Lunchtime Links: Arianna Huffington’s Secrets to Leadership Success

One CEO’s guidelines for achieving the perfect work-life balance. Also: what to do when a potential volunteer tells you no.

Society often measures success in terms of wealth and power. But, as online news maven Arianna Huffington can attest, the key to great leadership extends beyond deep pockets and influence.

That, and more, in today’s Lunchtime Links:

Secrets of her success: Huffington is perhaps best known as the president and editor of the popular online news website The Huffington Post. She also has a reputation as a shrewd businesswoman and leader who in 2011 parlayed her publishing prowess into a massive $300 million deal with AOL. How did she do it? In an interview with Forbes contributor Ekaterina Walter, Huffington reveals eight tips for life and leadership success. “Right now, success is defined in terms of two metrics,” she tells Walter, “money and power. But it is like a two-legged stool[. A]t some point, you’ll fall off of it.” That’s why Huffington says leaders need to measure themselves by additional metrics, such as personal well-being and their capacity to celebrate and to give back. Other leadership tips: avoid burnout and exhaustion, follow your intuition, and have the guts to stand up for what you believe in. How do you lead? Want more? Check out Huffington’s full list.

Turn a no into a yes: Many associations and other nonprofits depend on the involvement of volunteers. But when you ask your constituents to donate their time for a good cause, they may not always agree to help. Writing for VolunteerMatch’s Engaging Volunteers, veteran volunteer coordinator and editor Bob D’Ambrosio offers three reasons why constituents often say “no,” even when it means volunteering for a cause they support. Sometimes “no” is code for “I don’t feel qualified” for what is being asked, suggests D’Ambrosio. That’s why it’s important to provide training opportunities for volunteers. “No” could also mean “it’s just not a good time,” he says. There could be extenuating circumstances in life or work. That doesn’t mean the same person won’t volunteer in the future. And there are times when certain asks are not a good fit. “Your volunteer is not saying no to serving, just to serving in this position,” D’Ambrosio writes. “Explore what other options may be a better fit.” What do you do when volunteers turn you down?

Data dump: Big data is all the rage. As organizations continue to look for ways to use the information they collect to better target their constitutents’ needs, many have begun the daunting process of converting their existing databases to new, more flexible systems. Writing for the Nonprofit Technology Network’s NTEN Blog, Susie Saxten of Heller Consulting, Inc., details several steps nonprofits should take before diving into a system overhaul. For starters, she says, don’t forget to map your data. “You might be surprised at how many organizations skip detailed mapping, dismissing it as a nitpicky, administrative task,” writes Saxten. Detailed mapping is essential because it helps determine how the new system will meet organizational needs. Your next data migration is also an opportunity to streamline and refine your existing coding structure, including financial and demographic codes, and to improve your storage system, among other benefits, Saxten writes.

Considering a data migration? Tell us in the comments.

(photo by C2-MTL/Flickr)

Corey Murray

By Corey Murray

Corey Murray is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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