Sunday, August 6, 2017

Our Mom’s Legacy: Love & Duty

Our Mom passed away last week, and since then I have been reflecting on her amazing life.  We will have a memorial service for her in a few weeks at which we will hear wonderful stories from others about the difference she made on the planet during her eighty-six years here.

To me, a good part of her legacy can be summed up in two important words: Love & Duty.

Mom was also a Pittsburgh Pirates fan!
Mom had great Love for her family – her parents, brother, kids, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and more.  She had great Love for her friends, for her Church & God, for various organizations she belonged to (e.g., PEO), for the community, and for her fellow man/woman.

Mom expressed her Love in a wide variety of ways.  But one thing is for sure.  To Mom, once you have Love for someone or some thing, then there is a Duty involved in carrying out that Love.

For my three siblings and me this meant the kind of devotion that many other kids have also been blessed to experience.  Her active participation with Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, swim meets, softball games, baseball games, etc., etc., etc. meant a lot to us.  She demonstrated that same devotion to her extended family and friends.

But Mom also took it a step further.  Once she retired as a Nurse, she carried out her Love for others with a Duty to serve.  This turned her into an amazing volunteer.  Locally she was active in Hospice and the Church and the Red Cross and more.  Her Red Cross Duty also took her across the country.  She served others during floods, after terrible airline crashes, helped rebuild homes after Katrina, and went twice to Ground Zero after 9/11.

And for Mom, Duty is all about doing what you say you are going to do, doing it well, and doing it on time.  It sounds simple, but what would our organizations look like if every person actually did what they said they were going to do, did it well, and did it on time?  Transformational!

Just Do It – carry out your Duty like Mom!

Thanks for the great example Mom – we love you and miss you.  


For more ideas on how you can lead breakthroughs in your organization, follow this blog and check out my web site at www.SheehanNonprofitConsulting.com   You will find free resources you can download, including a Breakthrough Strategy Workbook that you can download at no cost.  You can also check out my book, Mission Impact:  Breakthrough Strategies for Nonprofits, and buy it if you are interested.  And you can follow Sheehan Nonprofit Consulting on Facebook.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Be a Flexible Optimist

THE IDEA:  While optimism is a very helpful attitude for success, research shows that it needs to tempered at times.

The field of positive psychology, with leaders like Dr. Martin Seligman, has demonstrated that an optimistic attitude can lead to higher levels of success for people in a wide variety of activities.  In fact, Seligman and others have developed training programs that can actually help people become more optimistic and successful.

But can optimism go too far

Yes. And this is where “flexible optimism” – a term Seligman invented – comes in.

Essentially, the most successful optimists understand they need to be careful when they are pursuing a big goal with a lot of risks.  They talk with others – especially natural pessimists – to see what risks others see in the potential course of action.  Then, either they decide not to pursue that course of action or they go into it well informed – and prepared to handle possible setbacks.

Once upon a time, I had a friend who was pursuing a risky goal.  Things were not looking good as he got very close to the deadline and I asked him, “What are your back-up plans if this does not work out?”  His response: “Failure is not an option.” 

On one hand, I appreciate that attitude.  But, in this case, he did fail.  And then he and his team needed to scramble to figure out what to do while they were very stressed out.  Their response to the setback would have been much more effective if they had time to calmly think through their options before the panic of the failure was upon them.

Once we take the time to carefully assess the risk of a goal we may dial back our ambition.  Or we may go for it – fully informed and prepared to live with the consequences of not making it all the way.

Acrobats who perform death defying high wire acts without a net may provide more thrills for audiences, but the ones who use nets live longer.  The same is true for leaders who want to make a Mission Impact.



