14 Terrific Takeaways from BOSS2015

Leadership: Develop Unlimited Talent
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Oct 28, 2015 | Blog

Our very first BOSS: Building Organizational & Sector Sustainability Conference brought together over 150 passionate not-for-profit leaders in BC for a day of leadership boss-ery in Vancouver.

It was truly inspiring to be surrounded by so many leaders from our sector (volunteers, board members, and staff) in one space — all eager to connect, learn, and share their knowledge. We witnessed hundreds of amazing learning moments, and we’re highlighting a few of our favorite takeaways from each session.

  1. Love in your Everyday Work Life – Paul Lacerte
    Join the love revolution; make love eyes to see the light in others; and remind yourself of your 5 most amazing traits!
  2. Building an Authentic Brand – John Horn
    Don’t be afraid to brag to yourself, it’s the best way to understand what you are good at and proud of. Be true to who you are – your brand should reflect your authentic individual identity.
  3. Catalyzing Generative Conversations with your Team, Colleagues, and Board Members – Jeffrey Wilcox
    To bring out the generative wisdom in the (board) room, ask “why” questions rather than “what” questions.
  4. Collective Leadership: the Value of Collaboration & Common Outcomes – John Thornburn
    The tone you set for a project, including the language that you use, can bring teams and communities to a place of shared vision and shared leadership… but you have to be willing to do the work up front.
  5. Personal Ecology – Carol Neuman 
    Take care of yourself with a friend or with a team. Accountability partners, or group activities where your participation is expected, are a great way to ensure you focus on your wellbeing.
  6. Telling your Organization’s Story: We Need to Talk! – Meg Kwasnicki
    There is immense power in anchoring our stories in data that speaks of impact: the difference we’ve made in our community.


  7. Leading without Authority – Samuel Ramos
    Always ask for forgiveness, never for permission.
  8. Ladder of Inference: How Perceptions Influence Decision-making & How to Manage it – Brent White
    Every situation is interpreted differently by every person, don’t jump to judgement or conclusions. Take the time to understand other points of view. The more you embrace all points of view, the less often misunderstandings will occur.
  9. Better Together: From Surviving to Thriving – Jolanta Scott-Parker
    Big change like an organizational merger doesn’t start with a terms of reference – it starts with lots of conversations. A key component to success is to leave our egos at the door no matter how difficult.
  10. Building our Shared Success – Christine McLeod
    One key leadership trait is to intentionally remove a barrier to enable someone to succeed. Make the effort to really connect and engage with the people you work with – this will lead to better teams and a better future.

  11. Evaluation Frameworks for Quality Improvement & Strategic Monitoring – Wynona Giannasi & Jennifer Hystad
    An evaluation plan or strategy isn’t a thing that sits on the shelf. When you meaningfully engage all of the stakeholders it becomes a living document that can *really* help with decision making and shaping strategy. It needs the framework of PLAN, STUDY, DO, ACT.
  12. Systems Mapping – Kylie Hutchinson
    Always do system mapping as a team, and once you’ve got a draft, focus on leverage points.
  13. Appreciative Inquiry – Natasha Bailey
    It is amazing to the see the possibilities that open up when we reframe a “problem” into an appreciative statement. The process – using an appreciative approach – begins to unlock the potential of a better way forward.
  14. Assertiveness in a Gentle Way – Manpreet Dhillon
    Confidence comes from within. We have all had moments when we wished we behaved with more confidence. One tip is to visualize your confidence as a tangible item you can put on, like a jacket. Use that visualization to feel more confident in stressful situations. 

What were your learning moments? Or, if you couldn’t make it, what would you have liked to learn? 

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Larissa Hayes

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