Archive for the ‘boards’ Category

“I will utterly consume everything

From the face of the land,”

Says the Lord;

“I will consume man and beast;

I will consume the birds of the heavens,

The fish of the sea,

And the stumbling blocks along with the wicked.

I will cut off man from the face of the land,”

Says the Lord.

-Zephaniah 1:2-3 (NKJV)

Consider yourself warned.  God will have a day of reckoning.  he prophets spoke of it.  In particular, Zephaniah spoke explicitly about it.  It would be the type of day that no one would want to see in their lifetime.

Think you have had a bad day? That’s nothing like what will happen when this day comes about.  The Lord will not be slow to anger on that day.  He will set forth His wrath like it has never been unleashed before.

Take care of business, brothers and sisters.  Know that how you manage your business affairs is part of how you reflect God in your daily life to others, especially those who are not of the faith.

  • Are you viewed as shrewd and crafty, ready to cut costs at the expense of the livelihood of your employees and vendors?
  • Do you readily examine the bottom line or the heart of the matter when making decisions?
  • Do you pray over your business decisions and seek godly counsel from other Christian business men and women?

Consider how you handle your business.  Others are watching you.  Others take into account that you say that you are a Christian.  God is watching.  God will not always be waiting.  One day, and we we do not know when, God is going to call us on what we have done and what we haven’t done as His children.

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The following statistics are based on a BoardSource Report (2007):
  • Only 5% of nonprofits list fund raising as a “board strength”
  • Nearly 50% of nonprofit board members are 50-64 years old
  • 92% of boards have an external financial audit
  • 87% of nonprofit organizations made governance policy changes
  • 70% of surveyed nonprofits established a policy for board members to review the IRS Form 990

So where do you stand?
Do you even know?

The danger zone is not when you know that you are wrong.  The danger zone is when you do not know if you are wrong.  That’s where the real danger lies for any nonprofit board of directors.
You need to know your challenges to face your challenges.  If you do not know them, how do you plan on facing them? Use a proven assessment tool.  Work with nonprofit consultants or business development specialists/ analysts.

Get informed on what you need to get your board back on track.

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Wall Street [Blu-ray]Gordon Gekko: “The point is ladies and gentlemen that greed, for lack of a better word, is good.” Wall Street (1987)

Truly, characters like Oliver Stone‘s Gordon Gekko should cause us to either applaud or cringe.  He either exemplifies all that we love about corporate-raiding moguls or everything we simply cannot stand about the stock-splitting takeover scumbags.  One major notion that Gekko’s character shared at a stockholder’s meeting on screen was that managementhad no vested interest in the company.

Management Rev Ed

Management, beware! People are no longer going for the norm.  Know that you are one proxy vote mailer or quarterly earnings report from being ceremoniously dismissed.  CEO, COO and uh-oh go together these days.  Companies are no longer afraid to trim from the top.  Today’s middle management and upper management are not securely in position like in the days of Carnegie, Ford and Mellon.

Betrayal: The Life and Lies of Bernie MadoffAfter the recent stock market dives and hedge fund scandals, most people are afraid of the words market and meltdown appearing in the same sentence anywhere near one another.  Mention Madoff in some circles and find yourself standing alone with your cocktail in your hand and egg all over your face.  The average Joe is no longer going to wait on his pension fund to tank or his 401(k) nest egg to burst like the market bubble.

Investor's Business DailyManagement and its bedfellows had better stay alert these days.  The masses are expecting results.  The investors have higher expectations these days.  The public has higher expectations of corporate managers, too.  Keep your eye out for the bold and brazen businessmen who sip brandy from goblets and snifters as they puff on imported Cuban cigars in exclusive clubs and brag about the mess that they made of a merger for the sake of corporate integrity.  For the sake of corporate integrity? Imagine that.  It seems to be more at the sacrifice of corporate integrity.
Corporate Turnaround: How Managers Turn Losers Into Winners!

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 26 They came back to Moses and Aaron and the whole Israelite community at Kadesh in the Desert of Paran. There they reported to them and to the whole assembly and showed them the fruit of the land.
The Ten Commandments (Special Collector's Edition)
30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” 31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. 33 We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

Moses Great Lives Series: Volume 4
I read this book some time ago and still regard it as a revealing study in leading God’s people.

Here is a lesson for some would-be promise-seeker in 2011.  Let His promises drown out the pessimists, the ‘problem-seers.”  The difference between problem-seers and promise-seekers is vast and wide.  They are almost galaxies apart. 

Problem-seers are exactly that; they only see the problem.  They have sat and thought of every imaginable way to solve their problem on their own and in their own power, but they just can’t seem to match up with their obstacles or opposition.  They only see the problem.  These people argued from a pessimistic position in response to Caleb’s promise-seeking perspective.  There objection started with “We can’t” and went on from there.

Remember that, when you start failing to see your opportunities from the right perspective, you can easily become objectionable, outspoken and obstinate. Don’t let that be you.  Take on positive thinking and see the possibilities that exist beyond the problems that you face.

