What Can You Do?

For many of us, it's been a crappy week. It has been difficult to find the hope. It has been scary to try to reassure our families and ourselves that things will ever feel "normal" again. There have been many tears and not enough laughter. I don't have an answer for when we are going to feel better, but I wanted to share some of the things I've been doing that have helped me move forward, even incrementally.

First, friends and family are essential. We can make it through anything if we have the love and support around us.

Second, although Facebook has been a mixed bag of hate and hope, I have found the strength and the spirit of activism from my network to be important. We are going to need this! And, there have been some posts that have made me smile, if not actually laugh out loud. And photos of cute puppies. That helps.

Music has been a healing force for me. I've had the "Hamilton" soundtrack on replay for the past week (to be honest, it's been on replay since it was released, but no less helpful!). In addition to being simply amazing, there are weird similarities to the recent campaign and election.

I want to give a shout-out to two articles among the dozens I've read in the past few days.  One is a blog by Joan Garry, a nonprofit consultant I follow, about what really matters right now. The other is a column from Lion's Roar, a Buddhist website. While I am not a Buddhist, the commentary gave me some peace.

As a nonprofit professional, I find that doing my work brings me great satisfaction and joy. Helping to bring about change in the world is a powerful way to have impact and regain some control.

We can all have an impact. Whatever you do to find your path, I wish you peace in the coming days, as it all unfolds.




Talk Less, Smile More: A Lesson from "Hamilton"

In the first act of the hit Broadway musical, "Hamilton," Aaron Burr's advice to the young Alexander Hamilton on how to be more successful is: "Talk less. Smile more."  Upon reflection, I realized that I give the same advice to the CEOs I counsel on leadership. Being a good listener (talking less) is essential if you want your staff to feel comfortable with coming to you for feedback and guidance.  Being approachable (smiling more) is an asset in cultivating relationships with donors, board members and others important to the growth of your organization. Both work in tandem with other important qualities (integrity, humor, confidence and strategic thinking are just a few examples) to create a well-rounded leader who is capable of managing people, programs and growth.

If you would like to learn more about leadership, please be in touch with me at ewoolfe@intuitionconsult.com.

You can download the original Broadway soundtrack to Hamilton on iTunes.  It's wonderful!