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Great Managers
November 30, 2010
The day comes when remaining the same becomes more painful than the risk to grow. And when that happens there are many goodbyes. We leave old patterns, old friends, old lovers, old ideas, and some cherished beliefs. Loss and growth are so often one and the same.
-Phoebe Eng, lecturer
"It takes time and effort to gain a full appreciation of an employee's strengths and weaknesses," writes Marcus Buckingham in The Essential Guide to Leadership (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business Review, 2009).  He continues....

"The great manager spends a great deal of time outside his office walking around, watching each person's reactions to events, listening, and taking mental notes about what each individual is drawn to and what each person struggles with.  There's no substitute for this kind of observation, but you can obtain a lot of information about a person by asking a few simple, open-ended questions and listening carefully to the answers....

"To identify a person's strengths, first ask, 'What was the best day at work you've had in the past three months?'  Find out what the person was doing and why he enjoyed it so much.  Remember:  A strength is not merely something you are good at.  In fact, it might be something you aren't good at yet.  It might be just a predilection, something you find so intrinsically satisfying that you look forward to doing it again and again and getting better at it over time....

"To identify a person's weaknesses, just invert the question:  'What was the worst day you had at work in the past three months?'  And then, probe details about what he was doing and why it grated on him so much.  As with a strength, a weakness is not merely something you are bad at. ...  It is something that drains you of energy, an activity that you never look forward to doing, and that when you are doing it, all you can think about is stopping."

Not Just Small Change: Fund Development for Early Childhood Programs is a fundraising guide written specifically for early childhood programs by a veteran early childhood fundraiser, Roberta Bergman.  The practical resource provides advice on...
  • Whom Can We Ask (and Keep Asking) for Money?
  • Building the Donor Base
  • Developing Relationships with Your Donors
  • Events — Yours and Theirs
  • Direct Mail
  • Online Donations
  • Grant Writing
  • Writing Foundation Proposals: Dear Mr. Gates
  • Preparing Government Grant Applications
  • Breaking New Ground: The Capital Campaign


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