Leap of Reason Updates Archive

20
Dec
2016

Go Fast and Go Far

Our colleague Patty Stonesifer, Martha’s Table’s brilliant CEO, loves to quote this famous African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Last week, the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation (EMCF) went public with a bold move that may prove that going fast and going far are not mutually exclusive. EMCF CEO Nancy Roob and Board Chair Larry Clark announced that the foundation is going to…

30
Nov
2016

Preparing for the Unknown

Just prior to celebrating the American Thanksgiving with our families, we experienced the professional version of the holiday when we hosted a convening of the Leap Ambassadors Community in DC. We are deeply grateful that so many of the Leap Ambassadors, thinkers and doers committed to high performance, made the time to come together for relationship- and community-building. And although we certainly didn’t plan it this way, the timing of the event allowed us to work together to start to unpack what the earthquake election in the States means for the people and communities we serve. The first thing we concluded is that…

27
Oct
2016

Bring Back Our Better Angels

For a decade, the two of us have been writing and speaking about seismic shifts that are shaking the foundations of our economy and society–from the breakdown of the social compact between employers and employees to the displacement of workers by new technologies to economic immobility that threatens to turn the American Dream into a mirage. As if these forces weren’t staggering enough, they’ve played out in ways that have…

28
Sep
2016

Sacred Gift of Labor and Love

It won’t surprise you to learn that healthcare providers have high rates of burnout. Providers face the Sisyphean challenge of treating streams of patients one day and then starting over again the next. They deal with unrelenting exposure to human suffering. They struggle with the business imperative to speed up their patient interactions and reduce costs. Burnout carries direct, bottom-line costs. It produces…

23
Aug
2016

Performance Lessons from Rio

While we’d love to tell you that we kicked back and chilled out while watching the Olympics, the truth is that we’re too Type A to do that. We both watched TV with computer or tablet in our laps, scanning for articles that give clues about how the foregone-conclusion athletes–Katie Ledecky, Simone Biles, Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, etc.–managed to become so dominant…

27
Jul
2016

A Dirty Secret and Neat Solution

Funders are like fingerprints: No two are exactly the same. Yet all funders—from individual donors to large foundations—have one thing in common. They want their grants to make a difference. There’s another common denominator, which doubles as a dirty secret…

23
Jun
2016

Science Imitates Life

In “Got Empathy?” and “What Fuels Passion for Mission?,” we shared our thoughts on why high performance requires as much focus on empathy and love as on data and measurement. This month, we’re going to build on this theme with new insights from the fields of neurology and psychology, thanks to education writer Paul Tough.

24
May
2016

What’s Your Keystone Habit?

If the name Paul O’Neill rings a bell, it’s probably because of the “Apprentice”-like way President George W. Bush fired him as Treasury Secretary. But in the business world, O’Neill is better known for his visionary leadership of Alcoa prior to his brief tenure in the Bush Administration. It’s a story that offers insights for all CEOs who want to cultivate the habits of highly effective organizations.

27
Apr
2016

What Fuels Passion for Mission?

“Got Empathy?,” last month’s Leap Update, struck a resonant chord with many of you. After hitting “send,” we got dozens of notes from readers who felt motivated to share their own stories of the living linkage between empathy and effectiveness. To build on this theme, we want to feature a nonprofit leader who speaks eloquently about why caring about clients leads so naturally to caring about performance and then offer some reflections on why empathy is just as powerfully helpful for funders as it is for their grantees.

23
Mar
2016

Got Empathy?

In December’s newsletter, we had the chance to shine a bright spotlight on Hamzah Latif, a youth worker who won a prestigious national award for his deeply personal and highly effective work to steer young men away from the kind of bad choices that led Hamzah to 19 years behind bars. Hamzah’s story was so powerful that

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