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  • Writer's pictureThe MSG Team


Here is a piece of photography art that has been floating around the internet. You see it one way, then the another, with your eyes and brain moving a billion miles per hour.

It reminds me a bit of how different people can see different things from different points of view.

I think when I first became a leader in the nonprofit world nearly 25 years ago, I felt like it was my job to know all the answers. As a result I probably looked at things through my own lens without considering the viewpoints of others on the team. Fast forward 10 years and I improved that mindset, and what a difference it made. People had way better ideas, there was improved buy-in from staff members, and our organization grew. The only problem is that I still hung on to that thought that as the leader, I had the final say . . . which could discourage staff.

Fast forward another 10 years, and now my mindset has fully changed. Not only did I learn that other team members have great ideas but I learned that being a leader does not mean I have to have the final say all the time. At a nonprofit it can be tempting to do this because due to budget reasons, we surround ourselves with people who may not have as much experience as us. Avoid that temptation. As a leader, our job is not to have the answer to every solution. It's about helping the team figure out what the best answer for the organization is and then encourage everyone towards that goal. That does not mean every idea that comes across your plate is a good one. However the challenge I have for you today is to take an extra few minutes to think over new ideas presented to you, before dismissing them.

In an effort to help with team discussion and goal setting, don't forget that we do offer EOS coaching. (

*Oh . . . and full disclosure . . . I'm no perfect saint by any means, as I fall into my old habits at times myself.


Midwest Studies Group helps nonprofits to increase their resource development capacity by connecting them stronger to their community through feasibility studies, community impact studies, and planned giving studies. We also offer coaching for capital campaigns and EOS. For more information please visit

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