A sneeze, cough, and red, puffy eyes can point to either a menacing allergy or a deadly influenza. In much the same way, the seven deadly sayings, whether spoken or implied, are symptoms that something is wrong; that something is potentially deadly for the organization, or, if not deadly, at least that there is a debilitating flaw in the organizational structure. Either way, the sayings indicate that something is not quite right and needs either self-treatment or a visit to the doctor.
Fortunately, the utterance of one, or even several, of the deadly seven may not indicate a devastating consequence. The situation may not yet have risen to the level requiring CPR or emergency surgery. It may simply be the persistent cough of a process that is not working and needs fixing. These issues do, however, speak to the old adage . . . for want of a nail, the shoe was lost . . . for want of the shoe, the horse was lost, and on through the rider, the battle, and the war.
In The Seven Deadly Sayings of Nonprofit Leaders…And How to Avoid Them, Reid Zimmerman shows how to address each of the errant leadership practices and management tactics revealed by the utterance of the deadly saying. He expertly shows you how to prevent these oft-fatal mistakes and how to lessen the negative impact to your organization when they occur.
As part of CharityChannel’s popular In the Trenches series, this guide is written in a down-to-earth, fun, upbeat style. Readers will enjoy Zimmerman’s use of “Blue Ribbon” and “Gold Cup” best practices, including checklists and red, yellow, and green stoplight indicators.
Table of Contents
Chapter One: The Seven Sayings: Do You Hear What I Hear?
Chapter Two: The Basics of Accomplishment and Assessment
Chapter Three: Mission, Vision, and Values—Without Which There Are No Questions
Chapter Four: Deadly Saying One: “Who’s In Charge around Here Anyway?”
Chapter Five: Deadly Saying Two: “Somehow We’ll Get By . . . We Usually Do!”
Chapter Six: Deadly Saying Three: “We Know What’s Best for Our Clients”
Chapter Seven: Deadly Saying Four, “My Intuition Is Usually Right”
Chapter Eight: Deadly Saying Five: “Our Staff and Volunteers Are Simply the Best!”
Chapter Nine: Deadly Saying Six: “We’ve Never Done It That Way Before”
Chapter Ten: Deadly Saying Seven: “We’re Doing Pretty Well This Year”
Chapter Eleven: In the Beginning, or Once Upon a Time . . .
Chapter Twelve: Leading a Healthy Organization
Appendix A: Principles and Practices of Nonprofit Excellence
Appendix B: Samples of National and State Standards of Excellence
Appendix C: Template for Strategic and Operational Planning
Dr. Reid A. Zimmerman has over thirty years’ experience in the social sector, having served as an executive director, vice president of development, communications director, and board member for a number of organizations in Minnesota. A Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), Reid has extensive experience in fundraising, organizational development, strategic planning, program evaluation, and performance management.
He is the Honorary Professor of Practice at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, teaching nonprofit and public administration management and leadership. Additionally he is an adjunct professor of nonprofit management at Capella and St. Thomas Universities.
Reid works and volunteers across the United States and Canada as a respected and highly rated trainer, seminar leader, speaker, and facilitator. He is an evaluator for the Performance Excellence Network, member of the development committee for the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Principles and Practices of Nonprofit Excellence (1994, 2005, and 2013), and author of articles on nonprofit leadership, fundraising, and evaluation. Reid’s teaching as well as his planning, evaluation, and fundraising consulting work provide him contact with hundreds of nonprofit leaders and practitioners each year.
Reid holds undergraduate degrees in sociology/psychology and secondary education, a master of divinity, and a PhD in organizational development, change, and effectiveness, focusing on nonprofit performance.
He lives in rural Minnesota with his wife, Lori, and daughters. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You’ll know an In the Trenches book not just by its cover, but by the author’s fun, upbeat writing style. But don’t be fooled by its down-to-earth approach and ample use of sidebars. In the Trenches books are authoritative and cover what a beginner should know to get started and progress rapidly, and what a more experienced nonprofit-sector practitioner needs to move forward in the subject.
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