Saturday, May 12, 2007

ED Leader Newsletter #11

Dear ED Leader Subscriber:

Here is your latest weekly newsletter. I hope you will find the articles in it to be of interest.

I heard from 15 readers about my article, Economic Development: What Do We Spend and Is It Worth It?, and here is what you said.

First of all, many people commented that it would be beneficial to have better demographic data on the economic development industry. A couple suggested that this was something that IEDC, our national professional association, should do.

Several people said economic development is definitely worth the investment, and we are under-investing in economic development, even though we have not perfected a way to speak to the return on investment issue.

A few people commented that the role of leadership in fundraising was one to be handled carefully. Two people said that their board must lead the charge in the fundraising effort, and one person said that the board should be involved only indirectly in the fundraising process. In other words, board members should not be used to ask for money.

Several people said that nobody knows how much to spend to get certain economic development outcomes or results. A few from this group cautioned against the misuse of economic impact analysis, since the results you get depends upon the assumptions you make.

Several people said economic development should attempt to learn from other fields about how to handle the return on investment (ROI) issue.

Finally, a couple people said that fundraising consultants should be used carefully by economic development organizations, especially if a clear strategic plan was not in place to guide fundraising efforts. One person said that the same consultant should not be used to develop the strategic plan and undertake the fundraising campaign.

I found your reactions to the article to be very interesting and I thank you for them.

Hope you enjoy the articles in this issue.

Finally, looking for a speaker on leadership issues in economic development? I would be delighted to come and speak to your group. You can contact me by email ( or phone at: 440.449.0753.

Best wishes,

Don Iannone

Community Leadership Association

The Community Leadership Association is a resource that economic developers should know about.

What is CLA?

The Community Leadership Association (CLA) is a tax exempt 501(c)3 organization dedicated to nurturing leadership in communities throughout the United States and internationally. Founded in 1979, The Community Leadership Association's members include hundreds of diverse community leadership organizations at local, state and national levels, thousands of individual graduates of these organizations and others interested in community leadership development. The Community Leadership Association encourages sharing and mutual learning by its members and embraces the diversity of community leadership development efforts.

Many progressive communities have formed broad-based leadership organizations to seek out and educate leaders from throughout the community. These leadership development efforts differ in sponsorship and format, but their goals are the same -- to create an active network of informed, concerned citizens to guide the future and growth of their community into the 21st century. Working and learning together, participants enhance their leadership skills, capacities and attitudes while they broaden their understanding of community issues.

Programs encourage people to be trustees of their communities--to work for the common good-- and to become a leadership resource for the entire community, able to understand and facilitate collaboration, consensus building and creative problem solving in addressing community needs. Most programs have graduate associations or activities through which program graduates expand their leadership networks, continue their learning and further their contributions to the building of healthier, more effective communities.

What is a Community?

Traditionally, the word community has referred to an interdependent group of people who live in close proximity to one another and rely on each other to provide essential goods and services. This is how villages were formed and, with them, our original ideal of community leadership.

However, just as that ideal has changed over time, so has the definition of community. No longer exclusively bearing a geographic connotation, today the word refers to any group that shares common interests, goals, or affiliations. As always, interaction between community members is crucial but, thanks to evolving communication technologies, it no longer requires geographic proximity. Virtual communities, comprised of disperate individuals sharing common interests, are examples of this broader definition.

People belong to many communities, including the neighborhoods where they live, the companies where they work, the organizations to which they belong, and committees on which they serve. All of these communities depend on the trusteeship of their members for effective leadership. An important step toward effective leadership is recognizing all of the communities to which one belongs.

Learn more here.

Friday, May 11, 2007

How to Prevent or Reduce Director Burnout

Are your board members burning out? They are not alone. Check out this report for some tips on dealing with the issue.

Daring to Lead 2006 - This report finds that 75% of current nonprofit directors do not plan to remain in their current job for the next 5 years.

The study that informs this report attempted to discover reasons for director success and failure, and ways to prevent burnout.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Investment Gaps in Nonprofits

Investment Capital: The New Challenge for American Nonprofits

To help fill this gap, the Johns Hopkins Nonprofit Listening Post Project took a preliminary “Sounding” of its nationwide sample of nonprofit organizations in five broad fields of nonprofit action (children and family services, community and economic development, elderly housing and services, museums, and theaters) to learn about the capital needs of these organizations and the ease or difficulty they face in meeting these needs.

This is a good one for private nonprofit EDOs.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The Nonprofit Sector’s Leadership Deficit

Here is an interesting article by Thomas J. Tierney on the nonprofit leadership gap. The findings apply to private nonprofit EDOs as well.

