July 19, 2013 | Tom Suddes

‘Best Practice’

Found this DILBERT from 2002.

Project, Reorg, Merger, etc.

“Savings” and a T-Shirt.

“Best Practices.”

Friday Fun

End of week humor … or painful reality???

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July 16, 2013 | Nick Fellers

For Impact Teleseminar

For Impact 101- Changing the Funding Game (INTRO)
Thursday, July 18, 2013 from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM (EDT)

"Every organization is perfectly designed to get the results it is getting."
- Tim Kight

Using this quote as a framing device we’ll explore the design you need to change or drive results… we’ll reference stories and practical nuggets you can implement based on 30 years of in-the-field experience, $1Billion+ raised directly and $1Billion raised indirectly through our coaching clients.

We’ve prepared this coaching seminar to augment the For Impact workshops and WOW emails. It’s a great way to review the For Impact message and share the workshop experience with others. Space is limited. Click here to register.

This seminar is geared toward senior team leaders and those responsible for architecting an organization’s message and funding strategy.

In this seminar we share:

  • Frameworks to help you tell your story (internally and externally)
  • Ways to leverage the board and champion support
  • Frameworks to structure your staff your team
  • How to generate a stronger fundraising ROI
  • Practical funding tools and examples you can model
  • Ideas to raise your organization’s thinking around philanthropy, transformational giving and leadership gifts. 

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July 16, 2013 | Tom Suddes

The Inspiration Factor

The Inspiration Factor: How You Can Revitalize Your Company Culture in 12 Weeks

My friend Jim Mahoney turned me onto this book called THE INSPIRATION FACTOR: HOW YOU CAN REVITALIZE YOUR COMPANY CULTURE IN 12 WEEKS by Terry Barber.

The author opens with the idea that inspiration is often tied to motivation. However, motivation can be positive or negative, productive or destructive.

Inspiration is always good, always positive.

Here are Barber’s Seven Principles of Inspiration with a short note next to each one.

    1. Be authentic. (Anyone who is part of the For Impact Tribe knows that authenticity is one of the primary tenets of our model.)
    2. Connect with others’ dreams. (This is all about matching up the dreams of your Talent to the company or organization’s dreams and goals.)
    3. See in others abilities they don’t see in themselves. (A great leader/manager encourages people to focus on their strengths.)
    4. Speak with credibility. (‘Street cred’ comes from: Been there. Done that. Screwed it up. Learned from it.)
    5. Tell great stories – yours and others. (The Power of Story is another great book and reminder for all of us.)
    6. Help people reach their destination. (Your people will follow you to the proverbial ends of the earth if they know you’re trying to help them with their goals.)
    7. Create a new culture. (A culture of Inspiration, Innovation and Impact.)

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July 10, 2013 | Tom Suddes


Love, love, love the days when SUCCESS mag arrives. August issue now out. Tons of good stuff. The article that leaped out at me was about Dan Pink (Modern-Day Mentalist), his writing, his motivation and his family.

The article triggered these thoughts on TO SELL IS HUMAN. This is something I should have written months ago … but kept putting off because I was trying to do the book and the subject ‘justice’. Then my good friend and brilliant social entrepreneur/For Impact leader, Jim Mahoney, came along and did it waaaaay better than I could.

Back Story: I was selected as one of 96 people to review and provide feedback on the draft of TO SELL IS HUMAN. I loved everything about it. It reinforced so much of what we stress in our training, coaching and writing. You’re in sales. (Get over it.) Commit to sales. Just ask. Selling is the forging of a human connection. Etc.

I’ve asked Jim for ‘permission’ (though I’m more about ‘forgiveness’ and just doing it) to have him as our guest thinker/blogger/reviewer this week.

Jim has written an absolutely stellar summary of TO SELL IS HUMAN: THE SURPRISING TRUTH ABOUT MOVING OTHERS.

To echo Pink, Mahoney, Suddes, et al … WE’RE ALL IN SALES.

Urge, urge, urge you to read these Book Notes by Jim. Nine pages. Worth every minute.

At the same time, order Dan Pink’s book. He’s written some great stuff, including A Whole New Mind (one of my all-time favorite books), Drive and Free Agent Nation.

This latest book is stunning in its premise and findings.

