Book Beat

Culture Without Accountability—WTF: What’s the Fix?

Staff pay attention to what you do, not what you say, according to Julie Miller and Brian Bedford, authors of Culture Without Accountability—WTF: What’s the Fix? (©2013, Criffel Publishing). The authors maintain that when you or the association’s leaders ignore the organization’s values, staff and others think they can as well. The book offers examples of what accountability looks like and what can go wrong in its absence. It also provides four critical actions leaders must take to create a winning culture:

  • Stifle your talent and limit your opportunities for advancement;
  • Twist circumstances and conversations to their benefit;
  • Chide or punish you for a mistake rather than help you correct it;
  • Remind you constantly or publicly of a disappointing experience or unmet expectation;
  • Take credit or withhold recognition for new ideas and extra effort;
  • Focus solely on meeting their goals and do so at your expense;
  • Fail to respect your need for personal space and time.

Power Relationships: 26 Irrefutable Laws for Building Extraordinary Relationships

There are powerful but invisible laws that determine whether your relationships —with your members, donors, clients, colleagues, and friends—will thrive or wither, according to Andrew Sobel and Jerold Panas, authors of Power Relationships: 26 Irrefutable Laws for Building Extraordinary Relationships (©2014, John Wiley & Sons). The book provides insights about how to connect and build deep, trusting relationships through these laws, as well as how to apply them to specific circumstances. The laws include::

  1. Power relationships are based on great conversations, not one person showing the other how much they know.
  2. Be unafraid to ask.
  3. Follow the person, not the position.
  4. The greatest gift is to believe in someone.
  5. Know the other person’s agenda and help them accomplish it.
  6. Stretch yourself by building relationships with people quite different than you.
  7. Serious engagement needs a relationship
  8. Integrity isn’t important; it’s everything.
  9. Walk in the other person’s shoes.
  10. Don’t be put off by an awkward start; find something personal that connects you and you may develop a wonderful relationship.
  11. Give trust to get trust.
  12. Change the environment and you’ll deepen the relationship.
  13. Don’t wait to let someone know how much they mean to you.
  14. There’s always something, no matter how small, that you can do to help the people around you.
  15. Treat a prospect like a client, and there’s a good chance that he/she will become one.
  16. Vulnerability is power.
  17. To reach their fullest potential, people need both truth and love.
  18. Make them curious.
  19. Show you care, often, by giving recognition and praise.
  20. It’s better to know the right questions than to have all the answers.
  21. A selfless motive creates powerful bonds.
  22. Become part of your clients’ growth and profits and they’ll never get enough of you.
  23. To succeed, you need a small group of people who trust you, believe in you, and are committed to you—not hundreds of superficial contacts.
  24. is contagious.
  25. Build your network before you need it.
  26. Every act of generosity creates a ripple.

Engage Me

Consider this: $11 billion is lost annually due to employee turnover; companies with engaged employees outperformed those without by up to 202%; 71% of all employees are not fully engaged; 80% of employees dissatisfied with their direct manager were disengaged. With numbers like these, it’s easy to see how important employee engagement is, says Kevin Higgins, author of Engage Me (©2014, Fusion Learning, Inc.). The book offers a how-to guide, based on attitude, skills, and sales management disciplines. While geared toward creating a great sales culture, Engage Me includes tips that will work well for staff of an association/nonprofit organization as well.