Tag Archives: Leadership

Carson Employee on front page of Business Section!

B2B ID Wendy Lane Wright, Gazette - Business Page

Daily Hampshire Gazette
B2B ID: Wendy Lane Wright
(Published in print: Monday, July 7, 2014)


 How many on your staff: 400

 

What you do: I cultivate relationships with our supporters and donors as well as raise funds that enable our agency’s mission to serve and improve the lives of 7,000 people each year.

 

I’ve also supported the mission of our agency as a human resource professional, inspiring, coaching and training staff in the programs that strengthen individuals, families and our community.

 

Experience: A native Berkshires girl, I connected with nonprofits when I lost my parents at an early age, attending the local YMCA, which stabilized my life and made me smile when my life got rough, giving me a passion for charitable work.  Early in my career as a wife and mother of three small children, I worked on finding a sustainable way to put food on our skinny table. To make a better life for my family, I became a community volunteer.


 My passion for leadership started when I became an award-winning speaker and community leader as an Extension Specialist at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. This work fostered a deep desire to help underserved members in my community make positive changes in their lives. So, I decided to attend college, receiving my bachelor’s degree in governmental studies from Smith College with a focus in behavioral psychology, community organization and change.

 

This experience changed my life for the better, and as a life long learner, I have spent the last 24 years in various nonprofit and volunteer capacities sharing that transformational experience with others.

The Market: Carson provides mental health and rehabilitation services. Today, mental illness afflicts one in four adults and one in ten children.

 

How you reach out to it:  Traditional media, radio, publications, email marketing, presentations and social media. I raise visibility by creating a wider network of support in the Greater Springfield area and beyond through community outreach and collaborative partnerships.

 

What financing hurdles have you faced and how have you handled them?  Carson is primarily funded by state contracts, Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance. These sources don’t cover the full cost of services, so I seek funding from foundations, businesses, community supporters and annual fundraisers.

 

Key to success:  I care about people and use my skills and professional abilities to improve their lives.

 

Challenges:  Carson went from serving 4,500 people a couple years ago to serving 7,000 each year, in 40 communities, from Pittsfield to Ware.

 

Misstep you learned from:  The first federal grant I worked on was initially declined, so I quickly learned to forge successful funder relationships to successfully get that grant.

 

What others could learn from you:  How to inspire groups with a call to action and to make positive change.

 

Who helped mentor you professionally?  Ella Hewins, a former colleague at Old Colony Envelope, is a humble lady who cared for her family during the Great Depression, and now in the era of an ever changing service industry, shared, “show up every day, do your best, and make it happen.” Today her words still inspire me.

 

Top goals for 2014:  I have a deep desire to leave my community more stable, one where my neighbors flourish and grow, by doing everything in my power to provide access to the resources and education that they need to accomplish this.

 

Advice for others seeking business success:  Find a great mentor, who empowers you to grow, encourages you through your failures and celebrates your successes.

 

Parting thought:  Believing that we all belong to the family of humanity, and life is finite inspires me to listen to others and work toward lasting change for good.

 

The B2B ID is compiled by Janice Beetle of Beetle Press in Easthampton, a PR and communications firm.  www.beetlepress.com.

http://www.carsoncenter.org/newsandevents/carsonstaffonfront/

http://bit.ly/1jFK6Io Gazette.com

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“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” ~Pablo Picasso

Frozen Pond-Hope!

We all belong to the cause of humanity.  Give the gift that inspires you to others.  Just maybe you will inspire someone to hope for something they would not have strived for on their own.

 

Great leaders always inspire others to action.
In a TED Talk by Simon Sinek, as noted in an earlier blog, Sinek uses a powerful illustration noting that Dr. Marin Luther King, Jr., did not send out formal invitations to his speeches, nor did he have the date on a website. Yet, people came to hear him speak, because they believed in what he believed.

 

This inspirational TED Talk reveals that Dr. Martin Luther King did not say, I Have a Plan. Instead he said, I Have a Dream.”  How great leaders inspire action, by Simon Sinek:  http://bit.ly/1atkY1A

 

 

Thank you Martin Luther King, Jr., for giving us hope and a dream for a better and more humane world!

 

 

To continue moving forward, we have to look inward, and then we can look outward and begin to make lasting change~WLW.

