada

Website: www.boxofcrayons.biz

Author:  Michael Kogutek, Executive Coaches of Orange County. www.ECofOC.org

No-cost Nonprofit Training Opportunities

Bob Cryer

 

NonprofitReady.org (NPRO) is a website of 43 interactive E-learning curriculums and 385 online classes and videos on a wide variety of nonprofit best practices, all at no cost to any user.  I took one of the curriculums (Management Essentials) and was impressed with the content and interactive presentation. More importantly, sixty thousand people have used the site in the past year, and six thousand new users join each month.

In my opinion, the more people in a nonprofit who know nonprofit best practices, the more effective that nonprofit is likely to be. NPRO best practice trainings can be accessed at no cost, at any time, from anywhere, for as long a session as the user has time for at that moment. It is, by far, one of the most convenient and cost effective methods that I am aware of for acquiring know-how in nonprofit best practices.

Here is a sampling of a few of NPRO’s most popular online courses, videos and curriculums:

  • Managing Expectations This 8-minute micro-learning online course on managing expectations contains a 3 minute video, quiz, summary document and additional short audio clips. Managing expectations is a crucial part of any professional relationship, from your colleagues to your customers.
  • Managing Your Boss This 8-minute micro-learning online course on managing your boss contains a 2 minute video, quiz, summary document and additional short audio clips. Your boss can have a big impact on the way you do your work, but your actions can also influence their management style.
  • Introduction to Proposal Writing This 27 minute video is designed for anyone involved in the proposal writing process. Course Objectives: • Understand the basic components of writing and submitting a project proposal
  • Introduction to Finding Grants This 30 minute video is designed for anyone seeking to better understand the grant-seeking process. Course Objectives: • Identify the 10 most important things you need to know about grant-seeking • Understand the primary misconceptions about grant-seeking
  • Project Management Essentials – Part A This 20-minute online course is designed for anyone responsible for managing projects and/or programs. Objectives for Part A and Part B: Define the life cycle of a project and structure it around milestones, Control your project using flexible tools, Create a plan for day-to-day project management.
  • Grantsmanship Essentials Pack In this 1 hour and 50 minute curriculum from the Foundation Center, you will learn the basics on how to find grant programs and funders as well as how to write a proposal that aligns with the funder’s criteria. Objectives: To understand how to identify funders aligned with your organizational mission and cause, To articulate what is required in receiving and managing grant funds, To identify the best practices for writing a successful grant proposal.

Please visit NonprofitReady.org to learn more.

Author:  Bob Cryer, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org

Change Leadership

Dave Blankenhorn

 

 

What are you as a leader doing to adapt to our fast paced world.? The skills that got you where you are might not be enough to ensure your success in the future. Recent studies by Accenture and others have revealed new focus areas for the successful managers of the future: They must be nimble and innovative in directing their organizations. Leaders must create a larger vision for their organizations and unite people behind a common mission. While these are not new their future importance is even more critical.

Navigation of ambiguity is another component as the leader of tomorrow will face ever changing cultural, regulatory, technical and social needs. Making sure you understand these ongoing changes will position your organization for success in the future.

Multigenerational management is another such area. The leader must be able to bring together millennials, gen-xers, and baby boomers as an effective team. By 2020 millennials will be 50% of the work force and will have a major impact on the economy. Creating harmony among these disparate groups will be essential. As part of that the leader must empower and promote co-creative teams to bring about the best results.

Measuring the results will not only rest on achieving the numbers but on your ability to reduce the turnover of those high value employees who make the organization what it is. Some things don’t change

Author:  Dave Blankenhorn, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org

Listening: The Strategies to Hear What’s NOT Being Said

Adrianne Geiger Dumond

 

 

 

Have you ever left a conversation and said to yourself, there is more to this than was said. The art of good listening is hearing those unsaid thoughts. How does that take place? A recent article I read by David Grossman, a communications expert[1] caused me to reflect on a team meeting I had just left. I could identify with the description Grossman gives for the listener’s perspective, and I quote:

  • We talk too much and don’t listen.
  • We listen to respond instead of listening to understand.
  • We’re not listening for word clues or noticing body language that signify there’s additional information that is yet to be uncovered.