Promise-seeking looks beyond the problem.  When you seek the promises of God, you do not simply see problems.  You seek His promises.  You are aware of His presence and rely upon His power to solve the problems in order to deliver on His promises.  God is a problem-solver in order to remain a promise-keeper.  The believer’s stance should be that of a promise-seeker, benefiting from the blessing of God’s unleashed power to solve even the most gigantic of problems.

Caleb saw more than giant-sized occupants of the land.  He saw a land promised to God’s people by the same God who delivered this very people out of enslavement and hardships.  He recognized that the same Almighty God- I AM- had provided for them with safety and supply, even in a wilderness environment.  Caleb knew what God was capable of from what he had witnessed.

Outnumbered by nays to yeas? Seek God’s promises.  Put down for standing up? Seek His promises.  Trouble and conflict keep finding their way to you, even in church? Keep seeking His promises.  God is faithful. He expects us to be as well.  He rewards the promise-seeker as He proves Himself as a promise-keeper.

Grasshoppers get squashed by giants when they fail to:

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http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=ministrioc-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=1413313868&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifrI want to get my own nonprofit to do my own thing and not have to worry about taxes and licenses.

Managing the Nonprofit Organization
Nonprofits are not sole proprietorships.  You don’t own a nonprofit.  That’s a flawed perspective.  That’s a poor perception.

I hear it a lot as I try to help other individuals get started with their budding business ideas.  In essence, some people come to the table with misconstrued notions that don’t make much sense to anyone but the other person who passed on the bad information to them.  In many cases, people are operating off of what they have heard rather than what they have researched or experienced.

Nonprofits exist for numerous purposes.  In most cases, your average nonprofit is for “public benefit.” In layman’s terms, the entity is organized in order to accomplish some good for the benefit of the community as a whole.  No matter if its focus is on children, women, the poor, or some other group, the organization itself is established for the good of society as a whole.  Truly, the goal for starting a nonprofit organization should be the good that it can do for society, not the ability to get grants and write out your own exuberant salary for doing “part-time” work.

executive compensationNonprofits are under the radar.  In this information age, where you can Google in an instant and start a wiki on everything and anything, even nonprofit and faith-based scandals, you better have more than your ducks in a row.  Ethics come into play. The high road isn’t the hard road when you go at it the right way and into with the right mindset and heart.The Nonprofit Challenge: Integrating Ethics into the Purpose and Promise of Our Nation's Charities

Consider the following when you recruit for a nonprofit’s initial board members:
  • Attorney
  • Accountant/ Tax consultant
  • Nonprofit manager/ executive
  • Business professor
  • Law school professor
  • University/ college dean or administrator
  • Retired CEO/ COO
Freedom's Prophet: Bishop Richard Allen, the AME Church, and the Black Founding FathersI find an extraordinary example of bridging faith and societal good in Richard Allen through the Free African Society that predated the AME church.  Even though he served as an itinerant Methodist preacher, Allen established himself as a businessman and change agent in Philadelphia before becoming the leader of America’s primary African-American denomination.  He was a man of vision with integrity.  He worked cooperatively with others for the mutual benefit of his community and its people of African descent, especially former slaves.
Read Freedom’s Prophet by Richard Newman and discover more about how to balance societal change and public good with business practices and zealous religious works.

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 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. – Acts 4:32 (NIV)

Running short on your street mission and shelter funding or praying that the bank doesn’t shut down your community youth center? There may be some simple solutions right at your fingertips and within your reach. You can get some contributions coming in to support the ministry that you have going on within the community.

Share What You Do

You have to tell what you do and make it known to every one you interact with on any given day. Become your biggest spokesperson. People will gladly help you when they know that what you do is almost part of your natural DNA.

Build on the Business Buzz

Truly, even with a recession like this one, you can create some unique “selling” opportunities. Identify some organizations or corporations who have found themselves in hot water lately. Imagine if you had gotten to BP right after the oil spill in the Gulf. What better way to make up for a mess than to change the public’s perception of you as a public servant, corporate leader, or a marketplace mover and shaker. Get with the Better Business Bureau or local chamber of commerce in your community to see who may be prime candidates in a position to give and get press. You may have to be prepared for a media event like a press conference or ribbon cutting for the new wing of beds donated in the name of who knows who, but the dog and pony show come with the territory. That’s the decision you need to make in analyzing who you approach for help.

Create Giving Opportunities

The ability to host gala events of $50-plate roasts and special events that sizzle with the pizzazz of all of the bells and whistles may not be something within the range of your budget or even scope at this point. Create a special event and add the things that will attract niche audiences. Attach a trendy theme to the event. Don’t rent that hotel ballroom. Go for the art gallery or the contemporary art museum, even the historical landmark site. Make the place special and off the beaten path. Use everything that sets your event apart to attract the “new” rich, i.e. techies, skaters, environmentalists, vegans, and others.