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July 10, 2013 | Tom Suddes

The Exceptional Presenter

Almost everything in our FOR IMPACT WORLD is about PRESENTATIONS

The Exceptional Presenter

Since everyone in our FOR IMPACT universe is PRESENTING (SELLING) something to someone, the following thoughts from THE EXCEPTIONAL PRESENTER by Tim Koegel can help immediately.

Tim Koegel is literally one of the best in the world at helping craft messages and refine delivery skills. Tim uses the acronym OPEN UP to represent the six characteristics that are shared by EXCEPTIONAL PRESENTERS.

  • ORGANIZED. A clear, concise and compelling MESSAGE designed to inform, persuade, influence, entertain or enlighten.
  • PASSIONATE. Energetic, enthusiastic, from the heart. (If you don’t look or sound passionate about your ideas … why would anyone respond to you?)
  • ENGAGING. Exceptional presenters do everything in their power to engage each ‘audience’ member (even if it is only one person!)
  • NATURAL. Authentic. Comfortable. Confident.

As an ‘Exceptional Presenter,’ you must:

  • UNDERSTAND YOUR AUDIENCE. For me that’s about DISCOVERY! (Whether it’s 1,000 people at the YMCA or one person on a $10 Million opportunity.)
  • PRACTICE. Those who practice improve. Those who don’t, don’t.

*Tom Peters picked up Tim’s book in an airport and wrote a whole blog about practice! This was the one thing he picked out that made so much sense: Those who practice improve. Those who don’t, don’t.

Take a look at Tim’s first and last characteristics of exceptional presenters. These things can make a huge difference … immediately!

ORGANIZED! Think about this:


IF … you can’t ORGANIZE your MESSAGE …


THEN … WHY would any of your potential investors think you can ‘ORGANIZE’ your ORGANIZATION … your DELIVERY OF YOUR SERVICE … your IMPACT???


One way you can ‘PRACTICE’ is to get out and share your MESSAGE with as many people as you can!

You can also make PRESENTATIONS to Fund Your Vision by ‘PRACTICING’ with your closest relationships, key champions and board members, low-hanging fruit and prospects further down on your Master Prospect List.

***I’ve made over 6,000 one-on-one (SALES) PRESENTATIONS. You want to get really, really good at something? Do it 6,000 times.

They say if you want to learn how to surf, simply surf a 1,000 waves. Same is true with learning to box. Simply throw 10,000 punches. The point here is getting out and actually DOING IT.

Here are 3 more ‘nuggets’ in case from this book:

  1. “Keep it short. Keep it focused. Keep it relevant.”I would only add, keep it simple.
    (Page 33)
  2. “Don’t underestimate the power of your delivery!” Tim quotes a study to help understand PRESENTATION EFFECTIVENESS:
    • 7% of our IMPACT is determined by the WORDS we use.
    • 38% of our IMPACT is determined by our VOICE – how confident and comfortable we sound.
    • 55% of our IMPACT is determined NON-VERBALLY – our appearance, posture, gestures, movement, eye contact and facial expressions.
In other words, 93% of our COMMUNICATION IMPACT comes from the WAY WE DELIVER our WORDS!!!
  1. “Do not accept AVERAGE when you can be EXCEPTIONAL”  Nuff said.

FULL DISCLOSURE: Tim Koegel and I go waaaaaaay back. Tim’s a Notre Dame grad, all- everything in Ohio high school sports and a quarterback at Notre Dame. He even did a stint in the old USFL. I worked with Tim for a while in the early ‘80s; and I’ve watched his communications coaching career explode. He is, literally, the BEST at what he does.

Even if I didn’t know Tim and I picked this book up at the airport just as Tom Peters did, I’d still give it my highest recommendation. Trust me on this one.

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July 9, 2013 | Tom Suddes

End Game: Sustainability or Solution?

A lot of ‘NONPROFITS’ are desperately trying to attain ‘SUSTAINABILITY.’

“If we just had an ENDOWMENT that covered all of our operating expenses, we wouldn’t have to do that (dirty) FUNDRAISING THING anymore.”

What if, instead, you stopped worrying about ‘SUSTAINABILITY’… and started putting yourself out of business! Find SOLUTIONS to the PROBLEM, and then implement that SOLUTION to eliminate the PROBLEM.

I realize this doesn’t work for everyone reading this (education institutions, etc.) but the IDEA does apply to everybody, especially as it relates to the following … if you are willing to go one more (RADICAL) step further:


This is an issue that I believe impacts all FOR IMPACT ORGANIZATIONS. We’re caught up in an endowment arms race. We’re communicating, “We need ENDOWMENT now to build and preserve ENDOWMENT for future generations.”