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“The earth has music for those who listen.” ~ George Santayana

Winter Garden Bird Bath

The light powdery snow outside my window is beautiful!  It’s a great day to grab a cup of tea as I begin to write out my 2014 goals.

bird house in snow 7

A few of my favorite tools that I previously blogged about in 2013 are:

  • Nonverbal communication that’s useful for personal and career transformation!  Inspiring TED Talk – Your body language shapes who you are, by Amy Cuddy: http://bit.ly/1bEdio8

 

 

Snow 2

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If it weren’t for great people like you…

anne

I’m inspired by this card and act of kindness by my colleague, Anne.  We have a professional relationship based on mutual respect.

 

Building mutual respect is essential in building strong and happy relationships.

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I am so inspired by this gift that I’ve been sending a donor, colleague or volunteer a brief note of appreciation each day.

 

I’ve met so many people who just want to see positive change for good in the places they live, work and play.

 

 Autumn Lily Pad Reflections 

Autumn Lily Pad Reflections 1

Effective leaders:

 

  •   Don’t lead alone, instead they empower others.

 

  •  Take responsibility for their actions and encourage the responsible behavior of others.

 

  •  Collaborate and follow through on assigned tasks.  Collective experiences and perspectives can foster the best possible ideas, opportunities, solutions and outcomes.

 

  •   Establish and maintain mutual respect by establishing respect for the values and perspectives of others.

 

  •  Use effective communication tools such as reflective listening.  Listening and immediately repeating back what was said, ensuring things were perceived correctly.

 

  •  Have the drive and inspiration to turn challenges into opportunities. “Do what you can, where you are, with what you have”. –Teddy Roosevelt.

The Human Service Forum shared this TED Talk that examines how happiness inspires productivity.  The happy secret to better work: http://bit.ly/17EFWDD

Daniel Goleman shares Don’t Write Off the Coaching Leadership Style:  http://linkd.in/1bt4tj7  This post gives some great tips on how to help employees grow and become more engaged.

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Leadership is not for everyone!

Title

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!

Kyaking

 

Great post on Google+ on the life time value of your work that actually causes some self-reflection on the big picture. http://tombufordmarketing.com/determine-lifetime-value-work/

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September 27, 2013 · 12:59 pm

A Great Mentor Inspires Positive Growth!

Honey

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 https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?shva=1#inbox/1411231666bde2b6

 

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

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Inspiring Leadership

Daisy By WLW 

I was privileged to speak at the Urban Youth Collaborative Program (UYCP) Gala, at The Log Cabin on August 22, 2013.

 

Family members of my late Executive Director attended the Gala, because an award was being presented in his honor.

 

I began the speech with – Be inspired and empowered to make a difference. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” ~ Lori Siebert

 

At the end of my presentation, I received a thunderous applause by attendees. I also received double thumbs-up, a contagious smile and a strong hug by the inspirational leader who has led this program for 22 years.  Then the son of my late Executive Director crossed the room, gave me a hug and thanked me.  I was so deeply humbled.

 

Here are a few selections from that speech:  David was a humble man, who would often send me out to speak for him.  As my mentor, he would want me to share:  What a beautiful day it is for the 22nd Gala!  Looking back, I was privileged to be present for 18 Gala’s.  I can’t make this one, but my thoughts are with you.

 

You know what’s special about the UYCP?  You are!  Yes, you make UYCP special!  You have dedicated your time and talent to make life a little better for yourself; and for the children and adults you have worked with.  Thank you!

 

You transform our community.  Your voices bring excitement and joy!

 

As a mentor, the songs you sing, the games you play, the skits you perform, the art classes, the swings and slides and rock climbing, even the sound system blaring away – all bring new life and excitement to the area.  It is really special.

 

I closed the speech with – The Urban Youth Collaborative Program is a vital workforce leadership development program across the State of MA.  This program is vital in making a difference in lives of the people we serve.  Some day maybe it will be a National program, but for now it is making a difference in our community.

 

To continue moving forward, we have to look inward, before we can look outward and make lasting change.

 

If you don’t think there is a need for such a program in our community then I invite you to share your thoughts with me after the Gala.

 

Together we are a kaleidoscope of humanity building on our collective experiences, perspectives, and cultures to ensure the best possible thinking, ideas, opportunities and solutions are considered as we work to provide quality services for every member of our shared community, including those with developmental disabilities and behavioral issues.

 

Why is the Urban Youth Collaborative Program so important? You are the next generation of community leaders!

 

I will leave you with a quote:  “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

 

Thank you!

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“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” ~Lori Siebert

Butterfly 3

I am in the process of writing a speech that I’ve been asked to deliver at an upcoming Gala. 

 

 

In preparation I looked back through previous speeches that I have written and found the following Excerpt from a Groundbreaking Award Ceremony.  “We have a lot of reasons to say “thank you” David for all the contributions that you have made over the last 31 years. 