Hometown Heroes

Get your local hometown heroes to help out with your fund-raising efforts. Where is that high school phenom who went pro? Whatever became of that cute girl from around the way who went to the Olympics when they were in Atlanta? Wasn’t there a pop music artist who grew up near here? Make your hometown heroes advocates and spokespeople for your cause.

Attach to a movement that’s bigger than your ministry. Create your own opportunities. Develop a plan. Explore and exercise your options. There is a way that you can get more money flowing into your ministry so that you can do more work. It can be done.

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“Action expresses priorities.”- Gandhi

There is a time for analysis.  You study and survey the current condition, and then you become aware of what is really going on within and around your organization.  That’s analysis and it leads to awareness.  From there, you will need to take some form of action.

Taking action doesn’t mean just jumping out an doing something.  You have to be sure to do the right thing.  Taking the right action is critical.  When you step out to do whatever, you are guaranteed to get whatever in return.  You want to be precise with which actions are necessary and deliberate in taking those actions. 

Your goal is to identify the right action steps to take in moving forward.  You need a plan.  You need action steps to guide you in accomplishing your plan.  Too many people simply do and end up making due because they are working without a plan.  They are just shooting from the hip and taking on whatever comes their way.  That leads to disaster.

Identify 3 things that you can do about an existing problem this week.  Think like you need to get started today. What’s the immediate action? What’s the next step? Finally, what will be the follow-up to those action steps? Taking action requires accountability, too.  You have to ensure that the assignment is followed through until the end.  Review what needs to be done, and then keep track of what you do and its impact.  You may need to do more to get to the solution.

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“Sooner or later, usually sooner, a business requires a decision.” – Peter Drucker

All of your options are not equal.  Some are broad and wide open, while others are slim and narrow.  Each option must be evaluated.  Once you know your options and what each entails, then you can decide which option is a best fit for you and your organization.

Take a moment and list all of your options for the decision that you are facing.  Consider the pros and cons.  Weigh each option carefully.  Look down the road and see the potential impact each will have on your organization and those tied to your organization.  You want to evaluate your options to see what you and your organization can live with.  Nothing is final during this stage.  You are simply processing your options and putting them in proper perspective based upon the factors at hand.

If it will keep you up at night and cause you to lose sleep, that may not be your best option if you have other choices.  If it is something that will lead you down a path that will cause damage and destruction for you and your organization, consider exploring other options.  If you need to wait for another option to come about, you must ask yourself if timeliness is factor or not.  Waiting could prove costly if you need an immediate decision.  As you explore your options, maintain your focus.  Keep in mind what you are seeking to do.  You do not want to drift or detour from the main objective while exploring your options to solve the problem and make a sound decision.

Options exist.  You must fully explore and evaluate your options, and then exercise the best option that you have available to you.  There are moral and ethical considerations, especially for people of faith.  You probably have more options available to you than you think.  The goal is to identify what you can and cannot live with as a final decision.  Yet, it is inevitable that you make a decision, sooner or later.

  • Explore your options
  • Evaluate your options
  • Exercise your best option

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Plans fail for lack of counsel,
but with many advisers they succeed.

Proverbs 15:22 (NIV)

You can win with wise counsel.  The problem for many people in business and leadership is that they are looking for that one mentor who can answer all things that exist.  That’s not realistic or rational.  That’s not how you win. 

No one has all of the answers except God.  You need a “multitude of counselors” according to Proverbs 15:22 (NKJV).  Through the multitude of counselors, your plans are established and their feedback ensures that you have covered everything on the checklist for launching your venture.  There is no one-stop shop when it comes to mentoring.

How to identify a “multitude of counselors” for business and leadership:

  • Set your standard before you select your potential mentors and counselors
  • Get a variety of people from a wide variety of experiences and expertise (CEO/ presidents, business school faculty, board chairpersons, etc.)
  • Vary the age of your potential mentors and counselors (peers, elders, Baby Boomers, etc.)
  • Vary their level of education (drop-outs, MBA and seminary graduates, readers, Ivy League, lifelong lea and others)
  • Know their stories (successes and struggles…know that they are human)

Understand that you are seeking people out and accepting those who God sends your way as well.  You may not find as much as you discover that already exists around you.

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Nonprofit boards come in all shapes and sizes. Whether secular or faith-based, all boards are expected to have board member positions and responsibilities outlined in their bylaws and articles of incorporation. Depending on the type of organizational structure, this may also be located in the charter or covenant. It is required to be in place somewhere.

The issue is not usually about whether it is in place or not. The issue usually has more to do with upholding what board members signed on to do as part of being on the board. In most cases, the board has “fiduciary responsibility.” It is not just management and oversight. It is not simply about leadership and vision.

Boards have options for raising funds:

  • Give funds
  • Get funds
  • Get off the board

It sounds crazy, even harsh and cold. Yet, it is a reality. You were recruited for the board for your skills and abilities, expertise and connections, or at least that was the intent. What in-kind services have you legitimately offered your board? What expertise have you shared with your team? How have you utilized your community connections to strengthen or support the executive leadership in place? You can help. You just need to develop a plan for helping out the best way that you can. Your organization is depending on you.

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