For a gift, I was recently given this book. It was a fascinating read because to be honest when I think of Mother Teresa the word CEO is not the first thing that comes to mind. In truth she was a great business woman and in terms of what she achieved - taking a world-wide organisation through every phase of growth over 40 odd years, her accomplishment was quite something.
Mother Teresa lived and led by several principles and because it will soon be the time of reflection and resolutions - these principles are definitely worth sharing.
1. Dream it simple, Say it strong - create a simple vision, communicate it clearly in words and actions. This could apply to a fundraising proposition or equally apply to how you choose to approach any objective. More generally it could be your chosen modus operandi - but the idea of living your values is very inspiring.
2. To get to the angels, deal with the devil - this is about being clear on how you make decisions and how you evaluate them them against your own values. We all have to compromise some times or make difficult decision, so it's about having a framework to deal with those decisions.
3. Choose your moment - I love this one, as it isn't about caution it is just about being ready and prepared, so get all your ducks in a row as the saying goes before you start.
4. Embrace the power of doubt - Again this is actually very positive. A need to apply some rigour in what you do and just constantly question what you are doing and ask if it can be done better. Undoubtedly it can.
5. Discover the joy of discipline - take your work seriously but never yourself.
6. Communicate in a language people understand - this one really doesn't really need any explanation and applies equally to fundraising messaging as it does to how you interact with people day-to-day. After all if people don't understand what you want or what you are asking for then how will you ever get it.
7. Pay attention to the janitor - Obviously an American book by the term janitor but I think this is a really important point and one people can be very blinkered about. Inspiration and insight can come from anywhere or anyone and everyone has value so open your mind to it.
8. Use the power of silence - listen! In a world of a lot of noise and in and industry of opinion and a lot of it, some times it is just wise to watch and listen and take away from all the noise what is useful to you.
I have of course paraphrased these principles and the book - but I found them refreshing and a nice check list going into the new year. What you take from them is entirely up to you as with all things it is very much about interpretation. But I hope you have found them interesting at the very least.
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year and thanks as ever for stopping by.