Cultivating Our Sisterhood International Association, Inc. (COSIA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to connecting, teaching and inspiring women through networking, professional development, volunteering and fundraising. In 2010, COSIA was selected as a top 5 finalist out of nearly 100 nonprofit organizations for its outstanding board leadership. Of the finalists selected by the Volunteer Consulting Group (VCG), COSIA was the smallest and only organization operating without a multi-million dollar budget.
So, how does an organization like COSIA defy the odds? As founder and president of COSIA, here’s my advice:
Avoid a deficiency perspective
I fully believe in the power of setting goals and outlining realistic plans to achieve business success, but visionary leadership often requires a leap of faith. Unfavorable comparisons to others, or even your own expectations about what you should have already accomplished, can lead to a distorted perspective. Instead of focusing on what you have not yet done, build from your strengths. Consider your greatest achievements, and identify ways to build upon your successes.
Adopt a mustard seed perspective
It may sound a bit clichéd, but accomplishments we view as small and insignificant may have growth potential that exceeds our expectations. These are the outcomes that rarely make our goal-setting lists. Keep track of the little things you have done that have had a tremendous impact on your life and/or the lives of others. At the very least, highlight those positive customer reviews on your Website.
Remember who you are
Business failures, and even successes, don’t determine who you are as a person. Don’t forget to spend time thinking about who you are beyond your business and bottom line. Do some soul searching. Knowledge of who you are will help keep you focused when life’s challenges fail to conform to your goals and expectations.
Name: Cultivating Our Sisterhood International Association, Inc. (COSIA)
Contact: Lois Reddick, founder and president
Business: 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization connecting women through networking, professional development, volunteering and fundraising.
Advice Topics: Achieving Excellence through Business Not as Usual.
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