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3/3 kicks off 33 days of For Impact Ideas on a Napkin

Today is 3/3 and if you know us, you know that 3 is our favorite number! So, today, we’re kicking off 33 days of For Impact Ideas on a Napkin.

We’re starting with (of course) The Rule of Three.

The Rule of 3

The Rule of 3 is a magical rule for SIMPLICITY.

As human beings, we’re wired to understand, internalize, and remember threes. Politicians know this, as does the media. Neuroscience tells us that the brain actually finds harmony in threes.

One is lonely (no choice.)

Two creates an either/or conflict. (Sophie’s Choice, anyone?)

Not only is Three just right (thank you, Goldilocks) but anything more than three is too complex!

Barry Schwartz’s The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less tells us stories of engagement DECREASING proportionate to MORE choice.

Look around:

Three-Act Plays. The first act sets up the story, the second act creates conflict, and the third act is the resolution.

The Holy Trinity.

Pyramids. An ancient symbol for strength.

Think BIG! Build SIMPLE! Act NOW! (Can you feel the cadence?!?!)

Today. Tomorrow. Forever.

You can use the Rule of 3 to simplify EVERYTHING you do and how you communicate:

If there are 20 points you want to make about why you exist, you need to frame them up under 3 storylines.

If you have 7 programs, you need to package those into 3 funding priorities, such as:

People, Programs, Places.
Students, Teachers, Campus.
Read-Aloud Programs, Family Literacy, Teen Intervention.

If someone asks you a complex question, you can respond by saying, “I can answer that with these 3 things…”

If someone asks you, “How can I help?”, you can answer by saying, “We ask everyone for 3 things:

To be a Champion for our cause,
To Invite others to be engaged,
and to make an Investment in our Impact.

A Campaign Is…

Several times each month I visit with boards and leaders. These thoughts represent a lot of the conversations I’ve been having on the subject of “campaigns”.

“What is a campaign?”

I often engage a board with this question. The word-association is something about which we should to be mindful.

  • “Committees!”
  • “Asking our friends for money!”
  • “Kickoff events!”

If the ‘capital campaign’ had a brand, it would be a bad one.

So, the first thing I often do is take control of the word.

A campaign is…

  • A time when we (The Suddes Group) see organizations getting very serious about building and maximizing relationships. This begs a question, “When would we NOT want to be building and maximizing relationships?

    This is all. it. is. By this definition we should ALWAYS be in a campaign.

  • A defined initiative with a goal and a plan.

    The first notion of a campaign I can find goes back to the Roman days: targeted initiatives with an objective and a plan (and then a celebration).

  • A story!

    The campaign is a time for us to tell our story! And, in fact, the campaign itself is a story. What’s the story we want to be telling about the next chapter in our impact?

    The story is not about ‘a capital campaign’ or ‘a building’. Those are traditional capital campaigns. Instead, what if we built a focused story around what we want to accomplish in the next 1000 days? Some examples:

    • “We want to be there when people need us!”
    • “Advancing care for vulnerable populations.”
    • “Scaling our impact on a national level.”

      Each of these defined very successful campaign initiatives. They provided the focused narrative for our 1,000 day WHY/WHAT/HOW.

  • A catalyst.

    For telling our story. For engaging others. For change. For results. For impact.

April 2015 Boot Camp: ‘Early Bird’ Opportunity

Want to explore the For Impact Point of View and Sales Process in person?

Join us for our For Impact Funding Boot Camp on April 28-29 at Eagle Creek – our beautiful 50-acre retreat center.

The For Impact Boot Camp is focused on frameworks and skill building – You will leave with the knowledge you need to simplify your message and funding rationale, and take your organization to the next level.

This high-energy, day-and-a-half session covers topics like:

  • How to execute against a sales process (for major gifts, campaign gifts, transformational gifts, etc.)
  • How to build and maximize relationships
  • How to build and lead an effective team
  • How to ask, close, and follow-up

The Boot Camp is perfect for organizational alums, new hires, or anyone looking to hone individual skills – both personal and professional!

We’ve extending our Early Bird pricing – Register before February 27th to take advantage of this offer! Discounts are also available for Alumni Organizations and teams with 4 or more participants.