For more ideas on how you can lead breakthroughs in your organization, follow this blog and check out my web site at www.SheehanNonprofitConsulting.com   You will find free resources you can download, including a Breakthrough Strategy Workbook that you can download at no cost.  You can also check out my book, Mission Impact:  Breakthrough Strategies for Nonprofits, and buy it if you are interested.  And you can follow Sheehan Nonprofit Consulting on Facebook.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Fulfillment of Noble Pursuit

THE IDEA: When we water down our dreams we limit our performance and actually insult our own integrity.

Deep in your heart you want something – in a big way. You have a vision of the ideal you want, and you are passionate about it. Yet, many of us hesitate to say it out loud. Rather than boldly saying what we really want, we will instead settle for something smaller.

Instead of “no one homeless in our county,” it becomes “fewer homeless.”

Instead of “market leader,” it becomes “improved market share.” 

Instead of “best place to work,” it becomes “better place to work.”

We are susceptible to watering down our dreams because we don’t want to disappoint ourselves if we do not fully attain what we want. 

If you find yourself doing this, then remind yourself that true fulfillment comes from pursuing our deepest passions – even if we never fully achieve them. When we lower our goals we are essentially lying to ourselves about what we really want. Let’s not do that!

Countless research studies show that setting higher goals leads to higher performance even if you do not fully achieve the goal; see here.

We need to revel in the pursuit of something we truly care about and want, all the while knowing that we might not make it all the way. It is more fulfilling to know that we pursued our dream with vigor!

Impact leaders DREAM BIG!


For more ideas on how you can lead breakthroughs in your organization, follow this blog and check out my web site at www.SheehanNonprofitConsulting.com   You will find free resources you can download, including a Breakthrough Strategy Workbook that you can download at no cost.  You can also check out my book, Mission Impact:  Breakthrough Strategies for Nonprofits, and buy it if you are interested.  And you can follow Sheehan Nonprofit Consulting on Facebook.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Stretch Goals, Boards, & Banks

One of the difficulties in setting Almost Impossible Goals is trying to figure out how to communicate them to people who just don’t get it.  I encourage you to share this article on The Power of Goals with those who have not been exposed.  But, let’s face it, even after that – some people just don’t understand.

If that is your situation, then I suggest you not push the matter too far – depending on the audience.  For example, my experience is that some Boards do not really want to know what your “goals” are, they want a “promise” from you regarding the results you are going to produce.  In other words, they want a “forecast” – not a goal.  They don’t want your aspirations or dreams, they want to know what they can count on.  I suggest – give them what they want.

You can do this with complete integrity and still keep your Stretch Goal. Let’s say that you raised $100,000 in your annual fund last year and your team set a Stretch Goal for $140,000 for the coming year – a big stretch!  Now, it would be IDEAL if your Board understood the stretch philosophy and got excited about assisting with this big, bold goal.  

But, if they are not bought in, then I suggest keeping the Stretch Goal quiet and giving them a reasonable forecast – maybe a 5% increase up to $105,000.  Then add “Of course, we are always working on ways we can do even better.”  Now you have an accurate forecast – which is what they want.  And you have a bold goal for your team – which is what you want.

By the way, if you have a loan or a line of credit with a bank – they don’t want to see bold goals.  Show them something conservative when you share your budget and make sure you do even better every year.  That will keep your loan intact.

Almost Impossible Goals can do amazing things for your organization.  But until we have everyone converted to the philosophy you need to be careful how you share them.  This will let you make even more of a Mission Impact – and keep your job (which is nice).


For more ideas on how you can lead breakthroughs in your organization, follow this blog and check out my web site at www.SheehanNonprofitConsulting.com   You will find free resources you can download, including a Breakthrough Strategy Workbook that you can download at no cost.  You can also check out my book, Mission Impact:  Breakthrough Strategies for Nonprofits, and buy it if you are interested.  And you can follow Sheehan Nonprofit Consulting on Facebook.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Integrating Staff & Strategy

You know you have a brilliant strategy – but it is not working.  What’s up?

There are a myriad of reasons why excellent strategies are not implemented effectively.  Here are two basic pitfalls that you can avoid.

