Issue No. 94 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting spotlights an old book. Winston Churchill said, “There is a good saying to the effect that when a new book appears, one should read an old one.” Ken Blanchard recommends you read every book four times. So if you haven’t read this week’s book for a long time, or if you’ve never read it, here’s an old book for your summer reading list.
With the political rhetoric upon us in the U.S. this summer and fall, now is a good time to re-read The Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli, and recently translated by Peter Constantine. It includes a helpful introduction by Albert Russell Ascoli. The reviews for this edition are excellent.
To order from Amazon, click on this title: The Prince. The book needs no commentary by me. Read it and discuss it at your next staff meeting.
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
1. What’s so powerful about power?
2. What does the Bible teach about power?
Inside Results Versus Outside Results - Insights from Mastering the Management Buckets: 20 Critical Competencies for Leading Your Business or Nonprofit
Have you given copies of Mastering the Management Buckets to your key volunteers or board members yet? Help them focus on the bottom line of your work by reading chapter one: The Results Bucket.
I was privileged to hear Peter Drucker share his insights on outside results versus inside results. If a hospital, he said, focuses on keeping the nurses happy (inside results) but neglects the care of patients (outside results), the patients will all die and the hospital will go out of business. He acknowledged that it is good to keep the nurses happy. But when an organization focuses predominantly on inside results (administration, maintenance, policies and procedures) rather than on outside results (mission, customer, sales, donors, recipients), it is on the path to failure.
It’s an easy trap. Of the three arenas—Cause, Community and Corporation—the Corporation side (budget, operations, systems, meetings) will take every ounce of emotional and physical energy you can muster. The Community side (people, team, hoopla!, donors, volunteers) will eventually whine and complain if it’s not adequately fed. Rarely will external forces—your Cause—push you to invest time. It takes sheer discipline every single day to focus on outside results. But you can do it! Remember Drucker: “Results are obtained by exploiting opportunities, not by solving problems.”
Look at these “Five Signs You Might Be Focused More on Inside Results Than on Outside Results.” What do you talk about and focus on in these activities? 1) Staff meetings, 2) Newsletters, donor letters, brochures and publications, 3) Elevator speech (“What does your organization do and how’s it going?”), 4) Budget and financial reports, and 5) Celebrations.
For a worksheet on the five signs, visit the the Results Buckets page at my Management Buckets website.
FALL 2008 WORKSHOP DATES. Join your colleagues at one of our Buckets or Board workshops this fall:
Mastering the Management Buckets Workshop Experience
September 16-17, 2008 (Colorado Springs)
October 14-15, 2008 (Chicago)
November 18-19, 2008 (Orange County, Calif.)
Nonprofit Board Governance Workshop
September 18, 2008 (Colorado Springs)
October 13, 2008 (Chicago)
November 21, 2008 (Orange County, Calif.)
For more details and to download the workshop brochures, visit The Workshop page on the Management Buckets website.