March 9, 2013

Leadership and sports…I know that’s a pretty common topic – John Wooden, et al. I even used some of Coach Wooden’s leadership writing in my book Strategic Fund Development: Building Profitable Relationships That Last, 3rd edition.

But for those of you who have heard me speak – or seen some of my writings – you know that I am totally not interested in sports.

Nonetheless, I was quite taken with a column about Tom Brady, quarterback of the New England Patriots. Apparently Brady has agreed to a new contract – at about 50% of the rate that he could paid. “He has left millions on the table…for coach Bill Belichick to sign a supporting cast that will enable Brady to add that elusive fourth championship to what already is a Hall of Fame resumé.”

I’m taking this at face value: Brady is willing to lose money so the organization can put together the best employees, thus strengthening the chance for success. Of course, he has tons of money already. So do lots of sports figures. And he could insist on more. But he’s willing to “sacrifice” for the good of the whole.

Lots of nonprofit employees do that, too. They could be paid more elsewhere but are committed to mission. These leaders stay for the good of the whole. I’ve seen “the financial sacrifice” at budget meetings where one department says, “Nope, the other department needs a new staff person more than this department does. And the organization only has enough money for one new staff person.” I’ve seen leaders forego their own raise to ensure that others receive theirs.

What leadership do you witness each day?

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.

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