For More Information, FAQs and Registration:
For Impact Funding Boot Camp

Tuesday, April 28 – Wednesday, April 29 2015
Ostrander, OH

Talent Posting :: Water for People – Head of Business Development

Finding the right talent is one of the top challenges facing organizations. Over the past two years we’ve been quietly launching For Impact Talent, a division of The Suddes Group that works with our clients and alumni to find and train the right talent — to lead, sell or support around a true sales model and For Impact Point of View. Periodically, we will share these postings with our readership. Sometime this year we will also launch a talent center to source talent through forimpact.org.

We’re currently working with Water for People, in Denver, to find the right person to lead their sales team in providing clean water for Everyone, Forever.

We’d love your help in spreading the word about this opportunity. The ideal profile for the Head of Business Development role is someone who:

  • has fearlessly led (and coached) teams through transition;
  • is a strategic leader and a rock; and
  • loves sales – and wants to take a best-in-class team to the next level.

Who do you know who fits this description? Contact our Director of Talent, Jessica Gemm, and let us know!

169 Million Days …

169 Million Days ..

According to Quartz, last year, Americans left 169 million paid vacation days on the table … saying they were too busy to use them!!! That was PAID VACATION DAYS.

I’ve been reading a lot of stuff in the last few months about work-life balance/integration, happiness, purpose, etc.

The Gallup organization continually confirms that taking time away from the job/work/calling is very, very important …  to do a better job!

In the For Impact world, you need to regenerate, renew, recover. Taking time off is essential to that recovery. (Look up thoughts on oscillation by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz.)

Here are also some thoughts from Gallup on Taking Regular Vacations May Help Boost Americans Well-Being.

Some startling stats to get your attention:

  • 169 million paid vacation days left on the table!
  • 41% of Americans didn’t take any vacation days in 2014!
  • Nearly half of Americans didn’t take a single day off in December of 2014!

Don’t be one of these ‘stats’ in 2015!

Note:  Maybe the best way for the Tribe to deal with this is around vocabulary. Just don’t use the word VACATION. (It sounds like you’re in Hawaii playing golf while the world is imploding.)

Use as many R-words as you can … Recover, Regenerate, Renew, Relax, Rest, Reminder (of Life), etc.

Suddes Family Vacation 2014

A Suddes Family Memorable Experience in Jackson Hole, WY

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

We look forward to adding even more value to your personal and professional lives in 2015.

Here’s a great quote that my good friend Christopher picked up from our writing last year, and shared with his family:

“WEALTH IS AN ABUNDANCE OF THINGS WE VALUE.”

Think about this: Everything we truly value … doesn’t really ‘cost’ a lot of money.

As you look to the New Year, I encourage you to reflect on GRATITUDE (vs. what’s wrong) … MEMORABLE EXPERIENCES (vs. materialistic stuff)…..and INTEGRATION (vs. work-life balance)

From all of us at For Impact | The Suddes Group … wishing you a productive, joyful and IMPACTFUL 2015.

Year End Thinking. 100 Memories.

I sent this out last New Year’s Eve – had a great response – so I’m sending this idea again. Every year-end I make a list of my top 100 memories from the year. These could be events, moments, firsts, lasts, etc. etc.

It’s a great way to reflect on the year and prepare for the next.

I got this idea from Michael Gelb’s How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci. He says one of Leo’s brainstorming exercises was to come up with 100 big questions about life, the universe, etc. The idea is that the first 30 will be easy. The next 30 will be cool and the remaining questions will be profound, insightful and guiding. You will see telling themes emerge.

The same is true of the 100 memories list. After you get past obvious moments like weddings and births the really telling memories start to emerge.

You can do this solo, with your team or family. And, it will probably take you a few hours. If you don’t have time for that, just do a top 30 – still great to capture at least those memories!

I won’t bore you with my list except to say that many of my memories come from meeting so many of you on the road … so many smart, passionate and inspiring stories of people changing the world.

If you’re up to it, I would love to hear about some of the adventures/memories/reflections you’ve had from the past year. We have some pretty ‘crazy’ (cool) social entrepreneurs reading this blog. What’s on your list?

Today is Fire

Yesterday is ashes.
Tomorrow is wood.
Today is fire.
       
