Guest blog post by Shelley Sharp, Connect For More Consulting Associate
Traveling with a friend, I recently had the opportunity to reflect on the tremendous amount of burnout in nonprofit organizations. As a recently retired nonprofit executive, I lived it – but was still surprised at the amount of burnout and the strategies to survive it that are really out there. Read More “The Importance of Self-Care for Nonprofit Leaders”
Over the years, I’ve developed a healthy use of “Liz-isms” – those phrases that I use to drive home a point when I’m facilitating with groups. These include my oft-used boardisms and other parenting sayings that my kids have learned to both imitate (and hopefully internalize!). As a former English teacher raised by an English teacher, phrases like “words matter” ring true for me both in work and life, especially when it comes to illustrating important aspects of volunteer leadership.
One of my favorites was taken off a T-shirt my maternal grandmother gave me shortly after I graduated from USF. As a former educator raised by a long line of educators, this is something that was ingrained in me from an early age. Read More “The Truly Educated Never Graduate: My Lifelong Learning Challenge”
As I take the time to reflect on the year is now officially behind us and consider the possibilities for the year ahead, I was struck by the overall theme of permission that came out of my experiences in 2019. Undoubtedly this year featured personal and professional struggles for many of us – yet what I found for the first time in my life was that I was deeply rooted in giving myself (and others) consent to do and be what they needed to meet whatever challenges or successes came their way. Read More “2019: The Year of Permission”
In Fall 2019, Connect For More began an internship relationship with the University of South Florida. Though we had previously hosted our very first internship via Research Associate Veronica Vasquez Ugalde back in July 2016 this marked an important milestone for us – we were finally able to contribute back to a local university system that many of the CFM Team members graduated from. What follows below is our intern’s perspective on the five-month practical experience.
A few years ago when Connect For More was beginning, I had opted out of a formal office space and rented a P.O. Box at my local post office location. While it meant separation of home & work, at least by physical mailing location, it also meant that I had to venture to the post office at least once a week… including during the holiday season. (Cue ominous music).
After a recent trip to the post office I was reminded of those many experiences of full parking lots, long lines and sometimes friendly – often not – professionals who worked the customer counter. I was also reminded of the original blog post I wrote but never published that detailed my frustration with the experience. I’ll save you a read and share that in short, I was complaining that it NEVER felt like a good experience anymore to go to the post office. Read More “Lessons Learned From A Visit To Your Local Post Office”
How to Avoid Work Interruptions & Stay Focused on What Matters
Guest blog post from Margarita Sarmiento, ITK Consultants and Connect For More Training Associate.
We’re in that time of year again… the holiday rush is upon us and there’s no possible way for us to get everything done at work or at home. Or, is there? The guest blog below helps provide a few useful tips for how to manage your work time and interruption, staying focused on what matters most in this information overload society. Read More “Take Back Your Time”
In all honesty, I am constantly working on my gratitude attitude and recognizing gratitude moments with both my Connect For More team and family. Just like yoga, meditation, writing, art, sports… this is truly a practice and if I forget to stay mindful in this mindset it’s often like my muscles have atrophied. In short, this struggle for me is a real one. Especially when research shows that humans are genetically prone to focus on the negative as part of our survival instincts.
There are very few of us who enter into marriage or parenthood, with the assurance that we are one day going to be single parents and/or divorced. In fact, most of us enter into both with hearing that challenges are ahead for both endeavors (if we even listen to them), but still think we’ve found the one who can make the challenge either navigable or non-existent.
I’ve seen many nonprofit CEOs or Executive Directors enter into this role the same way. They hear the challenges (burnout, isolation, disenchantment, difficult boards, staffing issues) and think “I’ve finally found the one (mission) that can make it all worthwhile.” Or they ignore the challenges altogether thinking they can make it work with their team of board and staff because the love (of mission) will conquer all. Read More “Why Single Parenthood Feels a lot like Nonprofit Executive Leadership”
A few years ago, I had the opportunity to publish a blog collaboratively with BoardSource discussing what the boards I work with might look like to my children – at the time ages 1 and 3. Here we are in 2019 and my babies just turned 6 and 8.
Since that time we’ve become a family of three, then a blended family of six, said goodbye to beloved pets and close family members; they’ve started elementary school, various sports, piano and dance lessons, and we’ve moved into our forever home. To be sure, our life has been full, busy, organized chaos.
Tis the season…. For board, staff and team retreats.
As we enter into the month of November, the Connect For More team and I are deep into the second wave of our busiest time of the calendar year (for those of you wondering January-April is also quite full).
Almost every one of our clients and colleagues is in full throttle finish-up-before-the-holidays mode. Perhaps you can relate.
For us, this is an intense time of gratitude and we are working hard to reap those benefits. We’re almost halfway through our 10th anniversary year and are still growing as a business, as a team, and as individuals.
We are eternally grateful to all of our clients for making it so! We’re also working towards the great and imminent (hopefully) intentional pause from work that will come soon with the holiday “break.”