What to do when your board members go rogue

Some board members think their position gives them extra power and privileges

What to do when your board members go rogueJenny was in tears. As the executive director of her organization, she was at her wit’s end and said she was ready to quit. She confided in me that one of the directors was going directly to one of her staff members, telling him he would be fired unless he complied with the director’s request,…

Government must extend a helping hand to charitable sector

Fewer Canadians (and fewer businesses) are in a position to give to charity, even as more of us need help from the sector

Government must extend a helping hand to charitable sectorIt didn’t take long for the federal government to help grieving families when an Iranian missile brought down a Ukraine passenger plane in January. There were 57 Canadians and 29 permanent residents among the 176 who died in the crash. Very quickly, Canada’s government set up a $1.5-million donation-matching program for a special charity created…

How to say ‘yes’ to pro bono work and feel good about it

Calling it ’knowledge philanthropy’ rather than ‘pro bono’ makes me feel like I am giving, rather than giving something away

How to say ‘yes’ to pro bono work and feel good about itAs an entrepreneur I get a lot of requests to give away expertise ‘for a good cause’. Many times I have to say no. However, I have started to intentionally incorporated knowledge philanthropy into my lifestyle portfolio (not my business portfolio). Here are some of the lessons I learned around how I say ‘YES!’ to…

The power of asking a simple question

Some schools in Liberia are well supplied with materials because of the power of one Canadian student asking a simple question

The power of asking a simple questionTeacher and motivational speaker Jack Canfield tells us, “Take the risk to ask for whatever you need and want. If someone says no, you are no worse off than when you started. If someone says yes, you are a lot better off.” Following Canfield’s principle can benefit us and others. This lesson was taught to me by…

Non-profit and charity executive directors too often isolated

What does a properly functioning board of directors look like and how can its members pull their weight?

Non-profit and charity executive directors too often isolatedIf you’ve ever sat on the board of a non-profit or charity, sports organization or even a company, you’ve probably noticed that most meetings are boring. Usually one person, the president, runs the meeting using Robert’s Rules of Order. After minimal discussion, the board votes on agenda items, provided a quorum has shown up. Without…

Why you should build your brand from the inside-out

Having a clear purpose helps organizations stand out from the crowd

Why you should build your brand from the inside-outOne time, while presenting a brand strategy to a client, I could feel myself tearing up. After several years of uncertainty about their direction, they finally had clarity about their real value, and their offering to the market. Their excitement – mixed with joy and relief – was palpable. This new strategy, they said, captured…

A spiritual leadership grounded in reality

Fostering collaboration rather than conflict, the Aga Khan builds bridges between people, religions and cultures to help the world’s most vulnerable

A spiritual leadership grounded in realityWhen your last name is Arab and you’re not a Muslim or terrorist, you defy a few Islamophobic stereotypes yourself. I’m Arab in name, but my father’s religion is Maronite Catholic – an early branch of the Roman Catholic Church. I was brought up Roman Catholic and indoctrinated in papal infallibility. So the idea of…

The Aga Khan: 60 years of remarkable service to the world

As he comes to Alberta, we should celebrate his unshakable belief in the values of pluralism, diversity and equality

The Aga Khan: 60 years of remarkable service to the worldWho is His Highness, the Aga Khan, a man who is celebrating 60 years of service to his community and the world? He is the spiritual leader of 15 million Ismaili Muslims, a significant number of whom call Canada home. He is a diplomat, social innovator, global humanitarian and someone with an unshakable belief in…