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Leadership Fail: Blaming Others

Perhaps it is just another example of the Peter Principle, or maybe it’s just about someone who does not know how to be a leader. Either way, it amazes me sometimes to see people who are supposed to be examples of leadership into being self-serving opportunists who feel a need to step on others in order to demonstrate some sort of success.
I have seen it all with these supposed leaders, and I have found they will lie about anything to increase their own self-worth and protect their position.   I have also realized this is common with a leader in an organization who is in over his or her own head or with someone who is like a fish out of water because they have no vision, ideas and/or strategy that moves their organization forward.

So, in order to appear successful or explain away situations about their own lack of performance and success, they waste time and energy blaming others and finding excuses in order to help mask their own track record.

Here’s the deal with that approach to supposed leadership, which it is not, and [...]

By |July 11th, 2014|Blogging|1 Comment|

What Is Social Entrepreneurship?

As summer has kicked into full drive, I found myself this past weekend speaking with a lot of new people. One conversation stands out in particular, and it went a little like this:

 

“So, what do you do, Wayne?”

“I am a social entrepreneur.”

“I’ve heard that bandied about. What does that really mean?”

 

And so I went into an explanation of social entrepreneurship, but because this person was a leader in the non-profit sector, I thought it might be important to write a post. Social entrepreneurs look to put an end to the intractable social challenges in society by using innovative approaches. They are able to meld the for-profit and non-profit sectors and extrapolate the best ideas, concepts and practices in order to work to improve society.

As in business ventures, social entrepreneurs may measure success in terms of profit and return, but their business model includes performance measurements on the impact of their work on society and, typically, they are looking to do this to scale. Social enterprise can be executed as a for-profit or charitable venture.

One of the most prominent modern social entrepreneurs is Grameen Bank, [...]

A New York Doorman’s Leadership Story

This week I was reminded about leadership. A colleague of mine told me a very simple story. She lives in Manhattan and for the last 15 years, 5 days a week she would say hello or interact with her building’s head doorman, Frank. He was a gentle, kind and quiet man. He was a steady presence and somehow just seeing him almost every day meant the world was somehow just as it should be.
This past Monday, Frank died suddenly of a heart attack. And, as life would have it, he was in perfect health, fit and in his 50’s. One could envision him living until he was a ripe old age, but it was not in the cards.

In case you have not lived in a building in Manhattan with a doorman, some of these people become part of a loose-knit extended family. Even in a city where neighbors who live on the same floor barely know each other, certain doormen are trusted greatly and known to all.

Frank was the one my associate waited until Monday to call when she needed to make sure [...]

Harnessing Energy Strategically to Succeed

 
We have all heard these examples from so many walks of life. Try to do something and even if you fail, you are further ahead in the game of life. Most of us know the fact we are here is because we are meant to do something and make things happen. We are meant to better ourselves and impact the world around us.

But something that I sometimes wonder, especially in this hyper-connected digital age is how to focus energy in a strategic way. It’s important to have the drive and ambition, but how do you harness the strength strategically to move into developing business, perhaps failing and then keep going?

 

Commit – You need to commit to a life of action and what you want to achieve out of life. As Hunter S. Thompson asked, who is happier, the person who braved the storms of life in the tumultuous oceans, or the person who played it safe and never left the shore and merely existed?

It’s easy to be safe, but if you choose the path of greater resistance, that takes a great deal of [...]

  • Wayne Elsey, Tesco, Homeless
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    From Spikes to Support for the Homeless and Micro-Enterprise

From Spikes to Support for the Homeless and Micro-Enterprise

This week, I was going to write a piece about leadership, but I saw the controversy happening in England with Tesco and it compelled me to write about the subject (even if this post runs the risk of seeming to be somewhat self-serving). Tesco is a multinational grocery and general merchandise store that was founded in Britain.

Last week, Tesco installed one-inch spikes outside of their store on Regent Street, similar to metal studs found outside of a luxury building near London Bridge. Tesco stated that these fixtures were to prevent “anti-social behavior” as opposed to something to prevent homeless people from sleeping outside of the store. Protestors, however, and people on social media were mostly railing against these spikes because they saw them as an inhumane effort to prevent the homeless from sleeping on sidewalks. Even the Mayor of London said they needed to be removed from London streets.

