Learning to Love the Swamp by Ellen Schall

Learning to Love the Swamp by Ellen Schall

The core of leadership is learning to struggle and enjoy the “important, complex and messy problems that resist technical analysis” in social equity work. We constantly return to Dr. Schall’s speech to social justice fellows about three components to leadership development. You can read it here.

Ellen Schall is the Senior Presidential Fellow and Martin Cherkasky Professor of Health Policy & Management at New York University.

Daring Greatly by Dr. Brené Brown

Daring Greatly by Dr. Brené Brown

“When you lose tolerance for vulnerability, joy is foreboding.” This made Anbar Mahar Sheikh, Research Analyst of The Giving Practice, think when we lose vulnerability in a professional setting, what do we lose?  As Dr. Brené Brown talks to Oprah in this podcast about the importance of vulnerability which can play out in different parts of our lives, including our professional lives.

Dr. Brown is a professor and New York Times best-selling author that studies courage, vulnerability, empathy and shame. To read more about vulnerability, check out her book Daring Greatly.

An Everyone Culture by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey

An Everyone Culture by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey

The culture you create in your organization is your strategy—and the key to success is developing everyone. Lisa Fisher from The Giving Practice reflects on what she learned from reading about three leading companies that have created an organizational culture in which “support of people’s development is woven into the daily fabric of working life and the company’s regular operations, daily routines, and conversations.”

As a former Senior Program Officer at a family foundation and as a long-time consultant to philanthropic organizations, Lisa finds herself wondering how we in philanthropy might employ such methods to become more effective in terms of internal operations and in how we approach our work with grantees and other stakeholders.

Kegan and Lahey have co-written Immunity to Change and How the Way We Talk can Change the Way We work. Kegan is the Meehan Professor of Adult Learning and Professional Development at Harvard Graduate School of Education and Lahey, also on Harvard faculty, is a founding principal of Minds at Work, a leadership-learning professional services firm.

Grantcraft Guide by Jan Jaffe and William Ryan

Grantcraft Guide by Jan Jaffe and William Ryan

Organizations have strategies. As individuals, don’t we need to use explicit strategies to navigate the shoals of complex situations? Jan Jaffe of The Giving Practice was just looking at a guide that Bill Ryan and she wrote for GrantCraft called ‘Personal Strategy: Mobilizing Your Self for Effective Grantmaking.’ It’s free, a quick read, and offers good reflective practice techniques from philanthropy practitioners.

The Dawn of System Leadership by Peter Senge

The Dawn of System Leadership by Peter Senge

Collaborative initiatives are the rage. They have opened up research on what characteristics are needed to foster a collective leadership. Peter Senge and his colleagues reflect on three core capabilities they found to be integral to success: 1) the ability to see the larger system; 2) fostering reflection and more generative conversations; and 3) shifting the collective focus from reactive problem solving to co-creating the future.

Achieving Mindfulness at Work, No Meditation Cushion Required by Matthew E. May

Achieving Mindfulness at Work, No Meditation Cushion Required by Matthew E. May

We all have access to an “impartial and well-informed spectator.” This spectator’s form of attention puts us in the present and gives us a more unbiased perspective — much the way our attention is focused when we travel to a new place, noticing details that the locals take for granted.

This idea was first introduced in the 18th century by Adam Smith and Ted Lord from The Giving Practice was pleasantly surprised to find this referenced in this  New York Times article.