Issue No. 90 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting recommends a true story—a powerful story—about a rich guy and a homeless guy. Warning! You won’t be able to put it down. At your staff meeting this week, ask your team for their summer reading suggestions: a few leadership and management books and a few books just for fun. And this reminder: to review the books I’ve recommended in back issues, visit the archives here. Plus, check out my new Management Buckets website with dozens of new resources and downloadable worksheets for your staff meetings.
Same Kind of Different As Me
For U.S. readers to this eNewsletter, I trust you had a nice change of pace over this Memorial Day weekend. While you relaxed, hundreds of rescue mission leaders and managers are working—and attending the annual convention of the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions in Dallas. (I’m leading two workshops.)
While we celebrate the incredible in-the-trenches spirit that permeates the people who serve the homeless, the addicted and those in need of emergency shelter—let’s face it—it’s difficult to put a face on the overwhelming statistics of poverty.
Here’s an idea. This summer, take a break from your leadership and management books and read this week’s poignant true story. Click on the title to order from Amazon: Same Kind of Different As Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together. It’s co-authored by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. The book jacket says it all: “A dangerous, homeless drifter who grew up picking cotton in virtual slavery. An upscale art dealer accustomed to the world of Armani and Chanel. A gutsy woman with a stubborn dream. A story so incredible no novelist would dare dream it.”
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
1. What is our God-given responsibility to the poor?
2. What are we doing about it?
Bucket #19 of 20: The Printing Bucket - Insights from Mastering the Management Buckets: 20 Critical Competencies for Leading Your Business or Nonprofit
Over a 20-week period, I’m featuring one of the 20 buckets (core competencies) each week from my new book, Mastering the Management Buckets (now available). Here’s the core competency in Bucket #19, The Printing Bucket:
“We elevate the power of the written and spoken word and leverage our communication tools to create synergy and alignment between our mission, BHAG, strategic plans and programs. We believe proofreading and style matters!”
Combat the Fog Factor! Bad, overly complex writing stinks up websites, newsletters, emails, memos, reports, donor letters and signage. There’s help! Bob Kelly, resident wordsmith at Wordcrafters, Inc. introduced me to the “Gunning Fog Index,” a measurement of the number of multi-syllabic words used and the length of sentences. The communication goal: shorter, simpler sentences. Think about your audience. The Reader’s Digest is written at a ninth grade level while Atlantic Monthly is targeted to high school seniors and older.
Your spell check program can give you “Readability Statistics.” For example, the Flesch-Kincaid grade level for the paragraphs in this section is 10.5. According to the spell check in Microsoft Word, the Flesch reading ease level for this entire eNewsletter is 46.0 on a scale of 100.
Monitor the reading levels for all of your communication tools and check out the downloadable resources in the Printing Bucket. You should also write with the four social styles in mind (See the People Bucket to learn more about Analyticals, Drivers, Amiables and Expressives). It’s not easy! Visit the Management Buckets website and click on each bucket for more help.