Design Principles for Donors #6: Which Way?

Uncategorized Nov 24, 2021

Which way do you want to jump in when it comes to gearing up your giving?  This is one of the design fundamentals for donors.  

Answering this question starts with stepping back from the common labels of “funder” and “grantee.” Instead, let’s look at four functionally defined roles for advancing social change.  Whatever issue or challenge you are focused on, this post and the worksheet that goes with it will help you understand which of these practical roles you are best positioned to play within the change agent ecosystem. 

Four Functional Roles In the Work of Social Change


Stakeholders—this is  the broadest category, including any and all people with an interest in the issue in question.  For example, everyone living in the Colorado River watershed is a stakeholder when it comes to water conservation and allocation policies. 

Entrepreneurs—these are people with an idea AND an operational...

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Getting Into the Practice of Meeting with Your Future Self

Uncategorized Nov 17, 2021

How friendly are you with your future self?

One of the best things you can do to build your joy and your impact as you go after your vision for a better world is to become better friends with your future self.  This post shares some ideas for how to get started on this path  through the practice of a daily meeting with your future self.

Taking even a  few minutes a day to pause and connect your present self and your future self in a dialog is one of the most powerful ways to boost your joy and impact across all the areas of your life!


A Daily Meeting with Your Future Self Touches All 7 Pillars of Personal Development 


Format for a 5 Minute Daily Meeting with Your Future Self

The "daily priming questions" on the left hand side of this sheet are what I use for my daily meeting with my future self.  Download a copy for yourself, and check out the video for more on how to use this sheet.  Even if you don't sit down and write out the answers...

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Getting into Creative Flow

Uncategorized Nov 09, 2021

Chances are you know what it’s like to experience “flow”  

...but you might not know how to get into a flow state when it most serves you and your calling to make the world a better place...

Flow is the psychological state when we are at our most creative and productive--made famous by psychological researcher Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi.  In flow we get so caught up in the passion of what we are producing that we can lose track of time and what’s going on around us. An hour of creative writing goes by and we hardly notice it.  Or we’re on the playing field with our team and time seems to slow down and we know just where the ball is going before it even gets there.

The work we produce in this state is often our best, and also our fastest. But for many of us, flow happens more by accident than on purpose. The good news is that the research points in some very helpful directions to help you get into creative, productive flow...

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Coming Together for Joyful Impact in a World of Extremes

Uncategorized Nov 03, 2021

In a world of increasing extremes, communities really count. 

Communities can give us a sense of purpose and meaning.  They can help us tackle challenges that are bigger and more complex than anything we can take on by ourselves.  But communities can also break under stress, or lure us into further polarization and extremes.  So how can all of us who have a calling to make the world a better place harness the power of communities to be a positive force for change in a world of increasingly existential challenges?    

This video explores this question, building on the ideas about anti-fragility we explored in a previous post.   Anti-fragility goes beyond resilience--it's about getting even better, even stronger in the face of challenges.  The more unstable the world around us seems, the more important it is for all of us with a calling to make the world a better place to lean into our own anti-fragility as individuals, and in the...

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Bringing Anti-Fragility to Your Calling In a World of Extremes

Uncategorized Oct 27, 2021

Being resilient is not actually the opposite of fragile. 

The opposite of fragile is a word that had to be invented: anti-fragile. 

Meaning that in the face adversity, instead of just bouncing back and being resilient, you use that challenge to get even better.  In a world that has gotten more and more unstable and scary, all of us who have a calling to make the world a better place have never been more in need of developing anti-fragility in how we come together and answer our call.  

Why Does the World Seems So Out of Control and Scary?

We are living through a perfect post-modern storm of our own making.   Three recent books have some great insight on this.  adrienne maree brown's Emergent Strategy, Steve McIntosh's Developmental Politics and Jamie Wheal's Recapture the Rapture

There are three intersecting issues that make up this perfect storm. 

  • Our challenges are getting tougher in an increasingly interconnected world
  • Our...
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What is Your Pandemic Endgame?