"The need for senior talent is a recurring theme in our work with clients. Founders of organizations move on; growth brings the need for new functional capabilities; and, as we all know, our nation faces a looming “brain drain” as the first baby boomers are set to retire from full-time positions. Finding the right people to fill leadership roles has always been challenging, but our perception is that it is becoming increasingly difficult.

In 2005, a Bridgespan Group team set out to better understand the landscape of the nonprofit sector’s senior labor market. What it discovered was a stunning gap: a potential need, over the next decade, for more than half a million new nonprofit leaders. And, while some organizations are recognizing and beginning to formulate responses, this is a sector-wide issue that will need our collective attention and support.

“The Nonprofit Sector’s Leadership Deficit” describes our research and begins to lay out some ideas for discussion and action. In addition to the paper and financial model, we are delighted to be able to provide responses from 14 commentators whose essays reflect different ideas and perspectives on how to begin."

The Nonprofit Sector’s Leadership DeficitExecutive Summary

The Nonprofit Sector’s Leadership DeficitWhite Paper

The Nonprofit Sector’s Leadership DeficitCommentaries

The Nonprofit Sector’s Leadership DeficitModel

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Political Skill: From the Center for Creative Leadership

According to the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), political skill at work is widely misunderstood and often maligned. This month, CCL's Leading Effectively looks at some of the connections between political skill and effective leadership.

<--(Village Politics, by Jazet, 1820)

Good Articles by CCL on Political Leadership:
What's Wrong With Office Politics?Bring up workplace politics and out comes a barrage of negativity: tales of a back-stabbing co-worker, game-playing, posturing and so on. How did politics get such a bad reputation? What makes office politics so off-putting — and so necessary? (more...)

Politics at Work: A Conversation with Gerald Ferris"Forget the assumption that politics is a bad thing, and hear me out," urges Gerald Ferris. "Political skill is a key component of effective leadership. By avoiding or ignoring workplace politics, you are limiting yourself and your organization." Ferris, a management and psychology professor at Florida State University and co-author of Political Skill at Work, says it is time to re-think your idea of politics. Here are excerpts from an interview with Ferris. (more...)

Six Aspects of Political Skill What sets apart a leader who is politically skilled from one who isn't? For one thing, "If you have political skill, you appear not to have it," says author and researcher Gerald Ferris. Read on as Ferris and CCL researchers decipher the elements of political skill. (more...)

Improve Your Political Skill Political skill may be a natural, or intuitive, trait for some; for others it feels uncomfortable and takes great effort. In either case, political skill must be practiced and honed in order to reap its benefits. CCL researchers Bill Gentry and Jean Leslie, along with Gerald Ferris, a management and psychology professor at Florida State University and co-author of Political Skill at Work, offer a range of strategies to improve your political skill. (more...)

Politics of Self-Promotion: Using Visibility to Benefit You, Your Team and Your Organization High-performing individuals and groups are often not recognized for their contribution. The antidote to being overlooked or underestimated is self-promotion. If you are not too comfortable with the concept and practice of self-promotion, you'll benefit from reframing old notions and limiting beliefs about visibility. (more...)

Results of the CCL Poll: Evaluation In CCL's March 2007 Leading Effectively e-newsletter, readers were asked: How does leadership development evaluation connect to your work and growth as a leader? Over 100 readers responded to the poll. CCL expert Kelly Hannum responds to the findings. (more...)

Monday, May 7, 2007

So You Want to Be a Leader

A friend passed along this short article, whose author is not known. In which case, we will credit the famous 12th century philosopher, Anonymous. It's a very thoughtful one.

"So, you want to be a leader but don't know where to start? Well, after camping out in the self-help section at my local bookseller, I've got good news and bad news. The good news is that you've got lots of help to choose from. The bad news is that you've got lots of help to choose from.

In my brief reconnaissance, I discovered a legion of writers who are just itching to let you in on their secrets. Don't believe it? Well, I'll save you a trip. I brought back proof. Don't expect a definitive list though. The cottage industry that's grown up around the subject of leadership easily keeps an army of loggers working overtime. So I just jotted down a representative sample -- enough I think to convince even the most skeptical that there's something for almost everyone. So, FOLLOW ME and read on.

As you might have guessed, leadership books are all over the map. If you want your leadership hard-edged and bloody-minded, you can cuddle up with Attila the Hun or Niccolo Machiavelli (Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun, by Wess Roberts; Machiavelli on Modern Leadership by Michael Ledeen). If you worry that Attila might be too old school, don't despair. There are ample contemporary choices. How about a couple of political celebrities like Rudy Giuliani (Leadership) and Colin Powell (Oren Harari, The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell)? Sorry, Colin, but I'm guessing that they're not so secret any more. Finally, for the truly avant garde, there's Leadership for the Twenty-first Century, by Joseph C. Rost.

