Leadership Link June 9, 2017

Darin Preis

I took a few days off last week and have nearly accepted that I simply won't catch up with email from those days. I hope you all take the opportunity for some time off this summer to recharge, reconnect with family and friends, and to disconnect from the pace of our day to day existence. CMCA has a great benefits package and our Annual Leave benefit is one of the best parts . . . but you gotta use it!

The Leadership Team had a retreat on Monday and Tuesday away from the office to build our team, reflect on our strengths, and to do a little planning. Our Leadership Team has evolved over the last 11 years and it is important to check on ourselves from time to time, especially when the team changes. Ten years ago the Leadership Team had a book discussion about the book Good to Great and the Social Sectors. At that time we were starting and preparing for some significant changes to our culture, our expectations, our mission and strategic plan. Since then we've done a lot to focus on "getting the right people on the bus." Great organizations have people committed to the mission, loyal to the organization, and willing to do whatever it takes to succeed. We have also focused on what the book refers to as "Level 5 Leadership." Level 5 leaders are ambitious first and foremost for the cause, the organization, the work - not themselves - and they have the fierce resolve to do whatever it takes to make good on that ambition. By focusing on the Promise of Community Action, program quality, and people, we have a very good organization. We agreed that we have all the right people and now it is time to become GREAT.

We spent a little time talking about what Good to Great refers to as the "hedgehog concept". This concept is an operating model that reflects understanding of three intersecting circles: what you can be the best in the world at, what you are deeply passionate about, and what best drives your economic or resource engine. The Leadership Team came up with the following statement to capture our hedgehog concept: CMCA is passionate about improving our communities and the quality of life of those in them, and we can be the best in our region at maximizing resources to create innovative, strengths-based opportunities that deliver results.

Greatness can only come from you though, and we will need your help to establish a new strategic plan for the next three years to help us focus and decide what to spend our energy on. We are going to create a fairly large strategic planning committee that we hope will represent all eight of our counties and all of our programs. I promise we won't drag this out though! For those of you who suffered through our two year transformational planning process, this WON'T be that (but thank you!). Our goal will be to present a strategic plan proposal to our board of directors at our September board meeting. We have blocked two meeting days in July and one day in August for some robust planning days. We will offer everybody an opportunity to review our initial draft and to offer feedback prior to a final proposal to the board. I know that many of you are already starting to duck . . . and others of you are excited about these kind of leadership opportunities. I am interested in your feedback and if you'd like to be considered for the committee. Let me know.

In other news:
We still need shoes for Foster Grandparents (thanks to Martin for all his foraging though!). Let's give this a last big push. Let your family and friends and church and networks know that we need lightly used shoes and ask them to drop them by any of our offices.

The BRIDGE program is also still accepting items for their June 24 garage sale. You've probably seen Jennifer Klosterman's emails. Just let her know if you've got items you'd like to contribute.

Have a great weekend!