 

 

The first thought that comes to mind is the extraordinary effort you’ve put into everything you’ve done.  You have transformed so many lives through your work, including the time you have dedicated as a volunteer serving on the boards of local, regional and state nonprofits to build stronger communities.  

 

David began his long and dedicated career by playing an instrumental role in bringing children out of the Belchertown State School and finding ways to integrate those children into their community.  He worked to get them into group homes, apartments, involved them in public schools, and gave them access to area parks and shopping malls.  Although there is more work to be done in this area today, we thank you David, for the ground work you started by being part of this exciting and challenging national movement. 

 

No job is easy all of the time and some people would say your work David as an Executive Director is not easy.  But you always have an optimistic outlook on what historically has been done, a vision of what needs to be done, and a strategic plan for what will get done. 

 

David’s famous words around the office are “to be continued”, and David we thank you for all the innovative contributions that you continue to make in our agency and community.” 

 

David has since passed away.  He was an inspirational leader who empowered me and all those around him to grow.  He was a true change agent that made life better for others.

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Pondering the path of perseverance and leadership

Angel 2 - Back

Yesterday, I celebrated my Aunt Ella’s 93rd Birthday.  She is a humble woman who cared for her family during the great depression, and now the era of an ever-changing service industry.

As I reflected on Aunt Ella’s perseverance and path in life, I also thought about some other leaders that I know who are mentors, coaches and play a role in ensuring employees grow, develop and stay engaged in their work. Not always an easy task.

I had no idea one of the Interns I laid off, and later rehired, would be speaking at a conference; and he did not know I would be in the audience.  Yet, he delivered such a captivating and riveting leadership speech to his peers and State Officials that I had goose bumps, and had to fight back the tears.

This is a small except of K’s speech given at the State House in Boston:  “I had worked at Camp for a couple of summers.  In 2008, we were very aware of the economic crisis and the threat that it posed to our program, and I cannot begin to recall the number of letters that were written to the people who work in this building, pleading for the funding to keep us open. We managed to get through that summer, and, after a long winter of uncertainty, I applied again to Camp.

Things looked bleak as the summer began. To put it succinctly, Wendy let me know the camp did not have funding to hire me. Soon enough, though, I received a call explaining that Camp was being run by Interns and, as luck would have it, a position had become available.  I eagerly accepted the job of Recreation Specialist.”

Five years ago, we were on the cusp of the global economic downturn and my agency merged into another agency that had a new culture and values.

I considered leaving and specializing, but had just come from a staff leadership position in a capital campaign, asking for donor funds.  We had just completed the construction of a new building for our programs; and those programs experienced significant budget cuts.  Ethically, I could not just walk away from our donors who made that building possible, or our program participants.

At the time there was already two development staff working on fund development.  My new development role was solely as a grant writer.  Although I did share that securing grants is not long-term sustainable funding;  I had to seek urgent grant funding for our programs.

In 2009, budget cuts got much worse.  The day before our summer camp opened we lost the state funding that provided financial aid to at-risk campers so they could attend camp, and paid for staff positions.

In my HR role, I was solely accountable to lay off many staff who I knew had great leadership potential based their qualifications, experience, background and aspirations.  That was a very bad day for staff, campers, their families and our donors.

The camp program was then staffed by a State sponsored college intern program. We opened camp, but with less campers and staff. Why?  Because Camp is a loved community program due to our inclusive approach in working with campers with and without disabilities – beautiful children from all walks of life.

The Camp has opened every year since 1975, at a time when children with disabilities had no place to go in the summer and remained at home while their siblings and peers could go to summer camps. When an innovative group of parents and professionals decided to start a summer camp that would include them in the mainstream of traditional youth activities. This model of full-inclusion to learn, grow, and play continues today.

Campers attend camp so parents can work during the summer months.  Every summer parent’s share that Camp helps their child develop skills in positive socialization, increased self-esteem, physical activity, self-control, anger management, and daily living skills.

For me, there is always opportunity to be inspired, learn, grow and change. I’ve been seeking a full-time position to specialize, and when my family can afford it, I do intend to complete the application and testing required for certification.

In June my esteemed full-time development colleague left.  She handled everything in fund development, except grant writing and our very recent shared role in marketing.

Now I am moving away from human resources and grant writing; and falling rapidly forward into fund development.  It is a little daunting because most of the Development Officers I have known, experience very high turnover rates.

Yet, I started down the path of fund development 23+ years ago, as a mom and community volunteer to make a lasting change for good where I work, play and live.

(*Ella was my colleague and mentor, who later became my Aunt through marriage.)

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