Plunder the Egyptians May 2021

Dr. Tim Foster - 7 May 2021

Articles and blogs
‘Actually, It’s Okay to Disagree with People at Work’ by Vasundhara Sawhney
Harvard Business Review – October 28, 2020
‘Managing up’ is a term that describes how we engage with our bosses, especially when they need to be managed! This article explores how to disagree well with your boss. Sawhney explains that:

  • You can make disagreements work for you by 1) asking more questions; 2) using them as an opportunity to learn; and 3) using them to hone your negotiation skills.
  • As long as you show respect to the other person while safeguarding your self-respect, disagreements can fuel better work relations and performance.

‘Measuring what matters in nonprofits’ by John Sawhill and David Williamson
McKinsey & Company
Metrics is the most basic tool for management. And yet nonprofits struggle to know what to measure. Is it the BOS-DIP (bums on seats and dollars in the plate), spiritual health and maturity or member engagement? And how do we measure notions like ‘fully devoted discipleship’. This article argues that, while nonprofits will never resemble businesses that can measure their success in purely economic terms, there are several pragmatic approaches to quantifying success that can be utilised. Even organisations like Ridley College, that have quantitative measures readily at hand, such as student numbers and research rankings, can be deceptive and fail to reflect the values of the organisation. By linking metrics to mission, developing micro-level goals and developing simple research using online surveys we can better understand our performance, build accountability and focus on what matters.

‘Managing Through Crisis’ by Allison Frailich & Liz Lund
Stanford Social Innovation Review – Winter 2021
There are a great many lessons to be learnt from how leaders responded to the COVID crisis, especially in the early days. This is one of the best articles I have read in highlighting the keys to effectively leading an organisation through a crisis. While the article is concerned primarily with philanthropic organisations delivering emergency aid, the six actions have implications for leading any organisation in crisis.

  • Be visible
  • Be clear, direct, and thorough
  • Be aware of differing experiences
  • Be nimble while maintaining commitments
  • Be a good community steward
  • Be thoughtful about your long-term impact

When Narcissism Comes to Church: Healing Your Community From Spiritual and Emotional Abuse. Chuck DeGroat, IVP 2020.
The church should be the last place toxic leadership shows up – yet there are reasons why churches are a magnet for narcissistic leaders. This confronting read helps us recognise when we are worshipping or working with a narcissist, and to identify narcissistic traits in ourselves. The narcissist may appear charming, visionary, confident and influential, fooling most of the people, most of the time. De Groot goes deep into the roots of narcissism and finds profound spiritual resources to help us overcome narcissistic traits. He reminds us that we are ‘beloved children of God, holding out hope for the slow, hard work of being transformed and growing into more of the fullness of who God has created them to be.’

Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It. Chris Voss, Harvard Business, 2016.
We negotiate all the time. With our kids, our boss, our staff, our spouse. Whether buying a car, seeking a pay rise, or agreeing on what time your daughter should be home, life is a series of negotiations. We need to be good at it. The secret of good negotiation is not being tough, hard-nosed, or being willing to, ‘split the difference’. Former hostage negotiator Chris Voss writes an engaging book sprinkled with engaging anecdotes from his time as a hostage negotiator. He helps you understand the psychology behind negotiation and develop your emotional intelligence. Reframing negotiation and providing several powerful tools for achieving better outcomes.

From the Vault
‘The New Work of the Nonprofit Board’ Barbara E. Taylor, Richard P. Chait, and Thomas P. Holland
Harvard Business Review – 1996
The Carver Model continues to shape the practice of many nonprofit boards in Australia. However, for more than 25 years some of the fundamental tenets of Carver’s model have been challenged. This article anticipated a trend that is finally starting to reshape governance in Australia, blurring board-management boundaries, aligning governance and strategy, and changing recruitment priorities.