#1.  Undercommunicating the Strategy.  John Kotter, in his classic book, Leading Change, says that leaders very often do not communicate their vision and strategy for the future nearly as often as they should.  The strategy and vision are so clear to them that they don’t think they need to talk about it more.  As a leader, you should take frequent opportunities to remind everyone in the organization of your future and how you plan to get there.

#2.  The Strategy is too Complex.   You need to be able to communicate your strategy simply – not in a five inch thick binder.  D.J. Collins and M. G. Rukstad discovered this problem when they researched a wide variety of companies, which was reported in Harvard Business Review a number of years ago*:

“Leaders of firms are mystified when what they thought was a beautifully crafted strategy is never implemented. . . .  They fail to appreciate the necessity of having a simple, clear, succinct strategy statement that everyone can internalize and use as a guiding light for making difficult choices.”

There are many other reasons why your great strategy may not be implemented well, but avoid these two common errors and you will stand a much better chance at making a significant Mission Impact.

*D. J. Collins & M. G. Rukstad, “Can You Say What Your Strategy Is,” Harvard Business Review, April 2008.


For more ideas on how you can lead breakthroughs in your organization, follow this blog and check out my web site at www.SheehanNonprofitConsulting.com   You will find free resources you can download, including a Breakthrough Strategy Workbook that you can download at no cost.  You can also check out my book, Mission Impact:  Breakthrough Strategies for Nonprofits, and buy it if you are interested.  And you can follow Sheehan Nonprofit Consulting on Facebook.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Fun Improves Persistence

Recent research* suggests that when working on long term goals, it is helpful to find enjoyment in the pursuit of those goals in the short run.  For example when people find the process of working out enjoyable, they tend to persist longer.  They found the same thing for those who experienced enjoyment with studying.

We really don’t need a research study to tell us that we tend to work on goals we enjoy rather than on goals we do not enjoy as much.  But what does this tell us that we can apply to the workplace?

It appears to emphasize the social context of work, i.e., making work enjoyable – even fun!  Some “old schoolers” (and I count myself as one) might bristle at this.  “It’s not supposed to be fun – that’s why they call it work!”

But this research tells us that if we can find ways to inject some enjoyment into the work day this can help us persist in our goals.

A simple way to do this is to encourage those we work with who are natural “fun-seekers” to let their “fun flag fly.”  These folks are often told to “get serious.”  Maybe we need to encourage one another to “lighten up” more.  I am fortunate that I’m on a “work hard, play hard” team.  We recently hosted a very successful regional conference and you can check out some fun we had at the final event with our University of Maryland mascot, Testudo, here.

Maybe your office needs a social committee or a fun committee? 

Or maybe this will all happen more organically as more millennials enter the work place – I think they will insist on a little more fun included with work.

Certainly we want to encourage one another by focusing on the long term vision of what we are doing – especially for those of us working in very challenging human services capacities.  But doing the best we can to add some joy to the daily work will help us all persist and make even more of a Mission Impact.

*Woolley, K. & Fishbach, A.  Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, “Immediate Rewards Predict Adherence to Long Term Goals,” pp. 1-12, 2016.



For more ideas on how you can lead breakthroughs in your organization, follow this blog and check out my web site at www.SheehanNonprofitConsulting.com   You will find free resources you can download, including a Breakthrough Strategy Workbook that you can download at no cost.  You can also check out my book, Mission Impact:  Breakthrough Strategies for Nonprofits, and buy it if you are interested.  And you can follow Sheehan Nonprofit Consulting on Facebook.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Invest More in Fundraising!

The end of the semester is upon us at the University of Maryland, where I am co-teaching a graduate course on Nonprofit Fundraising with my colleague, Dr. Bob Grimm.  Part of the course involves student teams going out into the community to visit with nonprofit organizations and do a full evaluation of their fundraising program.  I have been reading the final reports and one main theme jumps out.  Nonprofits need to:

Invest More in Fundraising!

