Little book, big ideas
April 11 2003 by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor

Little book, big ideas | Friday, April 11, 2003

Friday, April 11, 2003

Little book, big ideas

By Tony W. Cartledge BR Editor

Leadership is a tricky thing. Finding the appropriate balance between "top-down" decisions and "bottom-up" creativity is crucial - as are staff relationships, self-care, networking, fund-raising, and a host of other things that many people in leadership positions don't think about.

Michael Blackwell thinks about them.

Blackwell, president of the N.C. Baptist Children's Homes (BCH) for the past 20 years, has learned a thing or 12 about leadership from his oversight of an organization with 400 employees in 17 locations across the state.

And, he's not at all shy about sharing what he has learned. In fact, getting yourself known is part of the first "big idea" he talks about in Upside Down Leadership: A Dozen Big Ideas to Turn Your Nonprofit Organization Right Side Up, recently released by Parkway Publishers in Boone and marketed through BCH.

North Carolina is home to nearly 16,000 non-profit organizations, including nearly 4,000 churches related to the Baptist State Convention. Some need turning right side up, and all need growing, effective leaders.

It has become popular in recent years for church leaders to seek lessons from corporate CEOs, successful politicians or high-profile military leaders. Sometimes those lessons apply, sometimes they don't.

Blackwell's slim volume is a welcome resource because it is broadly informed, but focuses on issues specific to non-profit organizations.

Blackwell creatively uses metaphors to talk about important issues like self-care ("There's no juice in a steamrolled tomato"), employee relationships ("Embrace your staff at arm's length"), and tactical networking ("Survive/Command your political jungle").

He exhorts leaders to "Embrace change like a rich uncle" to avoid falling behind, and to "Mine support like a joy geologist" in fund-raising efforts.

Beyond the metaphors, Blackwell's own enthusiasm for BCH makes it clear that behind all the big ideas, the driving force for good leaders is a passion for their work that keeps them growing and learning.

For information on ordering Upside Down Leadership, call BCH at (336) 474-1222.

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4/11/2003 12:00:00 AM by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor | with 0 comments
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