When Nonprofit Boards Fail

Years ago, a colleague said to me, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t drown his sorry ass!”  She must have been thinking about nonprofit board members when she said that.  I’m reminded of that turn of phrase as I think about all of the wake-up calls nonprofit boards have received over the years and all the near misses they’ve been granted.  And, yet, so many still act as if they have no clue what it is they are supposed to be Read more

Too Big to Succeed

People tend to look for the easy answers.  For example, I’m asked all of the time, “How long should an executive director stay in her/his position?”  Simple question to ask; complex question to answer, as it isn’t a functions of years (the answer folks are looking for), but rather a function of the person’s actual performance of the job, the continued interest in doing the job and the  interest in, and willingness to, push the envelope in order to be the best possible and not Read more

I’m Rubber, You’re Glue

Recently, two phrases have really captured my attention.  The first appeared in a PowerPoint presentation that a colleague had picked up at a conference he attended and shared with me.  The slide title was “Key Attributes of Board Members” and the characteristic that caught my attention was:  “an earned reputation for emotional maturity” (not to be confused with emotional intelligence). I confess, I laughed out loud when I read this.

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Sadly, too few boards pay attention to emotional maturity when considering candidates for Read more

Let’s hear it for the girls

How’s this for a depressing headline:  “Women in PA won’t get equal pay until 2072?”*  When I officially entered the workforce, women were making 56.6% of what men earned, the lowest it had been in the preceding 13 years.  As of 2013, that differential is up to 78.3%.  Progress, granted, although not always steady.  The fact that it will have taken a full 100 years plus nine for the first equal pay act—The Equal Pay Act of 1963—to achieve reality is beyond sad.  And it Read more