What are the strategies to be employed that can help alleviate these challenges?  Here, again, are Grossman’s good recommendations:

  • Listen to understand and don’t be thinking about what you will say next.
  • Listen for the underlying issue or emotion, and push back on your assumptions.
  • Listen and clarify, asking questions to ensure everyone understands before moving on to another topic.
  • Trust your gut if you feel as if the whole story is not being told. Repeat, listen and clarify.
  • Notice body language – body shift, facial expressions changing – which are clues that more questions could be asked.
  • When we communicate effectively, we understand where the other person is coming from. That DOESN”T mean we need to agree with them.
  • Ask yourself in your head, “ What’s not being said.”

Effective leaders know the importance of good communications – especially in building strong teams. But also, effective leaders are sometimes narcissistic and feel they know all the answers. Here are ways to tackle those weaknesses.

[1] ‘Strategies that Work to Listen for What’s Not Being Said’, leadercommunicatorblog, David Grossman, the Grossman Group, April 24, 2007

Management Essentials

Bob Cryer

 

This is a report on my experience with the no-cost Management Essentials curriculum at NonprofitReady.org

The NonprofitReady.org website contains over 400 trainings on nonprofit leadership, fundraising, board governance, program and project management, marketing and PR, volunteer management, administration and operations, HR, etc. Most of the curriculums were developed by Cegos, an international $200M developer of e-learning and blended learning curriculums that are used by a million learners each year. Cegos donated some of their nonprofit e-learning curriculums to NonprofitReady.org, who now offers them at no cost to all nonprofit employees and volunteers.

The Management Essentials curriculum is targeted at mid-level and experienced managers looking to build their skill set. Its objectives are to help them:

  • Become a better decision maker
  • Learn to prioritize information and reduce uncertainties
  • Identify the stakes of a team project and how to best manage them
  • Recognize how to coach both individuals and groups

The curriculum content was robust enough to keep me interested throughout. The presentation used a variety of pop-up animations, texts and graphics to present information and questions, avoiding the tediousness of the many text-based e-learning curriculums. I particularly liked the use of case studies to get you to think about how to apply the ideas, rather than just giving you a quiz to help you remember the ideas.

The curriculum suggests that new employees are typically dependent on their managers and trainers to teach them how to meet basic job requirements. However, if a nonprofit wants to grow in effectiveness, its trained employees must be encouraged to function more autonomously, undertaking projects to improve existing operations or initiate new programs, initially as individual contributors, and eventually as team members and leaders. In order to facilitate this, managers need to learn how to function as coaching managers who mentor independent action, rather than as authoritative managers who encourage employees to continue to be dependent on their manager’s knowhow. This curriculum guides a manager through that transformation.

I encourage all nonprofit employees and volunteers to visit NonprofitReady.org  to try out some of their no-cost curriculums, classes, videos and materials.

If you are a nonprofit manager in Orange County CA who would like a no-cost Executive Coach to work with you on implementing some of the ideas in the Management Essentials curriculum, please contact me at BobCryer@ECofOC.org

Author:  Bob Cryer, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org

Modern Technologies Hold a Promising Outlook for the Nonprofit

Ernest Stambouly

 

Young entrepreneurs are exhibiting an affinity to businesses endowed with human qualities, the type that fuels the missions of non-profit organizations, qualities antithetical to cultures found in for-profit big business: sharing, cooperative, generous, transparent, ethical, open, collaborative, democratic, equitable and inclusive.

A growing sense of solidarity and consensus-forming amongst young entrepreneurs is giving rise to a worldwide wave of entrepreneurial drive to apply “radically advanced technologies” in the spirit of public obligation, the mainstay of the non-profit organization. What they’re doing is sort of weird to our common sense; it is almost as if they are automating these strictly human qualities to power their mission. The “radically advanced technologies” in question are completely foreign, or vaguely familiar, to most of us: Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, and distributed collaborative organizations.

Here is an example. To see what fundraising might look like in the near future, watch Dana Max’ brief presentation of his External Revenue Service online business: https://livestream.com/internetsociety/platformcoop/videos/104521598 (forward to time 01:02:30).

For those serving nonprofit arts organizations, ArtsPool might peek your interest. It’s a cooperative organization providing radically affordable financial management, workforce administration, and compliance.

Additional examples: GiveTrack from BitGive, and Helperbit.

