Leap of Reason Updates Archive

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

29
Feb
2016

‘The Ideal Funder and Partner’

EFCT [Einhorn Family Charitable Trust] has truly been wonderful and the ideal funder and partner. One small idea, however, might be to share their experience and strengths with others in philanthropy in order to inspire other investors to adopt similarly transformational relationships. We love the quotation above, which is just one of the glowing comments …

29
Jan
2016

An Unprecedented Bet on High Performance

Today, Edna McConnell Clark Foundation (EMCF) CEO Nancy Roob sent a letter unveiling Blue Meridian Partners, a new funding collaborative that will provide the largest-ever infusions of private capital to high-performance nonprofits serving children and youth.

21
Dec
2015

Wish You Had this Much Passion?

Hamzah Latif, 44, received a nice holiday gift last week. Along with three other human-services workers, he won a Veronica Award, and its cash prize of $5,000, for his outstanding support of his clients and use of data to ensure his efforts lead to the intended outcomes. His score was the highest ever recorded…

20
Nov
2015

From Shortchanging to Sea Changing

Perhaps it’s cliche to start off a newsletter at this time of year by talking about gratitude. But in a world whose axis is tilted too far toward tragedy right now, we’re more than willing to risk being trite.

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