The theme of our course is “No Money, No Mission” – and I know we all agree with this.  But our student teams are finding that most of the nonprofits they have evaluated can do MUCH more to raise more money for mission if they devote more resources to fundraising.

More Staff.  There seems to be a reluctance to hire more staff and devote their efforts to fundraising.  Perhaps this is due to concerns for overhead.  If so, organizations should check out The Overhead Myth web site for ideas on making the case for this.  More time spent – especially on major gifts – can be a big payoff for most nonprofits.

More Board Involvement.  Based on the small sample of nonprofits, Boards can be much more involved in giving and asking for gifts – especially making personal asks.  Training, of course, will be needed for this.  But, we need Board members going out to the community to represent the cause and ask for support.

We are not going to make significant increases in the funding that nonprofits desperately need without investing the resources needed.  We simply cannot make more of a Mission Impact without the funding.


For more ideas on how you can lead breakthroughs in your organization, follow this blog and check out my web site at www.SheehanNonprofitConsulting.com   You will find free resources you can download, including a Breakthrough Strategy Workbook that you can download at no cost.  You can also check out my book, Mission Impact:  Breakthrough Strategies for Nonprofits, and buy it if you are interested.  And you can follow Sheehan Nonprofit Consulting on Facebook.

Monday, April 24, 2017

If You Really Had $100 Billion

When I encourage people to create an aspirational vision of what they would want their organization to look like if they could have it any way they wanted it – it is often hard to get them to “think big” or “think outside of the box.”

To help people think big, I sometimes say “Imagine you just received an unrestricted gift of $100 billion.  The donor said to do anything with it you want.  What would you do with it?”

Wow – with that kind of money you could do some incredible things.  I encourage you to use that question with your staff or Board one of these days to help them dream big.

The new Ronald McDonald House in Baltimore.  Groudbreaking is May 2.
A few years ago, I was privileged to facilitate strategic planning for Ronald McDonald House in Baltimore.  At first, the Board was thinking about a strategy for raising money to fix up the current house.  But when I asked them what they really wanted – if they could have anything – they said “New House!”

Even though they did not have property for a new house or the money, they dreamed and dreamed big – HUGE actually.  You can read this earlier blog (“Ritz & Disney at Grandma’s House”) about how they dreamed.

Next week, Ronald McDonald House in Baltimore is going to break ground for their new house!  You can read more about it here.  They got the property and raised money – not $5 million, not $10 million or $20 million.  They have raised $27.5 million and are closing in on their goal of $30 million.  It is going to be an amazing place for children and families.

If I would have told the Board – in our first meeting a few years back – that they would figure out to a way to raise $30 million for this effort, I think they may have laughed me out of the room or fired me on the spot.

But this just goes to show the power of vision, aspiration, and commitment to it all.  Way to go RMH of Baltimore!!!  You are making an amazing Mission Impact of the lives of kids and families.


For more ideas on how you can lead breakthroughs in your organization, follow this blog and check out my web site at www.SheehanNonprofitConsulting.com   You will find free resources you can download, including a Breakthrough Strategy Workbook that you can download at no cost.  You can also check out my book, Mission Impact:  Breakthrough Strategies for Nonprofits, and buy it if you are interested.  And you can follow Sheehan Nonprofit Consulting on Facebook.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Big Happy Audacious Goals

When I talk with people about setting BIG Almost Impossible Goals, I will sometimes hear “Oh yeah, just like ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goals’ in that book (Built to Last) by Jim Collins & Jerry Porras!  BHAGs!”

To which I say “Sort of.”

The “Hairy” in BHAGs is “scary” – like taking a big risk.  Hairy, scary goals might be appropriate sometimes – but research shows that they are not effective if an organization is desperate.  If you are thinking “We need to turn things around, let’s go for it and bet our future on this new idea.  Failure is not an option!”  Then, according to research reported in the Jan-Feb 2017 issue of Harvard Business Review by Sitkin, Miller, & See (The Stretch Goal Paradox), this may not be a good idea.

