How Senior Sage Leaders Lead

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At other times communication has to do with encouraging and facilitating the ideas of others to flow:

The key thing I’ve done is to keep the organization an open forum for discussion. There’s always pressure in a political climate to support politicians who see things in a certain way. I’ve fought tooth and nail to make certain we never did that. I felt it would degrade the organization, and we couldn’t know the position of all of our supporters. So the best thing we can do is to bring in conflicting issues at a forum and have everyone work them out together.

Nonprofit organizations are always in search of money to carry out their special missions. Most often this involves senior sages helping their organizations to raise funds or to contribute money themselves:

I’ve helped the organization most by fundraising, and over the years have given a considerable sum myself. And then talking it up with others. Donation solicitation must be done peer-to-peer, because people of a certain status understand each other and communicate more freely. I’ve tried to lead by example.

When our Executive Director resigned just before our major summer musical festival, I added to my portfolio as Board President the position of Co-Executive Director. After the festival produced low ticket sales, we discovered we had major financial and organizational problems. In order to save the organization, we mobilized the Board to respond to this serious situation. Then we had to mobilize the community to respond from an emotional perspective if we were to preserve this wonderful community treasure. As Board President, I had to set a good example and draw upon my organizational skills.

And some senior sages apply wise experience in helping their favored organizations to understand how best to approach others for funding over the long-term:

We have emphasized relationship-building rather than simply asking people for money. If you ask someone for money, that’s just one shot. But if you build a relationship and they believe in what you are doing, then you can have that relationship forever—if you continue to cultivate and sustain it. So in emphasizing relationship-building, we ask people what they want and then give them feedback on how our organization is helping.

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