We are looking at new ways to solve social problems, aided by radical technologies, and relying the power the “network effect”, which has already given rise to unprecedented breakthroughs, such as, crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, Safecast, and Wikipedia.

This post is an invitation to support this type of socially groundbreaking efforts, and leapfrog into the 21st Century, because the marketplace is already looking very, very different than the way most of us are still administering our organizations and thinking about innovation.

We need to see these fresh social movements thrive, so we must grant them our attention and spread the word, because they represent higher possibilities for you, me, and for the non-profit sector in the upcoming years.

I’ve been in high technology and innovation all my career. There is a sprouting trend, I noticed, to utilize advanced technologies for serving public good. And it will lead to a global transformation that is predicted to mature by year 2020. Now is the time to participate, invest, and jump in.

Welcome to the 21st Century!

Ernest Stambouly is a Transition Coach, author, small-business owner, and member of the Executive Coaches of Orange County, bringing high technology to social enterprise. Email ernest@erneststambouly.com

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/erneststambouly/

The Impact of Social Change on Non Profits

Adrianne Geiger Dumond

  • “I would expect that more than one third of all men in the U.S. between the ages of 25 and 54 will be out of work at mid-century.”[1]
  • “The collapse of work for America’s men is arguably a crisis for our nation – but it is a largely invisible crisis.”[2]
  • “And the troubles posed by this male flight from work are by no means solely economic. It is also a social crisis.”[3]

This writer is neither an economist or a sociologist, but I feel compelled to pass on some critical information noted by economists. The staggering statistics will make the non profit world all the more important, and also stretch their work load to the extreme – if not already there.

John Mauldin, the economist in his weekly newsletters, has recently covered the findings of a book entitled Men Without Work, America’s Invisible Crisis by Nicholas Eberstadt. The findings portend the social change that will require ever more help from social agencies. The book claims that “…there are some 10 million men of prime working age (25-54) who have simply dropped out of the workforce, and the great majority of them have not only dropped out of the workforce, but they have also dropped out from any commitments or responsibilities to society.”

The trend is not recent. Manufacturing jobs have been waning for decades, Trade policies, technological advancements have also snuffed out jobs – especially for low skilled workers. “As economic life has become less secure, low skilled workers have tended towards unstable cohabiting relationships rather than marriages……The growing incapacity of grown men to function as breadwinners cannot help but undermine the American family.” The book also explains the drastically increased mortality rates ( e.g. up 190% since 1998 for white men, unskilled, ages 50-54) from alcohol drugs, depression and suicide.

I highly recommend the book. It is only 216 pages of serious warnings for the future.

 

[1] Thoughts from the Frontline, weekly newsletter by John Mauldin, March 28, 2017

[2] Ibid, Men without Work by Nicholas Eberstadt, a book referenced in the above article.

[3] Ibid

Author:  Adrianne Geiger DuMond, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org

ECofOC Nonprofit Growth Program

Robin Noah

 

ECofOC is presenting a special program for Executive Directors of nonprofit organizations.  The program is designed for ED’s who want to take their nonprofit organization to the next level.

The Executive Director

Consider the ED/CEO as the person in charge of the operations of a nonprofit organization with many unique responsibilities. Among these responsibilities Executive Directors are also charged with the responsibility of the growth of the organization by:

  • Establishing and enforcing the vision of the organization;
  • Successfully recruiting and supervising office staff;
  • Maintaining a productive relationship with the board of directors;
  • Creating a fundraising plan that will ensure sustainability;
  • Managing organizational finances.

 

The Program

This special, comprehensive Nonprofit Growth Program is designed for the Orange County Executive Directors who want to take their nonprofit organization to the next level. The Executive Director needs to complete an ECofOC coach application and be assigned an Executive Coach. The ED must have or create a strategic plan for significantly growing the nonprofit’s capacity to serve the community, and must be willing to make the time investment to participate in the benefits offered in this program. In addition, the nonprofit must have at least 5 additional employees. Limited funding available.

You will find the Nonprofit Management and Leadership Coaching program description and application on our web site (ECofOC.org). To apply for the ECofOC Nonprofit Growth Program, state that interest in the “Coaching Expectations” section of the application.

