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Compass Points for Mission Accomplishment

I’ve been thinking about mission statements lately because they set the intention for a nonprofit organization. They are the simplest but most powerful tool you have in communicating your case to supporters. Your mission statement clarifies the reason for the organization’s existence and provides the foundation for all of its activities.

When talking with organizations about developing their mission, I sometimes hear that they are working toward a specific goal and they want to “be working themselves out of a job.” It comes from a feeling that we should be working to solve a problem once and for all. With our mission statement, we feel the urge to want to say “mission accomplished.” We feel guilty about any thought or perception, particularly in this time of being wary of toxic philanthropy, that we might use our mission to justify the continued employment of our staff or enable their livelihood on the backs of those in need.

However, the idea of a mission statement that reaches a fina…

New Year, New Game

Decisions are bets on the future, and they aren’t “right” or “wrong” based on whether they turn out well on any particular iteration. Making better decisions stops being about wrong or right but about calibrating among all the shades of grey. ~ Annie Duke, Thinking in Bets It is a bit late, but I still wanted to put down a resolution for the new year before January ended at least. Last New Year I made a resolution to improve my chess game. Like most games, chess has many “meaning of life” connections. For me, learning the life connections of a game is just as much fun as learning the game itself. Chess provided me good guidance with its focus on “good moves” that lead to wins and its reminder that as long as you are learning, you are winning. It was great life learning, and my game improved too. With a new year here, I am dedicating it to a new game by focusing on my poker skills. There are similarities between chess and poker. The idea of making good moves in chess is similar to making…

"Do or do not" Doesn't Work

Yoda gave the worst advice. Even if you have not seen the Star Wars movies, you probably heard about the little green Jedi Master and his advice to Luke Skywalker. You probably heard it in your most recent company pep rally or from the motivational speaker that just ran laps around the conference room while whipping everyone into a frenzy with the "Rocky" theme song.

On the off chance you have not seen the movie, here is the quick recap of the most famous scene that launched a thousand motivational speaker careers. Luke is going through his first Jedi training sessions with Yoda. He doubts himself and the task ahead of lifting his crashed X-Wing out of the swamp and says, "I'll try." To that, Yoda says, "Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try." From that moment on, all manner of executives, management consultants, and motivational speakers have gotten head nods, amens, and checks in bank with a faulty interpretation of this advice.

But, Yoda's a…

Cheers to Good Moves in 2018

Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man. ~ Benjamin Franklin

This is my new travel chess set. Obviously, a travel chess set is meant to travel, but my New Year's resolutions do not include globe trotting. The plan is, however, that this set will be with me wherever I go, figuratively if not literally. 

Yes, one resolution is to learn to play better. Yet, what I have found so far is that there is more to chess than just playing. Getting better at it includes life lessons like "you are not losing if you are learning" and focusing on "good moves" instead of wins. Benjamin Franklin's New Year's toast is fitting for me this year given his interest in chess. He wrote about it in "The Morals of Chess," which ran in the Columbian Magazine just before New Year's in 1786.  

Franklin says, "The game of Chess is not merely an idle amusement. Several very valuable qualities of the mind, us…

Walk With Me

Today I met JB
He walked 18 with me 
Hopefully when I am 66 as is he 
I can also walk to the last tee.

Golf Prayer for Company

Wish you were here
Might add to the fear

But would be much more fun
And today, warmer in the sun.

It Slows Us Down Again

It Slows Us Down

Met zen master Patrick on the range today
His beard a sure sign of a golf Guru
He says, "that one sounded good"
I said, "I could feel it in my bones"
Deeper than muscle
"You slowed down," he said
1 . . . 2 . . . 3
Instead of
1, 2, 3
"That's why we do this right?" I asked,
To slow down.