This is because success rates with a “stretch” goal are improved if an organization has a winning attitude (recent successes).  Desperate organizations usually do not fit this mold.

Interestingly, though, a lot of successful organizations don’t even try Almost Impossible Goals because they have gotten too used to “winning.”  The idea of taking a risk and having a possible failure is too much for them.  Hence, the “Paradox” in the title of the HBR article.

I have found that it is helpful if organizations can think of these Almost Impossible Goals as “Happy,” not “Hairy.”  I encourage people NOT to set these big goals unless they are actually willing to fail at them.  Of course you don’t want to fail.  But once you can accept that failure at a wonderfully big goal is not so terrible, it gives you the freedom to really play with ideas and get creative.  You can be in a “happy place” and really go for it without looking back.

If scary, hairy goals work for you, then great.  But I prefer the more fun approach of Big Happy Audacious Goals (see here to learn more).  Even if you don’t make it, you can be happy and proud that you pursued something you really care about to make a Mission Impact.


For more ideas on how you can lead breakthroughs in your organization, follow this blog and check out my web site at www.SheehanNonprofitConsulting.com   You will find free resources you can download, including a Breakthrough Strategy Workbook that you can download at no cost.  You can also check out my book, Mission Impact:  Breakthrough Strategies for Nonprofits, and buy it if you are interested.  And you can follow Sheehan Nonprofit Consulting on Facebook.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Activate Your Brain

We all want to be able to count on our brains working at an excellent capacity every day, every week, and every year – into the future.  But it turns out that in order for that to happen, we need to take good care of our brains – to fully “activate” them.  This is the topic of Scott Halford’s book, Activate Your Brain, which is based on extensive secondary research. 

Here are my key takeaways on how to nurture our brains so they have the stamina we want:

*Physical Exercise: “Exercise is the single best thing we can do for brain health.  Extra oxygen and renewed blood cells help the brain do its job much better.”  Stanford’s Director of Longevity and Aging, Laura Carstensen, says “there is nothing known to us that can benefit our brain better than exercise.”  And you thought it was only helpful to help you keep looking good!

*Sleep: Problems from lack of sleep “include a decaying brain, decreased memory and learning ability.” It also affects “the executive function of the brain.”  “When we don’t sleep enough we lose our mental nimbleness.”

*Focus the Brain: Halford contends that “one hour of focused time is equal to about four hours of distracted time.”  We need to stop multi-tasking and consider practices like Mindfulness which help us keep the brain present and focused.

*Set Goals: “The brain is a completion machine.”  If we set clear, specific goals and then put our brain to the task we will maximize performance.  Anyone who reads my blogs knows that I set goals for everything.  Learn more about effective goal setting here.

*Hydrate:  Most of us need to drink more water every day and this helps refresh the brain – which is approximately 75 percent water.

*Brain Food: Here are some tips on good foods to eat for the brain from Halford and other sources (see this link): blueberries, fatty/oily fish (e.g., salmon), almonds, vegetables (especially tomatoes, broccoli, and other dark green veggies), whole grains.   

*Brain Exercise: One of the best ways to exercise the brain is to learn new things.  This should always be a part of our professional development planning.

This is a long blog, but it’s one less book you have to read!  Activate Your Brain so you can have the stamina to make a quality Mission Impact today and throughout your life.   


For more ideas on how you can lead breakthroughs in your organization, follow this blog and check out my web site at www.SheehanNonprofitConsulting.com   You will find free resources you can download, including a Breakthrough Strategy Workbook that you can download at no cost.  You can also check out my book, Mission Impact:  Breakthrough Strategies for Nonprofits, and buy it if you are interested.  And you can follow Sheehan Nonprofit Consulting on Facebook.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Preparing for the Storm

In church one day the Pastor said “Everyone here is either in the midst of a storm or coming out of a storm or heading into a storm.”

