Emerging Executive Newsletter May 2020
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Emerging Executive

Helping Nonprofit Organizations And Their Leaders Realize Their Potential And Their Mission.

Welcome to Emerging Executive "Lite". I appreciate you are likely inundated (and overwhelmed!) with the ever-increasing, information on PPP/ SBA loans etc. Plus, nonstop Zoom meetings. I am with you!

Just as we can feel life’s joys, we feel the heartaches especially now with COVID-19. We worry about what the new normal will look like. We fear, for our health, and grief for the world we took for granted. It affects all of us, and each of us differently. Some face the heartache of being separated from family and friends while others worry about how to ensure those they love safe, with a roof over their heads and food on the table. We feel so many different emotions daily which is normal in these challenging times. My thoughts are with you and your families. 

I have spoken to many of you and continue to be at the end of a phone (or Zoom) if you need support.   

Stay safe and well.


Building a Resiliency Muscle in the Time of Covid

We could all benefit from a resiliency muscle during these unprecedented times. And just like building muscles at the gym, building resiliency is work! .But also a skill worth learning.  Resilient people look at challenges and ask themselves, ‘What just happened? What’s the solution? What is possible?’ And most importantly ‘What is not in my control?’  

Acknowledging this loss of control, how you feel and are how you are affected is a good first step. You want to calm the monkey mind and create space to reframe your thinking.  If you find yourself focusing on a negative thought – try the following:
1. Breathe.  Deep breathing is the best way to bring yourself into the current moment. Close your eyes and find five different things you hear now. This brings you into the present moment. Do this a few times each day.

2. When a problem presents itself, ask yourself can I solve the problem and learn more about myself or do I need to ask for help?  If you need help, acknowledge this, and please reach out to a friend, mentor or professional. It is a sign of strength.

3. Take some time to visualize your ideal future and spend time on this every day. What new skills could you learn that will be helpful during this time. If meditation doesn’t work (at least try it!), then write.  Or contact me for some tools you can use to help

4. Take care of your health, exercise and if possible, go for short walks – with a mask on. Take a break from the news and screen time. When you feel better, you are less likely to focus 100% of the time on the negative.

5. Laugh. We all know laughter is good for the soul.

And finally, think about the few questions to ask yourself and others – family, friends, and co-workers.  Becoming a better listener improves the quality of your life and relationships at home and work especially as we remain at home. Being understood and heard is powerful. 

The following article from 2017 offers some good advice on why some people in difficult situations become overwhelmed, while others persevere.

Some Helpful Tips to Guide Your Nonprofit During the Pandemic.

  1. Mission Driven.  Make sure every decision supports your mission. Now is not the time for mission creep! 
  2. Communicate.  Keep in front of your community and donors. You MUST communicate UPDATED strategy and plans with donors if you want to survive through and beyond COVID -19.
  3. Fundraise, Fundraise.  Many nonprofits have migrated their fundraising events, courses, conferences, and other convenings online with great success!
  4. Every board member, if possible, should donate to the organization and help with fundraising. Consider board member connections with community members and local leaders who might offer matching grant opportunities.
  5. Board members need to be well informed of public policy issues that affect their organizations to make well-informed decisions and act as advocates.
  6. Every board decision must be clearly documented. Set up e-voting processes. Some banks for example for PPP required commitments and sign off from the board before accepting applications.
  7. What additional support mechanisms – for example, new task forces – do you need during these times?
  8. Be respectful of what your fellow board members may be going through personally.  Have the board chair engage in one-on-one conversations with each board member to understand how active each board member can be.  
Keep on Laughing! 

"Wearing a mask inside your home is now highly recommended Not so much to prevent COVID-19 but to stop eating."
"This cleaning with alcohol is total b.s. NOTHING gets done after that first bottle."
"Does anyone know if we can take showers yet or should we just keep washing our hands???"

"If you thought toilet paper was crazy ... just wait until 300 million people all want a haircut appointment."

Finally. A Shout out.

The acts of kindness and compassion show the very best of humanity: sewing masks for healthcare workers, and finding creative ways to ensure healthcare workers and those in need have food. So many of you have turned on a dime to move programs online and support your community. It is amazing and inspiring. 

Here is just one example of an organization (yes they are a client) of the incredible work they do to support so many immigrants and refugees in our community. The real essential workers in so many cases enable so many of us to work from home. Kudos Geralde Gabeau and everyone at Immigrant Family Services USA (IFSI). The story was picked up by the Washington Post on Sunday.

Advocating for Those in Need.

A Quick Reminder

Our services at Emerging Executive help nonprofit organizations through the most appropriate combination of consulting, executive coaching, or training for your organization, and always incorporates practical experience and feedback. Services include: board and leadership development, executive coaching, strategic planning, and grant writing.

How do you need to update your organization's vision during these times?


“Nadia was our consultant as part of the Office of New Bostonians and the Haiti Fund Capacity Building initiative in 2014. She helped us enormously organize the grant writing process, develop templates, and kick start our fundraising initiative. Most importantly, she is always available to support us. I can’t thank her enough for all that she has done to help me, personally, grow into a leadership role.”

Mary Ann Lomba
Cabo Verde Network (formerly CVC Unido)

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