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Be For Impact

BE FOR IMPACT is a 50,000’ conversation, an imperative, and a challenge.

Finding PURPOSE is a journey. BEING FOR IMPACT is a decision.

We have learned that you either get BE FOR IMPACT right away or you don’t. If you do, I hope the following helps you decide to ACT on this challenge:

BE FOR IMPACT is the ‘other Golden Rule’. You can think about BEING FOR IMPACT in the same way that you think about ‘DO UNTO OTHERS’.

BE FOR IMPACT is all about the WHY. (Why do we exist? To have an impact. To leave a legacy. Why do we get up in the morning? Why do we go to work? Why, why, why?)

BE FOR IMPACT is the holy grail, so to speak, of organizations, businesses and people. Any truly great or successful company or Third Sector organization is driven by their IMPACT.

BE FOR IMPACT, again, is a conscious decision, an intent. It’s a commitment that just takes a moment to make and a lifetime to deliver.

BE FOR IMPACT is timeless. Andrew Carnegie. Napoleon Hill. Earl Nightingale. Og Mandino. Rick Warren. And I’m sure somewhere Aristotle and Plato, using some Greek words, laid out the idea of IMPACT.

BE FOR IMPACT is about a legacy. The people who have left the largest legacies have always had the greatest impact. (They’re not the ones who left the most money.)

*THE DASH. My good friend and brilliant thinker, Jim Mahoney, is founder and president of Battelle for Kids. Jim says the DASH is your impact. On your tombstone, the DASH between the year you were born and the year you died symbolizes your IMPACT/ LEGACY. You have the opportunity to write/define your DASH. (I call this your EIA, your Eulogy In Advance.)

BE FOR IMPACT is about value and service and purpose and meaning. Oprah Winfrey recently delivered a commencement speech to Harvard graduates with this message:

After interviewing over 35,000 people, there is a universal truth: Every one of those people craved affirmation.

In her words, it was always, “How did I do?” It doesn’t take much to change that to “Did what I do matter?” “Did it make a difference?” “Have I had an impact?”

BE FOR IMPACT can also be a job description! Every organization is looking for people who want to wake up in the morning and have an impact. Provide value.

*What if this was part of the Ideal Profile you were seeking to any important role in your company, your organization or your team. “Do you want to have an IMPACT?” “What kind of IMPACT do you want to have?”

BE FOR IMPACT would seem to be a huge part of the ‘work-life balance’ conundrum. Certainly, the question of IMPACT transcends work, career, and money. It represents IMPACT on your family, your friends, your community and much more.

In Closing:

BE FOR IMPACT is the way you can change THE world or change YOUR world. It’s a great way to “make a dent in the universe” as Steve Jobs used to say. Gandhi added, “BE the change you want to see in the world.”

We are human BEings, not human DOing.

In 1623, Billy Shakespeare wrote the opening soliloquy in Hamlet, questioning the whole meaning of life. “To BE or not to BE … that is the question.”

In the 21st century, that might be asked in a different way. “To BE FOR IMPACT or not to BE FOR IMPACT … that is the question.”

Only you can answer it.

No More Not-For-Profit

Why do we define ourselves in the negative? It makes no sense.

Does your organization exist to not make any money?

Or, does it exist to save lives, change lives and impact lives?

Anyone who has barely even touched the surface of our For Impact thinking knows that right under our Controlling Insight of IMPACT drives INCOME (not the other way around) is the idea that this is NOT about not-for-profit, 501c3, tax-exempt, charity, etc.

We are the only industry/sector which defines itself in the NEGATIVE! (It is the equivalent of Starbucks calling themselves a ‘Not-tea’ company or Southwest saying “We’re in the ‘not-train’ business.”)

Stop defining yourself by what you’re not.

Start defining yourself by what you are for: IMPACT.
 

More than a shift in language we need a different way of being.

This shift is about attitude. It’s about your purpose (the WHY). It’s about re-thinking an entire sector (or two).

In 1950, Earl Nightingale wrote The Strangest Secret. The secret (common to many beliefs, all sectors, and all definitions of success): We become what we think about.

What becomes of us when our entire thinking is about ‘nonprofit’?
What if we think, instead, about changing the world?

 

The For Impact Movement

We’ve been sharing this message for the last 15 years and living it for longer than that. The past few years has given rise to an incredible conversation around this VOCABULARY and CHANGE.
 

Think not and be not about:

Charity, 501c3.

Tin Cups or Begging.

Not-for-profit OR for-profit.

Think about and be about:

An organization that is Changing the World.

Selling your Vision.

For Impact!

 

Note: Here is some great thinking from Peter Drucker:

Every organization has to abandon almost everything it does.

No ‘some’ orgs… need to ‘tweak’… some ‘things.’ What if you abandoned:

Direct mail. Lengthy Case Statements. Feasibility Studies. Volunteer Solicitations. Survival Pitches. Small thinking. Cultivation. Special events (that aren’t special and don’t raise money). Letters that read “We are a 501(c)3” (who cares?). Committee Reports. Etc.

Impact Drives Income. (Not the Other Way Around.)

Putting an ‘idea on the back of a napkin’ is pretty important to us. The ‘napkin’ is the most powerful device or metaphor for SIMPLICITY that we’ve come across.

That old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is true, and in this case, the visual represents everything we have learned and believe after 30 years in the field.

 

 

Our entire MESSAGE and POINT OF VIEW can be summarized with these 3 color-coded words: IMPACT DRIVES INCOME. Even simpler: 2 words and an arrow on a napkin!!

The implications of this idea are everything to us.

It is not about fundraising, development, soliciting people for money, or anything else you do under the guise of raising money. Instead:

Impact Demands, Drives, Determines Income.

The SIZE and SCOPE of your Impact Determines the SIZE and SCOPE of your INCOME. (Not the other way around.)

It’s ALL about your IMPACT. How are your saving, changing or impacting lives?

If you can convey your VISION, IMPACT or PURPOSE and do so CLEARLY, CONCISELY, COMPELLINGLY…

To someone who wants to do just that…
Then, YOU GET MORE MONEY!!!
Then, MORE MONEY EQUALS MORE, GREATER IMPACT.

Little bit of Lion King ‘Circle of Life’ going on here, but whatever it takes to make the point! The more IMPACT you have – the more INCOME you can have – the more IMPACT you will have.

Action: Put these words, this visual, this napkin everywhere:

Share it with your Board.

Begin every staff meeting with it.

Even use it on presentations.

It’s a great REMINDER to start every conversation with WHY you do what you do.

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!