Do More

[This article was co-published on October 4, 2017, by the Maine Association of Nonprofits] When I was a 27-year-old, freshly promoted, and utterly under-qualified executive director (back in 1985 we didn’t think to call ourselves “CEO” or “President”), I met with a...

Never Can Say Good-bye

There’s an old proverb that it takes one person to throw a stone in a well, but ten to get it out. I think the nonprofit equivalent is that it’s vastly easier to start a program than to end it. Here’s what I mean. Let’s imagine a small community-based social services...

The Departed

So what should a nonprofit board do when high-ranking staff members leave the organization? This may sound radical, but shouldn’t the board try to figure out why these staff members left? A few years ago a friend of mine found himself in an awful work situation. He...

The Guy on the Fifty Dollar Bill

Ulysses S. Grant had greatness in spades. He was the victorious general in the Civil War – and perhaps the greatest military leader in American history. He was a popular two-term president during tumultuous times, and a generally effective and successful political...

Confessions of a Recovering Micromanager

The toughest lesson for nonprofit CEOs is learning what not to do. Most CEOs came up through the ranks and are devoted to the mission. They get their juice, their energy, from the programs their organizations run. They tend to be far less emotionally involved with the...