Have you read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey? Although it debuted nearly 30 years ago, it is considered an important book on leadership today.
I still have my 1990 paperback edition that contains multi-colored highlighted and underlined phrases. But it’s been a long time since I’ve read it and it took me a while to find my copy. I went looking for it after having coffee with Jonathan Busarow, executive artistic director of the fabulous Fort Wayne Children’s Choir.
When I asked Jonathan for some fundraising advice, he mentioned that board engagement is key. Board members are the connectors that staffers need. “They don’t have to do the asking,” he said, “but their role is to help the organization.”
Jonathan said this is just like the Abundance Mentality from 7 Habits. “There are plenty of people to serve, it’s not the Scarcity Mentality. It’s freeing, actually,” he said.
I nodded my head in agreement but later had to look up what Jonathan was talking about.
The Abundance Mentality means there is plenty out there for everybody. Covey wrote, “It recognizes the unlimited possibilities for positive interactive growth and development.”
This trait is part of the Win/Win Habit. According to Covey (and Jonathan), if you look at others through the Abundance Mentality, you will genuinely value their differences and be happy for their success; this leads to sincere understanding and cooperative solutions that are better than if you had done the work alone. I like how Jonathan has connected this to board engagement and fundraising.
Thanks to Jonathan, I will continue to ask my board members to be involved in fundraising. And to re-re-re-re-read 7 Habits.
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