Tag Archives: TED

“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.

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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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What are your aspirations?

Autumn Red Tree and Pond 1

Believe  that you can succeed!


Pursue your aspirations with persistence.


The thought of being the first in my family to earn a college degree has deeply inspired me to continue on that path.


As an Ada Comstock Scholar from Smith College, I remember the day that I received my acceptance letter.   While the sun was shining down on me, in the parking lot of the Middle/High School complex, I opened that letter.  I was scheduled to manage 4 after school programs, an adult GED program, and had 3 children waiting for me at home.  My youngest was entering kindergarten.


In the weeks that followed, I thought Smith College made a huge mistake by sending me that acceptance letter.  That letter was meant for someone else.  There must have been a mail merge mistake!


I was just a mom and community volunteer, certainly not worthy of Smith.  Yet, my thirst for something better for my life, for my children, family, friends and community gave me the fierce passion to persevere.


I vividly remember the beautiful autumn trees, as I sat on the front steps of the Smith College Library between mid-term exams.  Until that moment, I never knew all that I did not know.  “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” ~ Socrates


Here’s a trick from Stephen Covey in his book: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,  Habit 2: Begin the with the end in mind.


What is your destination?  What are your aspirations, your values?


To better align career pursuits and aspirations, seek out resources.  Attend workshops, conferences, take some classes, take webinars, read blogs and read relevant publications to constantly be on top of the changes in the nonprofit landscape.


A few years ago, in a TED Talk, Simon Sinek shared the way human beings receive and respond to messaging: People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.


He used a powerful illustration noting that Dr. Marin Luther King 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 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


A couple weeks ago I attended a conference with Kim Klien:  Building a Resilient Fundraising Program.  She had us develop a statement to use prior to an elevator speech, or sharing our mission statement.  Although they are generally good, they are the goal oriented things we do.  People often forget goal oriented discussions.  Instead she encourages starting a nonprofit conversation with an organizational statement beginning with, “We believe”.


We only live this life once, so it is important to be of value by using our time, talent and treasure to make positive lasting change for good.


We will never pass through this moment in time again, so pursue all of your aspirations with persistence.


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Filed under Be Inspired...

If it weren’t for great people like you…


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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“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:  http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are.html

I recently used this very simple, yet phenomenal donor retention calculation tool to create an updated donor-centered strategy: http://101fundraising.org/2013/07/a-simple-retention-calculation-packs-a-powerful-punch/#comments

I use this outline tool when comparing agency priorities with a foundation areas of interest: http://foundationcenter.org/findfunders/wrksheet/

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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