I thought “I’m not in any one of those – my life is pretty great right now.”  And that’s when I had my “aha” moment.  What the Pastor was telling us is that even if life is great right now – you will sooner or later be in a “storm.”

We know it is true – challenges and difficulties are just a part of life.  They come along sooner or later in sizes great and small.  And you can apply this at the individual level and the organizational level.

So the question is – especially when we are in the good times – what are we doing to prepare for the “storms” ahead?

As an individual – are we taking preventative care of our health, are we saving money, are we nurturing our relationships, are we investing in our professional development, are we taking care of our spiritual lives?

As an organization – are we investing in our staff, are we nurturing our board and volunteers, are we building reserves, are we spending time with our stakeholders, are we fostering innovation, are we networking and collaborating with like-minded organizations?

If you are in good times right now – and “good times” are relative (the Great Recession was not so long ago) – then now is the time to prepare for the stormy days that surely are ahead.  If we do this then we are going to be better prepared to make a Mission Impact – perhaps at the time when people need us most.


For more ideas on how you can lead breakthroughs in your organization, follow this blog and check out my web site at www.SheehanNonprofitConsulting.com   You will find free resources you can download, including a Breakthrough Strategy Workbook that you can download at no cost.  You can also check out my book, Mission Impact:  Breakthrough Strategies for Nonprofits, and buy it if you are interested.  And you can follow Sheehan Nonprofit Consulting on Facebook.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Your Reservoir of Trust

A problem is going to arise and your leadership will be needed.

And people are going to need to trust you.

Will they?

How deep is your reservoir of trust?

At this moment, you better hope your reservoir is very full – especially if it is a big problem you are facing.  But there is nothing you can do now to add to it.  Building your reservoir of trust takes time.

How do you build up trust between yourself and others?

You can start by being always respectful of others and honest with them. These two things go a long way and they are, unfortunately, in short supply with a lot of people.

Honesty is more than not telling blatant lies.  It is about being open, talking straight, having candor.  Don’t “spin” or speak vaguely so others can make up interpretations of what you mean.  Especially if you have bad news – give it straight without “sugar coating.” 

You want to be someone that others can count on for the truth.

Take care in making ethical decisions.  Let people know that is your intent when you face an ethical dilemma and ask for input.  Make the best decision you can and communicate openly about it.

All of these things can help build your reservoir of trust.  It’s the right thing to do and the smart thing to do.  Someday, you are going to need people to believe that they can count on you.  You can start today by giving them reasons to think that is so.



For more ideas on how you can lead breakthroughs in your organization, follow this blog and check out my web site at www.SheehanNonprofitConsulting.com   You will find free resources you can download, including a Breakthrough Strategy Workbook that you can download at no cost.  You can also check out my book, Mission Impact:  Breakthrough Strategies for Nonprofits, and buy it if you are interested.  And you can follow Sheehan Nonprofit Consulting on Facebook.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

What Change Should You Lead?

If you could change one thing in your organization that would make a REAL difference in the IMPACT you make, what would it be?

What do you have to lose by giving it a try???

Start by sharing your thoughts with a few people you trust to test your idea.  If others agree then get more people on board.  And then – when the timing is right – broaden your movement to more people.

The timing is not always right and sometimes it takes years of persistence to make a big change.  That is the story of Carmen Medina as told in the book she co-authored with Lois Kelly, Rebels at Work.  

Carmen had big ideas of changes she wanted to make at the CIA regarding the way information was shared.  But, especially as a Puerto Rican woman, her ideas were rebuffed.  She persevered over years, though, and made it happen.  She was a leader in creating Intellipedia – an “internal Wikipedia for intelligence agencies to share knowledge.”