 

Program includes:

Coaching:  One on one Executive Director coaching with your own personal ECofOC Executive Coach

Resource Experts:  Access to other ECofOC coaches with expertise in a variety of topics relating to running a successful nonprofit organization

ED Forum:  Option to join the Executive Directors Forum, which provides speakers and mentoring from peers and coaches. First 3 months free.

Strategic Planning:  Option to have ECofOC coaches facilitate a strategic planning session for your organization

Training:  Opportunity for Executive Director and any nonprofit staff member to attend most OneOC training program at a highly discounted rate.

Author:  Robin Noah, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org

The Coaching Fit (Coaching Series- Part 7-Final)

Michael Kogutek, nonprofit management coach

Michael Kogutek

 

This is the final blog post in this coaching series. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have putting it together.

As you consider getting a coach, we have explored the different aspects of coaching. The most important piece for you is the coaching fit and making a decision on who is right for you. I support folks putting a lot of thought and energy in this process. Make sure you interview your potential coach and ask a lot of questions. This fit is a bit tricky. You want to feel comfortable with the coach. On the other hand, you want to choose somebody who will be strong enough to make sure you are accountable and not co-sign resistance, procrastination and obstacles to your growth.

If you want to grow and change as a leader, coaching is for you. Coaching is a unique opportunity to meet regularly with someone whose only purpose is to help you be successful. It breeds  leadership that embodies boldness and innovation.

Bob Cryer founded the non-profit organization called Executive Coaches of Orange County (ECofOC) in 2002. His mission was  to help Orange County nonprofit leaders become more effective in achieving their mission and vision. ECofOC offers free coaching to OC nonprofit organizations. We have currently over 90 active clients and over 25 active coaching volunteers. Most of our coaches are retired business executives who give back to the community and share their business and professional acumen to help you transform and change. I am proud to be associated with this group of individuals and share their passion. Please check out their bios on the ECofOC website.

If you are interested in getting a coach, please visit the ECOC website for more information and to apply. The moment and power of change is now!

Author:  Michael Kogutek, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org

Culture’s Link to Job Performance

Adrianne Geiger Dumond

 

Korn Ferry recently released a global study that found “culture is the lifeblood of an organization”.[1] Culture is the expectations and assumptions of values that a person has for the organization. I am reminded of what my husband, a former Marine, says about the Corps. He says the Corps takes a recruit’s head, empties it, and stomps in valor, loyalty, and patriotism. The Corps reinforces it with training, leadership, and discipline. For most Marines that is a lifetime culture. If only it were that easy in the real world.

Leadership is the defining quality of shaping culture. In the below article, Arvinder Dhesi, a Hay Group (Division of Korn Ferry) senior client partner states, “we believe that talent, leadership and culture are intrinsically linked, and they are critical for strategic execution”. To create a cultural foundation, Korn Ferry  proposes four (4) pillars of learning for their leadership development programs.

  • Context is critical: Development work to support an existing or desired new culture must be connected to an organization’s current issues and strategies. Thus, stressing the goals, mission, and strategies are necessary.
  • Develop the whole person: Maximizing a person’s strengths and motivations, and matching them to the organizations goals and needs, are more likely to align the person’s values, beliefs, and behaviors to the culture.
  • Treat leadership development as a journey: While the authors stress that an employee shoud have a variety of work experiences to thrive, I might add that this step means performance reviews, personal goal setting, and succession planning are crucial to this pillar.
  • Service promotes purpose: I believe this is the most important pillar for the nonprofit world. Most nonprofits claim a powerful purpose that employees can embrace. Keeping this mission, and the values it represents, always in the forefront, succeeds in strengthening the employees’ motivations to keep the culture healthy and thriving.

I believe that culture as an entity is under duress. There is so much divisiveness that surrounds us – liberal vs. conservative, globalism vs. nationalism – that it becomes crucial for an organization to stress and remain loyal to its mission and strategies. This allows an employee to understand if he/she can faithfully embrace the culture and perform successfully.

Click here for information on how one of our coaches might you develop your skills as a leader in developing people and your organization.

[1] BoardSource, Smart Briefs, “CEO’s Rank Culture as #1 Priority for Success”, Michelle M. Smith, CPIM, CRP, January 16, 2017

Author:  Adrianne Geiger DuMond, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org