Eskimo Proverb

Here’s a gold nugget as you look to making 2015 a special year.

‘Tending the Fire’ is an interesting analogy for working on our ‘life’ in 2015.

THE FOUR FIRES

(Adapted from Ayurveda, with attribution and thanks to Shiva Rea in MANTRA: YOGA & HEALTH magazine.)

DIM FIRE (MANDA AGNI) can manifest as a lack of hunger for life, disconnection, low energy, and lethargy and is balanced by life practices which revitalize, rekindle, and nourish without depleting vital energy.

EXCESSIVE FIRE (TIKSHNA AGNI) manifests as insatiable hunger and a reactive nervous system – rarely satisfied, sharp, intense, ego-driven, and out of balance. Excessive fire is balanced by slowing down, relaxing, and bringing more meditative life activities and yoga practices into one’s life

WAVERING FIRE (VISHAMA AGNI) affects our ability to experience life without stress as the wavering fire expends energy through an irregular flow, erratic energy, and inability to sustain transformation. Balance the fire through grounding, few activities, and greater quality of presence.

BALANCED FIRE (SAMA AGNI) brings you into your authentic energy flow, vitality, inspiration, clarity, longevity, and passion – sustaining evolution in all forms.

“There is nothing like the new–year fire to help us wake up and not be afraid to get real about what we want to change and what we want to live for.”
Shiva Rea

A Thought for 2015: SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE … WITH FIRE.

Prioritizing

Setting clear priorities!

It’s at the guts of great strategy and missing from bad strategy. It’s one of the most important functions of a leader or manager (to help declare and clarify).

Simple. Not easy!

Here are two powerful nuggets about prioritizing.

And

“One of the most useful findings in recent neuroscience could be summed up as:
The decision-making network in our brain doesn’t prioritize.”

– Daniel Levitin, The Organized Mind.

(If you’re intrigued by time-management, story or neuroscience… read The Organized Mind! One of my WOW books from 2014.)

The insight is not new but the science is confirming. We should mindful and routine about the practice of prioritizing; our wiring requires this!

For Impact Reading: Being Mortal

Atul Gawande - Being Mortal

I’ve made Atul Gawande’s ‘Being Mortal’ required reading for our For Impact coaches.

Typically we share books with our team that relate to health/vitality, personal development, story, design/innovation, coaching/leading and sales. This book gets some of the highest marks I could offer in the first three categories.

Atul Gawande is a surgeon, contributing writer to New Yorker, and the best-selling author of ‘Better’ and ‘Checklist Manifesto’ (a book that’s as much about changing culture in health care as it is about checklists).

I resisted ‘Being Mortal’ because I thought it would be tough and depressing. After seeing the book appear on EVERY year-end ‘best of’ list, I downloaded it and couldn’t put the book down.

  • Everyone on our team has dealt with or is dealing with figuring out how to care for a parent / grandparent.
  • Atul Gawande offers a simple history of healthcare in the states (Chapter 3).
  • We all age. (This is the most certain bullet points I’ve ever composed.)
  • This is, in many ways, an ultimate book about STORY and WHY. The story of family, the story of medicine, the story of living, the story of YOU.
  • This book will be something everyone in healthcare ends up reading. (About 20% of our work is in health / healthcare.)

The book explores a change in perspective through some gripping storytelling. So I think the book has importance not only because of my points above, but also because it relates to the work we do actively trying to change the dominant perspective of the ‘not-for-profit’ sector.
 

Gawande writes:“The problem with medicine and the institutions it has spawned for the care of the sick and the old is not that they have had an incorrect view of what makes life significant. The problem is that they have had almost no view at all…”

Man’s Search For Meaning

This is the book that almost every ‘personal development expert’ puts on their list of top 10 books.  As the year ends, and we look towards 2015 and beyond … this is one of those books that reinforces everything we are thinking (and hoping) on Purpose, Meaning and Impact.

Thanks (again!) to Shane Parrish at Farnam Street for find this unbelievable clip from 1972 of Viktor Frankl delivering a powerful message about the most important gift we can give others.

“If we take man as he is, we make him worse, but if we take him as he should be, we make him capable of becoming what he can be.”

Here’s the clip.  Take 4 minutes and 22 seconds out of your life to hear Viktor Frankl in person talk about Purpose and Meaning.

