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Because I Said I Would

This month, I want to introduce you to Alex Sheen, an inspiring young man who serendipitously popped up on our radar a little over a week ago. A friend reached out hoping the Leap team could offer Alex some advice on the nonprofit he has just formed. Alex, 27, lost his dad last September. “He …


Geeking Out for Good

As I noted in Leap of Reason, data systems are not the decisive factor in whether organizations make the leap to high performance. But when you have a leader who is relentless in pursuing impact and has a sense for how data can support that pursuit, you’ve got a very powerful combination. Exhibit One: Michael …


Be Skeptical, Very Skeptical

If you’re an old coot like me, you’ll undoubtedly remember the great advertising tagline “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen.” I feel exactly that way about New York Times columnist David Brooks. I don’t always agree with him. He’s a conservative; I’m a progressive. But I’m always impressed with his wisdom. It’s clear that Brooks …


The Good Kind of Bad News

As bad news goes, it doesn’t get any better than this: So many great leaders are addressing the challenge of high performance that we’ve had to apply a brutal filter to keep this month’s update to a manageable length. No room for throat clearing. Let’s just hit it: As we reported last month, in February …


Coming Soon: A Sleeves-Rolled-Up Companion to Leap of Reason

We have great news for the many members of this community who have been asking for practical insights for boards and executive teams that are ready to take the leap of reason. In February, we will be joining forces with Leap of Reason essayist David Hunter, one of our sector’s true experts in sparking this …


A Leap Across the Atlantic

Immediately after the Thanksgiving break, we signed an agreement that added to the holiday spirit for me as well as the small but mighty Leap of Reason team. Here’s the backstory. Last March, I met Tiziano Tazzi, the president of Milan-basedFondazione Lang Italia (FLI), in Washington, DC. We learned that Tiziano had established the foundation …


New Models are Overrated

You probably didn’t expect to get an email from me with a title like this, given my penchant for breaking the mold. But I’ve become increasingly frustrated with the many conversations in our sector that celebrate wonderful new models or reforms but ignore what it really takes to bring new ideas to fruition: the talent, …


One Small Step, One Giant Leap

On September 20, this aging Italian took a small step (through an intimidating Secret Service security gauntlet) to join a distinguished group of social sector leaders at theWhite House Forum on Philanthropy Innovation. I shared an idea that, if brought to fruition, could represent a giant leap forward for our sector. I challenged all the …


Leaping Forward this Fall

As families like ours buy school supplies, find out class assignments, and transition back to the barely controlled chaos of the academic year, we are also gearing up for a busy fall of sharing the Leap of Reason message with public and private sector leaders around the country. Our efforts to spread the Leap gospel …


The ’Show-Me’ State of Mind

This month, I want to start off with some optimism rather than being that guy with the fire hose dousing the campfire. In my most recent column, “Why We Need a Mass ’Missouri’ Movement,” I reference the famous 1899 quotation by Rep. Duncan Vandiver that gave Missouri its state slogan: “Frothy eloquence neither convinces nor …

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