Monthly Archives: September 2013

Leadership is not for everyone!


Like everyone else, a leader must also take time to enjoy life and nurture their own well-being of mind, body and soul.


In part, successful leaders are great mentors, coaches, negotiators, and administrators who ensure employees can grow, develop and stay engaged in the workplace.  Ensuring high quality services are delivered by well qualified staff.


Exceptional leaders are the primary basis for maintaining, and upholding a strong sense of employee satisfaction and excellent services are delivered, while maintaining fiscal stability.


A good administrator ensures the best possible care of staff because they are fundamental to organizational success.


Leadership is not for everyone!  To those exceptional leaders who lead by example with integrity and perseverance – THANK YOU!



Great post on Google+ on the life time value of your work that actually causes some self-reflection on the big picture.

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September 27, 2013 · 12:59 pm

“Change your thoughts and you can change your world” ~ Norman Vincent Peale

Pansies in my garden 1

Tuesday Tips

Talk about nonverbal communication that’s useful for personal and career transformation!  Thank you Future Works Career Center for sharing this very inspiring TED TalkYour body language shapes who you are, By Amy Cuddy:

I recently used this very simple, yet phenomenal donor retention calculation tool to create an updated donor-centered strategy:

I use this outline tool when comparing agency priorities with a foundation areas of interest:

As I dredged through my Monday morning sea of emails, I smiled as I opened the following collegial and uplifting message from Pamela Grow:

“Good morning Wendy, If you’ve been looking to land more corporate sponsorships for your organization, you’re going to love this series of free videos from Chris Davenport and Shanon Doolittle (two of my favorite people in the whole world).

Check ‘em out.

Thanks.  Wishing you an amazing week!”


I would like to pay this collegial and uplifting spirit forward and wish all of you an amazing week, too!


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We Learn From Others

Hummingbird Enjoying Bee Balm

I learn from others, grow and change,  as I attend or present at workshops, take webinars, read blogs and read relevant publications to constantly be on top of the changes in the nonprofit landscape.


Based on your feedback, I have decided to continue my regular Friday posts and will helpful resources and tips that I find at low-cost or no cost – Tuesday Tips.


I don’t know about you as the readers of this blog, but I love and dread networking events.  By participating, I learn what is important to others. What are they interested in.  What tools and resources they find helpful.


In August, I attended a networking event for the Association for Fundraising Professionals, Western MA Chapter. I am a former member of that association with eligibility to rejoin, so it was fun to meet newer members and find old friends.  I enjoyed our discussions.  Below are some resources and links based on those discussions, as well as a lens into my process when seeking and writing a grant.


If your organization doesn’t have a professional account with the Foundation Center you can create your own at:;jsessionid=MFVSMIPJEP4WJLAQBQ4CGXD5AAAACI2F  I have found the information on this site helpful.  You can track the courses you complete, and some are free.  There is even a short introduction on how to write a grant proposal.


I also use the following link when I am doing grant research and/or learning about the interest areas of a grantor:


This is one blog that I do make time to read:   It is full of very helpful resources and links.


A great workshop I recently attended was Empowering Your Stakeholders to Become Network Weavers, presented by Debra Askanase:


Prior to this workshop I did not consider myself a network weaver.  Yet, in person I am, but I am always learning and will now weave the resources and tips I learned into my social media strategy.  Thank you Debra Askanase and Women in Philanthropy of Western MA.  I will start small by exploring and networking a little more on Twitter and Google+.


Still, there is only so much time in a day.  Like some of my colleagues who attended the workshop that day, all my social media time is now spent outside work hours.  Still, I am and learning.  Thank you for your patience!


Evening at Reservoir 2

Last Friday, with an invitation by my C.E.O., I also attended an inspiring breakfast hosted by our local Business Chamber at Barnes Air National Guard Base.  I was so humbled to get an update of the changes, updates and vision for this Base and the 104th Fighter Wing.  It was nice to learn about the support of the local community as well as the collaboration and support from the Local, State and Federal Governments.  The changes and ongoing activities range from facility enhancements to supporting service members and their families.


My thoughts and prayers are with every member of our armed forces who serve, or have served our Country.


My condolences go out to the U.S. Navy, their families, friends and communities for the recent tragedy and losses this week.


According to media sources this tragedy allegedly happened by someone afflicted with Mental Illness.  A statistic from the National Alliance on Mental  Illness: 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 10 children experience mental illness:

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A Great Mentor Inspires Positive Growth!


Meet Honey!  She is now 14 years old.  When I first got her, she fit in the palm of my hand.  She makes me smile!


During the past 14 years, one manager invested in me and helped me move into the next level of my career.  We learned from each other through upfront conversations, even in difficult times.  An excerpt of what he wrote “A great deal has been accomplished during a very problematic year.  As we review these accomplishments and plan for the future, we need to be realistic and optimistic.  It has been great working with you Wendy.  I look forward to planning for the future and putting our plans into operation.”   He set realistic benchmarks, performance expectations and mutually agreed upon goals.


Prior to my evaluation, I had to rate my performance on 37 benchmarks and goals; he would separately complete the evaluation.  Then we had a two-way conversation.  Prior to those meetings, I recall my hands feeling cool and clammy like a cucumber.  Though I dreaded those conversations, I grew.


Our discussions often gave us  different perspectives and ideas that got results.  Why?  We had a meaningful professional relationship based on mutual respect.  I valued his opinion; he valued my effort, ideas and feedback.  My work had value!


Under his leadership, as noted in a performance review I “established meaningful professional relationships, respected by clients, funders, staff and other area professionals”.  Within six months of being employed, I was promoted me to his Senior Management Team.  I stayed on his team, until he retired.


A great mentor inspires positive growth!  When you do find the balance of a mutually beneficial relationship it inspires profound growth, engagement and results.


Everyday, I am inspired by all the meaningful relationships that empower me to care, have empathy, continually learn, grow and change.  That is what inspires me to make a difference where I live, work and play.


The Human Service Forum shares a great read by Forbes: 6 Reasons Leaders Make Bad Decisions


“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”. ~ Helen Keller

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The Interconnected Journey Continues

Chris & Una ~ Photo shared by Steven Hamill

Photo shared by Steven Hamill


My YMCA friends from Ireland, Una and Chris, got married last week.  They continue to share their journey through posts and pictures of their honeymoon in real-time on Facebook.  Social Media is a wonderful way to stay connected with others and learn.


While I enjoy the interconnected value of social media, I still choose to pursue face-to-face communications when feasible for personal and professional reasons. I am inspired by learning from people like Una and Chris in our shared global community. A few years ago, when I first invited Una and Chris to my home they were college-aged employees who took part in a local YMCA that sponsors an international work exchange program.


Through that same program, my family and I get to know a few of these employees each summer. Because they are so far from home, we host a dinner party at our home, in their honor. They rave about getting a home cooked meal and the gift of mere hospitality, fun, laughter and friendship.


Last Saturday my family and I hosted another dinner party for five of our YMCA friends who will be returning to their homes in Hungary, Slovakia and Ireland, over the next couple weeks.  Because I took the time to meet with them in person, I enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about each of them, including their backgrounds, cultures and aspirations.  By coming to our home, they shared perspectives in how they view “Western Culture” through the lens of an average American worker.


I make my living by nurturing person-to-person relationships.  Within the scope of my position, I work at being an effective communicator, mentor and coach.  I seek ways to help colleagues and donors grow by listening and validating their interests, while tending to the tools and resources that help them stay interested and engaged in our shared work of providing the best possible services to improve the lives of the people we serve.  What could be more inspiring and empowering than the opportunity to pursue a shared journey to strengthen our community?

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