***1972!  He makes a big deal of 16% of the American youth want to “make a lot of money”78% are searching Meaning and Purpose.  Those are the same kind of numbers that are thrown around today.

“Everything can be taken from man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms –
to chose one’s ATTITUDE in any given set of circumstances, to chose one’s way.”

– Viktor Frankl in Man’s Search for Meaning

Thanks – Giving and Gratitude

This is a special time and an obvious week of Gratitude and Thanksgiving.

Note: Every year I try to share a Thanksgiving message with our Tribe/Community. Some of this ‘re-cycled’ from previous years because of the timeless nature of these thoughts.

Three things to think about this Thanksgiving and in the Holiday Season.

    1. “WEALTH IS AN ABUNDANCE OF THINGS WE VALUE.”
    For the first half of my life (30+ years), my understanding of wealth was the same as all my friends, business associates and the general public. ‘WEALTH’ meant you had a lot of money.
    Then I found this definition… and it allowed me to become one of the ‘WEALTHIEST’ people in the world.
    Here’s a simple test of your ‘WEALTH’. Write down a list of all the things that you truly VALUE. Then, put a ‘COST’ (an actual dollar figure) next to everything on the list.
    Most of you will look at the list and realize that the things that we truly VALUE… end up COSTING NOTHING!
    Bob and Melinda Blanchard, in their wonderful entrepreneurial book LIVE WHAT YOU LOVE, have a great line: “It only matters if it BREATHES.”
    My own VALUE LIST is filled with simple things that are alive … family time, adventures with the grandkids, health, friends, business partners, etc. … and, some that are not … a great book, a good cup of coffee, nature, the sun, the ocean, the mountains, a boxing workout, yoga and a ride on the Harley.
    Here’s the pretty obvious point: ‘WEALTH’, no matter how you define it, is not about ‘money’. Money is just ‘worthless wampum’ in the grand scheme of life.
    Clearly, we need to provide ourselves and family with food, shelter, clothing, etc. But if the accumulation of money, a higher salary or how much you can put in your bank or your portfolio is your measurement for success or happiness … I’m guessing you’ll be doing that ‘camel through the eye of the needle’ thing at the end of your life.
    Robert Allen has a great quote, “If a man with many riches suddenly loses all of his money and then jumps out of a window… then, that man was never truly wealthy.”
    In an old ODE magazine (which has now been renamed the OPTIMIST), there was an entire issue around this idea of ‘money’. One of the best lines was a simple statement: “It’s not about MONEY. It’s what you DO with your money.”
    Special Note: I’m an entrepreneur. I’m all about financial freedom. I want to be able to take care of my family, travel, live on the farm and much more. I just don’t believe that money is the scorecard or measurement of wealth or success.
    The Thanksgiving and holiday season is a great opportunity to think of WEALTH as an ABUNDANCE OF THINGS THAT YOU VALUE… and enjoy your ‘WEALTH’.
    2. GRATITUDE.
    I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately on this whole idea of  ‘Gratitude’.  Mindfulness.  Meaning.  Purpose.  And more.  It is particularly powerful in the mind-body relation, especially keeping some kind of gratitude journal.
    Take a little bit of time each day to remind yourself of the good things and the things for which you are most grateful.
    3. THE MORE YOU GIVE THE MORE YOU GET.” 
    “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill
    I’ve had the privilege of watching thousands of people experience serious ‘giving‘. I’ve also watched many of these people literally move from success to significance. While I don’t exactly understand how it works, I know that giving brings much more happiness than receiving.
    There’s a great line from a country song:
    “It’s not what you take with you … when you leave the world behind.”
    “It’s what you leave behind you … when you leave this world behind you.”

I believe all of three of these thoughts help us make a life, not a living.

There’s no better time of the year than now to share with others.

Katniss, our miniature Highland cow wants you to eat more turkey. From the rest of us at For Impact and The Suddes Group and Eagle Creek, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving and great holiday season.

Special Note: Every year I share these 3 stories that you may want to share with your children or grandchildren or family. THE HAPPY PRINCE is a great story/fable. THE SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD are seen through the eyes of a child. The third is a very powerful parable about giving called the SEA OF GALILEE.