September 24, 2009

Tools don’t make you a journalist, said a journalist on National Public Radio. And tools don’t make you a great fundraiser either. It takes more than tools, whether it’s social media in journalism or in fundraising; or a great solicitation strategy; or or or … What does make you great?

There’s a big difference between dissent and disrespect. (Another journalist comment.) So much disrespect these days.

Perfect is the enemy of the good. But not good enough is a useless distraction and a cheap excuse for integrity, conscience, and quality. Too much not good enough these days.

Choosing: There’s always a choice – and a cost to that choice. What’s the cost? What are you willing to pay? Quit complaining. Whine a bit – but then choose.

“Why me” is a question we often ask ourselves…especially in times of tragedy. I listened to a deeply sad story of birth defects and family courage. The grandfather said “Not once did the parents ask ‘why us?’ Instead they asked ‘ why not us?'” Will I, Simone, be that brave?

What is leadership?

“True leadership has people who follow when they have the freedom not to.” So says Jim Collins, author of Good to Great. I think of this as the willingness and ability to influence others – but not using authority to do so.

I’m not interested in leadership by virtue of position. I think taking risks and assuming accountability are key elements of leadership. And taking risks include things like: talking truth to power; talking truth to stupid (thanks to Bill Maher for that); identifying and asking cage-rattling questions and engaging others in dialogue about these questions.

Filed under: Leadership

About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

Get non-profit resources in your inbox