Endowment, in and of itself, is NOT the goal! The goal is and always should be around Saving Lives, Changing Lives, Impacting Lives, etc.

And if that doesn’t get your attention, how about:


CASH is a very, very expensive and difficult way to increase endowment.

Very few investors want to give you their money … so you could invest it … with an average of 5% return (pre-2008) and now 1% to 2% … which would THEN be used to fund some important priority.

Here’s a simple way to look at it: a 2% – 5% IMPACT … vs. … a 100% IMPACT.

Money to endowment (2% to 5%) … or money to fund People, Programs, and Places that help deliver your impact NOW (100%).

And, many investors are making five-year commitments/payments and have to ‘wait’ to see the results and actual use of the funds!

Note: As a serial entrepreneur and someone who works with a lot of business and social entrepreneurs, I would ask this question:

Would a great business or business model … one that is growing and scaling their IMPACT … take revenue (cash) and put it in the ‘BANK’ and then try to fund their growth … from their INTEREST INCOME?!!!

I want you to forget the current economic situation and let me remind you what every truly successful entrepreneur would do. They’d go to a bank or to angels or to the market and BORROW MONEY (not put money in) so that they can LEVERAGE every dollar … in order to GROW AND SCALE … their IMPACT … RIGHT NOW!

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July 8, 2013 | Tom Suddes

Help People Get What They Want!!!

Zig Ziglar as a God-like figure in Personal Development and Sales Training. He summarizes his entire philosophy, point of view and message as follows.


He’s all about ATTITUDE. So are we.

You need to believe that to “GET WHAT YOU WANT” (Make more IMPACT, have more INCOME to Fund Your Vision, etc.) you have to “HELP ENOUGH OTHER PEOPLE GET WHAT THEY WANT.”

It’s sometimes hard to put yourself in the INVESTOR’S proverbial shoes, but I believe they want:

  • An Opportunity to MAKE a DIFFERENCE.
  • A Chance to Move from SUCCESS to SIGNIFICANCE (in Drucker’s words).
  • A Meaningful Way to HELP You Achieve Your Impact.

To get what you WANT … help other people get what they WANT!

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July 2, 2013 | Tom Suddes

WHO … not HOW

One of the most important things I’ve learned as an entrepreneur, leader and, sometimes even manager, is that the really big question to ask on every project is WHO … not HOW.

In simplest terms, it is much, much more about WHO you give the responsibility for the project to … not telling them or anyone else HOW to do it.

In my world, that is also tied directly to ACT or ASK!

Here’s a great story from the late 1800′s that we use as a shorthand in For Impact and The Suddes Group. Who can carry the MESSAGE TO GARCIA.

NOTE: Shutting down for the week. Have a great 4th of July! Remember, it’s all about INDEPENDENCE!

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June 26, 2013 | Tom Suddes

“All Else Is Waiting”

I’ve been on the road but assume that most of you saw or heard about Nik Wallenda’s 1,500′ ‘walk’ above the Little Colorado Gorge.

Here’s one of my favorite quotes from his great grandfather Karl Wallenda:

“LIFE is WALKING THE WIRE. All else is waiting.”

The point for me has always been to find the stuff that you LOVE to do … and then pour everything you have into it.

Note: My good, good friend and fellow grandfather, Charlie, passed away last week. He was part of the Poppa, Poppy and O.G. triumvirate of grandfathers in the extended family.

Charlie was an amazing guy, great husband, father, grandfather and friend. He was declared ‘terminal’ a few months ago, after having fought (literally) the good fight for over a year.

At the service today, I was reminded of something I read years and years ago. We are ALL ‘terminal‘. It’s all timing. And we never know …

Hug your family once for Charlie today.

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June 20, 2013 | Tom Suddes


Steve Elder and I are working ‘Today’ and ‘Tomorrow’ with a great group Community College leaders in Colorado.

One of the FRAMEWORKS that we are sharing today is our TODAY | TOMORROW | FOREVER Relationship Model.

We’ve actually turned this into a little more of a ‘poster‘. We’ve made some revisions and some additions … and I would encourage you to print this out at 11 x 17 and put it up somewhere. I truly believe it captures almost everything you need to know about how to ‘run’ a great development operation.

***The other great thing about T|T|F is that once you buy into this concept and model … you can then match your TALENT to the Model!!!

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