Uncategorized Oct 21, 2021

What is your pandemic endgame?  As we get ready for the rollout of an approved vaccine for 5-11 year olds in the U.S., many of us are wondering what does a new normal look like, and how will we know when we get there?

None of us has a crystal ball, but this post focuses on some questions to ask yourself and others as you navigate your way forward in a world where we will likely  have to live with the presence of Covid-19 for the foreseeable future.  


The Delta Variant Seems To Have Put Herd Immunity Out of Reach in the Near Future

So Where are We Going From Here?  Endemic Covid-19...

If herd immunity is probably out of reach, at least in the immediate future, the path forward seems to be about living in a world in which we transition from pandemic to endemic Covid...We already live in a world in which the flu is endemic.  The flu virus is always out there in the world but most of the time it's not spreading rapidly or unpredictably.  Most...

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Building Trust: 3 Models and 5 Key Skills

Uncategorized Oct 13, 2021

Trust matters for almost everything that we do, and building trust does not have to take as much time as you might think.    Even though there are  all kinds of structural reasons outside of our control that contribute to a lack of trust in the world and in our own lives,  there are also some key leverage points we can use to build trust more effectively in all kinds of circumstances.   That's what this post is all about.


Two Great Resources for Understanding and Building Trust

Trust Model #1: The Trust Equation

A fear based state of mind increases self-orientation, and decreases trust...

So how do you simultaneously increase connectivity with others and decrease self-orientation?

Trust Model #2: A Trust Creating Conversation

Trust Model #3: Four Principles for Building Trust

The four commitments of Joyful Impact are also principles for building trust:

When to Use the 3 Trust Models

Five Skills for Building Trust Across All Three Models


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Embodying the Change You Seek in the World: 5 Modes of Field Leadership

Uncategorized Oct 06, 2021

Chances are the change you envision in the world is bigger than you are. 

So many of us with a calling to make the world a better place see a future that is better and different, but more than we can bring about on our own.   So, if there's a change you want to see in the world and many people are not yet embracing that vision, what can you do about it?  This post is about field leadership--sharing 5 different ways you can show up to help bring about lasting systems change by positively engaging and influencing others. 


New Ideas Have to Jump the Chasm: The Innovation Adoption Curve

An important starting point lies with research on how innovations of all kinds tend to spread across a society.  The "innovation adoption curve" shows that there is typically a chasm between innovators and early adopters and everyone else--innovations that truly sweep through a society have to jump that chasm and attract support from the majority.




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Decoding Friction Points with Funders: A Primer for Social Entrepreneurs

Uncategorized Sep 29, 2021

Almost all of us who work as social entrepreneurs have had an experience with funders that doesn't make sense or that leaves us deeply dispirited.   The video for this post seeks to decode some of the key dynamics going on beneath the surface in the conversations that social entrepreneurs have with funders.    

This post is addressed to social entrepreneurs, but whatever role you play in the ecosystem of philanthropy and social change, if you care about doing philanthropy differently and better, a great leverage point is  getting more curious about what's really going on for funders and social entrepreneurs as they engage with each other.

The video begins by walking through a taxonomy of the different kinds of funders--and the different roles that staff and advisors play within the funder world.  It goes on to explore frameworks for understanding donor motivations and concludes by sharing a tool for engaging in "powerful conversations" that...

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Nutrition: Bringing Joy to Your Relationship with Your Body and Your Food

Uncategorized Sep 22, 2021

How we feed and nourish our bodies has so much to do with the level of energy that we bring to our mission in the world and to our loved ones.   And yet almost all of us are carrying some emotional baggage in our relationship with our bodies, and in our relationship with food—healing starts here.  The ultimate value for taking your nutrition to the next level is to find more joy and more energy and a greater sense of alignment and integration with your own body and the world around you

This post is all about cultivating the somatic connection between your mind and your body in your journey of joyful impact.  Check out the video and proceed at your pace of grace to cultivate your own intuitive wisdom about what works best for you, your body and your relationship with food.


When it Comes to Your Personal Energy, Metaphors Matter!

Key Resources to Take Your Nutrition to the Next Level

Nourishing Your Mind/Body Connection

 Foundational Ideas

  1. A...
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