Tesco is a company that was founded in 1919 and it has a rich and long history in the UK. After Walmart, Tesco is the second-largest retailer in the world as it relates to both profits [...]

Never Be Diverted in Directions that Distract

The last two months have been a wild ride for me both professionally and personally. On the personal side, I have committed to losing 40 pounds and I recently weighed in 31 pounds lighter. And in keeping with being fit, my company Funds2Orgs has been having great success with the new “Zero Calorie Fundraiser” campaign. Someone asked me recently how I have been able to do it. The formula is really simple: keep your eye on the ball, no matter what.
 I am a tall man and I have to admit that a few months ago I looked at myself in the mirror and I did not like what I was seeing. The added weight was making me feel heavier and slower and with everything I have going on with regard to my businesses and my life, this was certainly not the time to be feeling less than 100%. So, I decided to do something about it and I committed to losing 40 pounds.
Losing 40 pounds is not simple. It’s not easy to change your diet and stay away from what’s tempting to [...]

Keep Your Brand Simple

The last two years have been very intense for me personally and professionally. With regard to my business, I have been working very hard to grow Wayne Elsey Enterprises through our three portfolio brands: str@tegic, Funds2Orgs and 501C3U. It has been an incredible journey.
 This week, I was involved in another marketing meeting and working through our ongoing plans to continue to grow and expand all three brands. I want str@tegic to become synonymous with leadership and organizational strategy. When people think about Funds2Orgs, I want them to immediately think of it being their go to fundraising resources, and when people check out 501C3U, I want them to think of non-profit education to learn, grow, and do more.

There you have it. I was able to provide you the summation of my three brands in less than 15 seconds of reading, the elevator pitch. In today’s world, there is a lot of noise and clutter. Gone are the days when we were working and competing for opportunities with the person down the street or across the country. We are operating in a globalized world with [...]

Chaos is the New Normal

In my article last week I reflected on how important it is to stop wishing and start doing, whether it is in your personal or professional life. At the end of that post, I mentioned I would begin to write about what has worked for me with regard to moving forward and making things happen, particularly if you find yourself stuck.
When I have found myself in difficult situations, I have found that the first thing to become is aware. Nothing can be resolved until you realize and understand there is something that needs to be changed. In today’s world, I believe, there is awareness that chaos is the new normal and that we all need to operate and thrive in a world that is anything but static.
Look at the world around you. Companies such as Google and Target incorporate mindfulness training into their corporate culture and individuals are much more aware of the benefits of mindfulness as they seek a more balanced path. Mindfulness can take the form of seminars, yoga and meditation. All of this in an effort to increase appreciation [...]

Stop Wishing Start Doing

Last week I wrote a post, which you can find here, about three friends of mine who are each in a battle against cancer. Being in a battle is often a zero sum game. When someone is in a battle, they are usually looking to be the victor. The same can be said about life. The post last week spoke to how life can throw each of us a curve ball, no matter who we are, what we have and where we think we are going. So, I started to wonder – isn’t there an inherent urgency that exists in life to win and what does that mean?

 

I think the “win” is in helping yourself and others. Yes, if you go to the bookstore, or you search online, you will find hundreds and maybe thousands of authors and books helping you define what success and winning means. And, the ideas and suggestions will be just as varied as the books themselves and they can span from having a vast amount of money, toys and luxury living to the other end of the spectrum for [...]

Life Throws the Curve

Life always has a way of checking on you, and this week it did so with me, again. I received a phone call from a friend of mine who informed me that yet another mutual and very close friend was sick and diagnosed with terminal cancer. Considering I have two other friends in the same situation, this was a big blow to me. And since then, as busy as I have been, these great men have been on my mind.
One of the nights following the news, I sat outside of my home. I looked around and thought of how fortunate I was in my life. I was doing what I wanted to do professionally, I have a great team of people around me, a beautiful home, wonderful people I love in my life – including my daughter and grand-daughter, and pretty much anything I want and need. And yet, I had friends whom I care very deeply about and their respective situations were not good and there was nothing I could do about it.

I was reminded about how life does not consider whether [...]