8 Practical Insights


Applied Wisdom for Nonprofits is intended to provide succinct leadership tools and techniques for people who work in nonprofit organizations, small or large, new or well-established, regardless of your position or title. My goal is to help you accelerate your development as a leader.

I collected this set of management tips through my varied experiences in farming, military, aerospace, venture capital and high tech. I ran a company, Applied Materials, which when I retired in 2003 employed over 15,000 people in 18 countries. Along the way, members of my Applied Materials team started calling my tips “Morganisms.”

The issue is not so much that we need to transfer the tools of business to nonprofits. Rather, what I can promise you is that if you take the issues that most companies face and list them next to the management challenges many nonprofits have, you would not be able to identify which is which. All organizations benefit from certain very basic management principles. All of us, whatever missions we give ourselves, can be more effective in reaching our goals if we are alert to opportunities, disciplined in listening for signs of trouble, and fixing problems before they escalate. Everyone can learn from listening. The best managers help people maximize their potential. Every person, regardless of education, training, or current position, is capable of improving his or her management skills; whether in a start-up, a global company, or a nonprofit that is rich in passion but limited in resources. To your success, Jim Morgan

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