Tools for Action

The Who, What, and Why of Public Narrative

Creating a public narrative marks an essential step in the process of introducing your organization and cause to a wider audience. It is a means of making your values, goals, and strategy known, both to those within and not yet a part of your community. And yet, if you’ve never crafted a public narrative before, you may have many questions about how this important tool functions. In this post, we’ll introduce some of the basic facts and features of a strong public narrative. What Is a Public Narrative? In its simplest form, a public narrative bridges the gap between [...]

2022-11-02T12:57:21-05:00November 2nd, 2022|Tools for Action|

Tips for Coaching Your Team to Success

As a leader, one of your most important jobs is coaching—that is, teaching those who work under you in the organization and improving their chances for success as they move forward. No matter how great you are at your work, coaching can be a major challenge. Performing a job yourself takes one set of strengths; teaching someone else how to perform well requires its own set of sometimes counterintuitive-seeming processes. While there’s no surefire method for making coaching easy, we’ve put together a few tips that will help you get started. 1. Invest your time and energy in your [...]

2022-09-28T15:26:25-05:00September 28th, 2022|Tools for Action|

The Heart, the Head, and the Hands: Three Coaching Methods to Improve Your Leadership

One of the most challenging but most important jobs of any leadership role is recognizing when an individual or even a whole team isn’t living up to their potential, and understanding the best way to step in and guide them. Sometimes members of your crew just need a push in the right direction and knowledge of your support; sometimes they need more hands-on training in the nitty-gritty details of their work process; and sometimes they need someone to help them step back, see the bigger picture, and create a plan of action. Different realities and different dynamics call for different [...]

2022-08-31T10:33:45-05:00August 31st, 2022|Tools for Action|

Five Leadership Methods to Successfully Organize Your Community

A successful organization has three essential components: people, power, and change. We regularly present the three in this specific order for a reason. Power and change are the goals that an organization strives for, but it all starts with people. Until you find your people, you cannot pinpoint specific goals nor the specific resources (i.e., types of power) necessary to achieve those goals. But if step one is to find your people, then the next step must be determining how to organize that constituency. Even disorganized, many people can identify key problems that exist in their community and are eager [...]

2022-08-15T16:00:11-05:00August 16th, 2022|Tools for Action|

4 Essential Steps for Mobilizing People to Action

Finding folks who will offer up verbal support for your organization’s causes can be a difficult enough task. But translating that support into effective action is an even greater level of struggle, one that is necessary to create meaningful, lasting change based around the principles of your cause. While there is no easy way to gain commitment from others, there are some steps you can take to help increase your chances of success. You can think of these as the four C’s of mobilizing commitment: connection, context, commitment, and catapult. Let’s take a look at each one: Connect: Making the [...]

2022-06-30T09:16:26-05:00July 18th, 2022|Tools for Action|

Change in the Air: Discovering Your Goals & the Power to Achieve Them

There are many reasons that people might organize together under a shared strategy, but those strategies all tend toward one broad goal: seeking specific, objective, and material change. As a leader, one of your most important jobs is identifying what those goals are as well as methods for achieving them. What Do You Want? Easily identifiable, tangible goals create an impetus for joining your organization. Before you can successfully get people invested, you’ll need to answer questions such as: What problems are your constituents looking to fix or improve upon? And what can be done to accomplish that? These questions [...]

2022-06-30T09:17:36-05:00June 23rd, 2022|Tools for Action|

Climbing the Mountain: Navigating the Peaks and Valleys of Your Campaign Timeline

Any organization that hopes to achieve meaningful change inevitably must build a shared strategy. This is a layered process that requires time, effort, and thoughtfulness in its approach. Determining a shared strategy begins with answering five questions. First, you must pinpoint who your people are - that is, the people you’re working with and targeting, as well as opposing. Next, you must define your goals, and then determine a theory for how to get the power to achieve those goals, followed by finding specific tactics to follow through with. The fifth and final step of creating a shared strategy is [...]

2021-12-20T11:13:44-06:00December 14th, 2021|Tools for Action|

How to Make a Great Leadership Team: 3 Methods for Gauging Success

Finding the ideal leadership team is one of the most complex goals that any organization can undertake. In the best cases, each member serves as a leader in their own right, and is empowered to use their strengths both individually and together with the group.  A properly functioning leadership team helps organizations of all sizes play to their strengths, dodge weaknesses, and remain nimble in their strategy, able to adapt to even the most unexpected of changes. Pulling together a group that’s able to accomplish these lofty goals is no easy task, but that initial challenge makes it all the [...]

2021-10-19T12:18:07-05:00October 19th, 2021|Tools for Action|

The Organizer’s Network: How Big Should it Be?

Social media has fundamentally changed the way we relate to other people. As our networks grow like never before, some researchers suggest there may be a limit on how many authentic relationships a person—and, importantly, an organizer—can truly sustain. How Many Relationships Can You Really Have? “Dunbar’s Number” is a term coined by anthropologist and psychologist Robin Dunbar that suggests humans max out their capability for connection at 150 individuals. While his research was originally based on face-to-face interactions, Dunbar has maintained that online social networking carries a similar limit, and that people with social networks larger than 150 “seem [...]

2021-09-13T09:55:44-05:00September 13th, 2021|Tools for Action|

5 Tips for One-On-One Meetings (and 5 Things to Avoid)

Building relationships creates commitment, the glue of an organization. Leadership begins with understanding yourself: your values, your motivation, your story. But leadership is about enabling others to achieve purpose. The foundation of this kind of leadership is the relationships built with others, most especially, others with whom we can share leadership. The Art of the One-On-One One way to initiate intentional relationships is the one-on-one meeting, a technique developed by organizers over many years. But while it sounds easy enough to ask someone out for coffee, how do you ensure you are actually, actively building relationship during that conversation? 1. [...]

2021-08-30T11:22:37-05:00August 30th, 2021|Tools for Action|
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