Looking Back with Thanks & Ahead with Resolution

Team NLC Stories

As 2014 draws to a close, the team here at the Nonprofit Leadership Center wanted to share our gratitude and our hopes with you! We are grateful for our partnership with Tampa Bay nonprofits throughout the past year, and we hope to continue to be a part of your successes in 2015. Please let us know how we can help you to learn the skills to run your business better. We are eager to hear from you what training you need in the new year.

The 2015 training year is a new beginning for the NLC; we’ve built the classes in the early part of the Spring semester around a theme of Refresh, with the goal of helping our Tampa Bay nonprofit professionals refresh their personal and professional skill sets. And we’re looking forward to introducing you to new trainers and new classes in January.

In the meantime, we thought we’d also share the resolutions we’ve each made around our own individual and organizational development:  

Much of my job requires attention to detail (the accounting piece) as well as a huge need to be organized (customer service and everything else!) Both of these skills are important enough to me and to my position at work to continually strive for excellence. Although these are things I think I do quite well, I also know that there is always room for improvement. So my resolutions for 2015 are to continually explore methods to improve how I can best support my organization through accurate and thorough management reports, and to research procedures that will improve my ability to be able to best respond to customer needs and requests.   –Lorraine

In making the jump to a new job this year, I have been excited to immerse myself in the learning culture of the NLC. We don’t just offer learning for other people; we have an active learning culture ourselves, including an allowance for training both here in our own classes and through other trainers. I’ve missed out on some classes I really would’ve liked to participate in this year because I told myself I was too busy learning my new job. So one of my resolutions for the new year is take advantage of every training opportunity that will help me work smarter, not harder in 2015. (I also want to explore Evernote because my current notebook and Post-It system isn’t an efficient or effective way for me to capture, store, and access information! Has anyone seen that green post-it with my notes on the UT Nonprofit Management Certificate?)  –Jennifer

This year I resolve to put the big rocks first. In his classic book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey lists habit No. 3 as “Put First Things First.” In a great demonstration to illustrate this point, he used large rocks to show the most important things, pebbles to show less important, and sand to show the small but distracting things. I’ll cut to the punchline: if you put the sand in first, there’s no room for the big rocks. My resolution for 2015 is to put the big rocks first. To accomplish this, I must purposefully differentiate the “big rocks” from the “sand.” This applies to my professional role at the Nonprofit Leadership Center, my personal roles of wife and mother, and my volunteer activities with New Tampa YoungLife and the AFP Suncoast Chapter. (Want to see a humorous depiction  of the big rocks demonstration? Click here for a video on the Franklin Covey YouTube channel)  –Sara

My resolution for 2015: To dwell in possibility. Emily Dickinson’s poem begins, “I dwell in possibility/a fairer house than prose/More numerous of windows/Superior – for doors.” While I do not pretend to be a scholar of poetry by any means, a number of Emily Dickinson’s poem resonate with me.  In this one she envisions a wide open space with many portals, unencumbered by obstacles and filled with opportunity. As we all contemplate our pathways ahead in 2015, this is a timely message. Too often as a leader I feel the need to know the answer, have the solution, to keep order. This poem reminds me that it can be better sometimes to hold back, take time and live in the space where all things are possible, and, by doing so, be able to examine the many dimensions of different ideas, alternate approaches, and infinite opportunities. That’s a space in which we can be creative and truly learn. Please join me!  “Of chambers as the cedars/impregnable of eye/And for an everlasting roof/The gambrels of the sky.”  –Emily

Wishing you and your team a very happy–and successful–New Year!