How can you be sure your idea is a change you “should” lead?  It is hard to know.  This is why many years ago, renowned theologian Reinhold Neibuhr wrote this famous prayer:

God grant me the Serenity to accept the things that I cannot change
Courage to change things that I can
And Wisdom to know the difference

May you have Serenity, Courage, and Wisdom as you lead change for enhanced Mission Impact.


For more ideas on how you can lead breakthroughs in your organization, follow this blog and check out my web site at www.SheehanNonprofitConsulting.com   You will find free resources you can download, including a Breakthrough Strategy Workbook that you can download at no cost.  You can also check out my book, Mission Impact:  Breakthrough Strategies for Nonprofits, and buy it if you are interested.  And you can follow Sheehan Nonprofit Consulting on Facebook.

Monday, January 30, 2017

The Right Amount of Stress

What!?!  I want NO stress!

And there are a lot of good reasons that you don’t want stress.  Too much stress has been shown to cause a myriad of health problems including hypertension, heart issues, depression, and more.  And at work, too much stress can lead to bad decision making, low quality of work, burn out, strained relations with colleagues, lack of focus, and more.

Yerkes - Dodson Law
But you also don’t want NO stress.  That is, you don’t want “no stress” as long as you’re working.  More than one hundred years ago, Yerkes & Dodson identified the relationship between stress and performance.  With too little stress, we are not challenged to do our best.  With too much stress, the quality of our performance suffers.

The trick is to get yourself into a situation where you have just the right amount of stress – which is called “eustress.”

If you are feeling too much stress then address it as best you can – you are not being as productive as you think you are, even if you are very busy (BUSY does not equal HIGH PERFORMANCE).

Say no to additional assignments as best you can and/or negotiate different deadlines.  Manage expectations of yourself and others.  Don’t fall victim to the tyranny of everything being urgent.  Dial back the stress until you get to that sweet spot.

Too much stress leads to distress.  The right amount leads to high performance and enhanced Mission Impact.

*Also check out "The Mayo Clinic Guide for Stress-Free Living" by Dr. Amit Sood here.


For more ideas on how you can lead breakthroughs in your organization, follow this blog and check out my web site at www.SheehanNonprofitConsulting.com   You will find free resources you can download, including a Breakthrough Strategy Workbook that you can download at no cost.  You can also check out my book, Mission Impact:  Breakthrough Strategies for Nonprofits, and buy it if you are interested.  And you can follow Sheehan Nonprofit Consulting on Facebook.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Pete's Persistence

Most days I go to the campus gym first thing in the morning.  Pete is usually never far behind me.

Pete looks to be in his 80s.  He walks with a very pronounced limp.  It’s not easy for him to get around.  Yet, there he is most every day.  He lifts weights.  He does walking laps in the shallow end of the pool.  None of this is easy for him.

One very cold morning last week it was a dark day with freezing rain.  It was one of those days when anyone who had a choice might just decide to stay in bed, eat popcorn, and watch reruns of NCIS in a warm house.  But not Pete – he was at the gym.

Anytime I think about being a slug and not starting the day at the gym, I think of Pete.  In fact, recently, every time I hit some kind of a roadblock and think about quitting, I think of Pete.  Because Pete knows that persistence is one of the things that separates the good from the great.

Former President Calvin Coolidge said it well:

“Nothing in the world will take the place of Persistence.  Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.  Genius will not: unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.  Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts.  Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.  The slogan “Press On” has solved and will always solve the problems of the human race.”  

“Press On” with your 2017 Goals for more of a Mission Impact!


For more ideas on how you can lead breakthroughs in your organization, follow this blog and check out my web site at www.SheehanNonprofitConsulting.com   You will find free resources you can download, including a Breakthrough Strategy Workbook that you can download at no cost.  You can also check out my book, Mission Impact:  Breakthrough Strategies for Nonprofits, and buy it if you are interested.  And you can follow Sheehan Nonprofit Consulting on Facebook.