Our Land Of Opportunity – Still

“You know”, I said, “if you go back far enough, the overwhelming majority of us are from somewhere else.” We were introducing ourselves during the first hour of the inaugural English conversation class I’m teaching at the Hispanic Outreach Center in Clearwater, Florida, and it was my turn to tell a bit about my own

What, Me Worry About A Big Board?

“Why in heaven’s name would I even consider it?” This how my colleague Jeff Finkle, President & CEO of the International Economic Development Council, responded over dinner a few weeks ago when I asked him whether he’d ever thought about downsizing his relatively large 55-member board. Jeff and another close colleague of mine, Virginia Jacko,

Beware Of Planning Yourself Into A Box

How did I get into the business of helping nonprofit boards and CEOs build their leadership capacity? This is the first question Cheryl Ronk, President of the Michigan Society of Association Executives, asked me to think about in preparation for last week’s interview on her Michigan Business Network radio show. Thinking about that question the

Greenlight Pinellas: A Pothole On The Road To Ultimate Success

Residents of Pinellas County, Florida who, like me, are strong supporters of expanding public transportation options in this increasingly gridlocked metropolitan area were sorely disappointed in November 2014. Voters overwhelmingly defeated a ballot measure to fund – with a new 1 percent sales tax – a comprehensive transportation plan developed by Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority

Cleveland Orchestra Miami: A Venerable Performing Arts Institution Leads Strategic Change

Founded in 1918, the Cleveland Orchestra has become one of the most sought-after performing ensembles in the world and has long been numbered among the “Big Five” American orchestras. “In its self-effacing virtuosity and variety of colors, its refinement and chamber-style cohesion,” writes Zachary Woolfe in the July 9, 2015 edition of the New York

Sensible Failure

I wish I’d had a copy of a new book I’m going to tell you about when, years ago, I was engaged in an agonizing personal struggle. Then a community college vice president, I’d become keenly aware that I did not have a passion for catching the 7 a.m. train every morning to do day-in-day-out,

The Leadership Cost Of Taking A Tiger By The Tail

My weekly English tutoring sessions via Skype with my Taiwanese friends and students, Donyou Chen and his lovely wife Yuwen Chang (known as “TY” and “Fiona” to their non-Mandarin- speaking friends), have for the past few weeks focused on the economic crisis in China precipitated by the plunging Chinese stock market.  A highly educated and

Whither Volunteer Involvement In Our Nonprofits?

In their informative and thought-provoking new podcast, two seasoned nonprofit leaders – Mick Fleming, President of the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, and Susan Robertson, President of the ASAE Foundation – discuss volunteer involvement in nonprofit organizations – describing the trends they’ve observed and assessing the implications for their associations and the wider nonprofit