We host quarterly Executive Forums for Nonprofit CEOs

Lessons from Bosses Who Are Changing the World


In intensely intimate coaching relationships, I work with business owners and executives determined to create positive change. 

These leaders have shared their biggest challenges, opportunities, successes and failures with me. 

They are my heroes and heroines.

Reviewing our work over the last year – six ‘lessons’ have emerged that have been critical to getting better results.  I’d like to share them with you.

Lesson Zero = I know. Zero.

But before you can really get traction, there’s the stuff you have to do first—the clean-up work.

There is always clean-up work when you decide to take on a new challenge, intentionally create transition, grow a business to the next level. Clean-up is often required before anything new can take root.

This is because when you want a future you don’t yet have, by definition there are patterns of mind that have become patterns of action and these must change (or you would already be there!).  Clean-up is where you start.

The lesson? Don’t be afraid of this clean-up work.  Be honest about the patterns of mind that are simply not working for you.  Take time to clearly see what mental patterns lead to actions that do not support your goals.

For me, I struggle so much with distraction and attraction to so many bright shiny ideas and objects out there.   The internet is FULL of them.

This week, after recommitting to growing my business, I ‘unsubscribed’ from a half-dozen email lists.  More unsubscribing to come!   It’s time for less distraction.  I am also on the road to hiring a new assistant and getting a new office, that is, creating the structures I know I need for the business to be successful.  These things are hard to do, especially compared to just thinking about them.  Action requires concentration, courage, diligence and a time line!

Clients have shared with me these wishes on their own paths to growth:

I wish I had not waited so long to….

• have that difficult conversation I have been avoiding for over a year (!!);
• terminate that low-performing employee;
• re-organize that troubled department (or the whole organization);
• collect money from clients/customers/donors who owe the company.

You might need support to accomplish your own clean-up list.  The list often requires courage, context and a bigger plan to help you move forward and take the action(s) you know you need to take.

Taking care of these things makes the space to create the mindset, frameworks, time and systems to engage more deeply with the bigger potential—of donors, customers, and/or clients.

Intrigued?  More lessons coming.  

I invite nonprofit CEOs and Executive Directors to explore a deeper discussion about the opportunities and challenges in creating a more sustainable impactful organization.

Join myself and your peers Friday, November 11, 2016 in Cary, NC from 9 am to 4 pm for a one-day retreat away from the office:  Know Your Mind: Transform Your Business.  Click here to learn more.

I’d love to hear from you the biggest lesson you have learned trying to grow an enterprise.  Please share your own experiences below.






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