Leadership is about having a vision, being able to inspire others about a vision, and finding a way to mobilize all of the resources that are on hand to make that vision become a reality.
Leaders can be bold and charismatic. They can be intellectual giants. They can, unfortunately, also be taskmasters or tyrants (are they then leaders?). A leader can also be a quiet voice that sends a message so compelling that your heart and mind are won over.
This week I learned about Moonshot Leadership – setting audacious goals, chasing those goals without fear, learning how to push past our comfort zone, and seeing the immense amount of shared pride and accomplishment once the goal is achieved.
Colleen Brinkmann, CMP’s newest Senior Consultant and the former Chief Philanthropy Officer, has written a great book, aptly named Moonshot Leadership, where she tells us about how Moonshot Leadership helped propel her and the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) team to deliver a $55 million capital fundraising campaign that allowed NTFB to provide over 62 million meals to those in need.
Big dreams – big goals – big results.
I was able to have some personal time this week with Colleen and also be part our Moonshot Leadership lunch event at the Atlanta Community Food Bank (CMP also had a Moonshot Leadership event at the Greater Chicago Food Depository).
This past week, I was fortunate to learn about the vital roles that organizations like the Atlanta Community Food Bank play in fighting hunger by engaging, educating, and empowering our community. I was fortunate to meet Kyle Waide, Heather Schlesinger, Debra Shoaf, Ed Westreicher, and many others on the AFCB team. I learned how the food gets distributed by working in the food distribution center as part of the Technology Gives/Technology Cares volunteer group (thanks, Ricky Steele, for the invite).
Here are some of the lasting impressions from this week:
- Nonprofits, just like for-profit organizations, need leadership that provides the clarity of the mission, the vision for how everyone can get there, and the inspiration for the paid staff and volunteers that the goal can be reached. While we can never “end hunger,” I did see how the Atlanta Community Food Bank is moving closer and closer to the goal of having nutritious food be available to all those in need.
- If you want to see what engagement is, volunteer to pack food for your food bank in their Product Rescue Center. What I saw at the ACFB was staff who were evangelists and who had contagious enthusiasm. I also saw many return volunteers who also had proudly carried their spirit to serve. It made for a powerful experience.
- Leaders who are genuine, sincere, authentic, and articulate can be powerful voices for change. Being around a leader like Colleen showed me that the most powerful voice in the room does not have to be the loudest.
- Giving back rewards us in so many ways. I believe that we all want to be part of something bigger and that we all want to help others. Public service rewards our soul in profound ways.
It was a great week being part of the Moonshot Leadership event and getting to know everyone at the Atlanta Community Food Bank.