Not to digress, but Colin got me thinking. I've read The Da Vinci Code and I've heard about conspiracies to keep the rest of us in the dark. I wonder if there's a cabal of leaders trying to hide their secrets from the hoi polloi. Well, maybe. Colin's not the only one who's decided to fess up. GE's former boss, Jack Welch is another insider who's finally talking (Robert Slater, 29 Leadership Secrets From Jack Welch). Even Santa Claus has decided to come clean (Eric Harvey, The Leadership Secrets of Santa Claus). Who knew that the teamsters kept secrets?

There's also a heated debate over whether leadership is art or science. Max Depree says Leadership is an Art. And, he's got lots of company including retired General Barry McCaffrey, (Leadership: The Warrior's Art) and Ken Blanchard (Heart of a Leader: Insights on the Art of Influence). Au contraire contends Margaret Wheatley in her Leadership and the New Science. If you just can't choose, Afsaneh Nahavandi has just the book for you: The Art and Science of Leadership.

If you want your leadership especially inspirational, there's Jesus on Leadership, by C. Gene Wilkes and John C. Maxwell's The Maxwell Leadership Bible: Lessons in Leadership from the Word of God. Then, there's Daniel Goleman's Primal Leadership. Primal ... First, right? Isn't that like God? It's enough to make you scream.

The military seems to produce some of our best leaders so maybe they have some special insights. Let's see: There's No Excuse Leadership: Lessons from the U.S. Army's Elite Rangers, by Brace E. Barber; Semper Fi: Business Leadership the Marine Corps Way, by Dan Carrison and Rod Walsh; Patton on Leadership, by Alan Axelrod; and Robert E. Lee on Leadership, by H.W. Crocker. Maybe this is not the best place to mention First, Break All the Rules, by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman.

If breaking the rules is more your style, this is the paragraph for you. So far, this has been pretty heavy stuff, but maybe leadership doesn't have to be a one-way street. Sure, it's serious business, but does it have to be all CEO Jesus and Old Blood and Guts? Remember Gen. Lee lost the war. His nemesis on the other-winning-side has some different advice: Lighten up (Al Kaltman, Cigars, Whiskey, and Winning: Leadership Lessons from General Ulysses S. Grant). Sounds like a relaxing and fun approach, but if you're looking for drop-dead easy, Ken Blanchard and Marc Muchnick have just the prescription: The Leadership Pill. Take two and attack in the morning.

Then, there are those who seem confused by the very idea of leadership -- like David Cottrell, the author of Monday Morning Leadership. Excuse me, but doesn't "Monday morning" suggest second-guessing? Aren't leaders supposed to be decisive? Cottrell has his supporters though. Valerie Sokolosky spins the same idea in Monday Morning Leadership for Women. So, leaders aren't just from Mars.

I don't know where she's from or what's she's been smoking, but Barbara Kellerman misses the point in Bad Leadership: What It Is, How It Happens, Why It Matters. BAD leadership? I don't think so. Leadership is a means to an end. The end might be bad, but leadership is still leadership. The same applies to Ed Oakley's Enlightened Leadership. Ed, can you say oxymoron? Maybe what they need is Marshall Loeb's and Stephen Kindel's Leadership for Dummies. Or, morons.

This is a heretical thought, but maybe you don't need any of these books. That's what Jeffrey S. Nielsen dares to suggest in The Myth of Leadership. Scott Adams takes a similar tack and also has the last laugh in Don't Step in the Leadership: A Dilbert Book. Sounds like sage advice to me."

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Leadership Quotes for the Economic Developer

"A leader is a man who can adapt principles to circumstances." -George Patton

(Pictured to left, Plato)

"Don't tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results." -George Patton

"Reason and judgment are the qualities of a leader." -Tacitus

"No one would have doubted his ability to reign had he never been emperor." -Tacitus

"As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others." -Bill Gates

"No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it." -Andrew Carnegie

"A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment." -John Wooden

"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity." -George Patton

"The President of the United States hears a hundred voices telling him that he is the greatest man in the world. He must listen carefully to hear the one voice that tells him he's not." -Harry Truman

"When a man is able to take abuse with a smile, he is worthy to become a leader." -Nachman of Bratslav

"Divide and rule, a sound motto. Unite and lead, a better one." -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Lead, follow, or get out of the way." -Thomas Paine

"The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been." -Henry Kissinger

"Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other." -John F. Kennedy

"Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand." -Colin Powell

"You do not lead by hitting people over the head — that's assault, not leadership." -Dwight Eisenhower

"The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been." -Henry Kissinger