The Pitfalls of Praise; Originally Published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review

The orignial publication can be accessed here.

Most nonprofit and social impact leaders share a belief in the positive potential of human beings. We seek to alleviate suffering and lift up the good in people. We advocate, champion, and care for the needs of others. So why don’t more of our workplaces reflect these core values and beliefs?

While our purpose in the sector is to empower others, we aren’t immune to limiting beliefs that permeate our educational and economic systems, namely “there isn’t room at the top for all of us.” This is an example of “scarcity thinking,” and without even realizing it, many managers in the social impact sector are steeped in it.

How to Make a Vision Board; For Skeptics and Believers

How to Make a Vision Board; For Skeptics and Believers

What happens in this process is that your unconscious, creative, right brain starts to take over and begins to guide.  There is a part of all us, deep down, that knows what we need to be happy, and knows what of our special gifts are, that haven't been fully expressed yet.  And this part of us loves the language of visual metaphors to communicate this wisdom to us.  

Grieving After the Elections; Tips for Leaders

Grieving After the Elections;  Tips for Leaders

Set aside some time, for your staff to share their emotions with each other.  The five stages of grief can serve as a container for your staff to share their emotions.  The five stages of grief; denial/numbness, anger, bargaining/analyzing, depression, and acceptance and part of a normal human response to great loss. Acceptance is usually last, but the other four stages do not necessarily proceed in a linear fashion.  In fact, you may start with bargaining and then get overwhelmed and turn to numbness.  You might feel trapped in anger for days, or so depressed you wonder if you will ever be able to take action again.  You will.  Feeling the anger, or the depression, is part of the process and none of these stages are permanent. 

Dear Fellow Seeker

Dear Fellow Seeker

I am guessing that since you were young, you had a sense of your special gifts, but for a variety of reasons, you’ve held back.  Maybe you were scared of outshining others; maybe your brilliance made some people resentful; maybe it seemed the world didn’t appreciate, need or want what you uniquely had to offer.  Maybe it has been so long that you’ve shared these special gifts, you wonder if they are even still there.