Mentoring Got Me Where I am Today

Only few can honestly say, “I am where I am because of no one else!” I can’t make that statement and am happy to share I have had the great fortune of being mentored throughout my life by amazing people.

First, there is my family. My dear Godmother inspired me to think deeply what I truly wanted out of life and go after it. She created ruckus at her Dutch home in the 1950s to become a nurse whereas my grandparents didn’t belief she could and should have a business career.

My “Tante Elly” (Aunt Elly) had a life-long career in health care by not giving up and seeking mentors during her training years and later on the floor. As the Executive Director of a retirement home in 1983 she created one of the first holistic intakes in the health sector. She taught me the importance of asking questions and challenging the status quo; even at a time when you feel intimidated as apparently everyone else around you “gets it”.

Second, I was lucky working with a manager who considered work to be fun. If you didn’t have fun, he ensured his team members, “you’d better make it fun.” When I joined his team, he challenged me to take up new roles and grow in leadership. His advice was as sound as my Godmother’s, “Find a colleague with whom you can bounce ideas off. Nothing is silly in a brainstorm phase; keep looking at the issue at hand from different perspectives and the solution will present itself.“

When I went on to live in India for several years, I wanted a mentor to help me filter information with a cultural sensitive lens. As I was lost at times during my first year about what was happening around me, a trained anthropologist and colleague came to my rescue.

We spent many hours chatting about the disruption I caused, unconsciously and intentionally. Given that my upbringing was vastly different, my behaviour was often alien to my co-workers. In return, their methodologies and reasoning had deep thought and traditions woven into their responses I was unaware about.

Without his guidance I would not have been able to contribute as much as I did to the passionate non-profit organization I worked at. The team I worked with became stronger collaborators and is since using a more participatory approach into serving its customers.

I encourage everyone to find a mentor to help you move further in your career and enjoy new friendships and advice that will encompass more than your career.

 

About Our Guest Blogger

As Founder of Kaleidoscope and Business Mentor, Lisette Andreyko works with start-ups on gaining strategic focus. She is passionate about women in business, and personal and leadership development in start-ups. You can find her on Kaleidoscope, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

#CharityTuesday – Habitat for Humanity Durham

In the charitable and non-profit sectors, it can sometimes be easier to see the needs of people around the world than it is to see the needs in our own backyard.

Through recent involvement with Habitat for Humanity Durham, we have learned that in our own backyard of Durham Region there is an overwhelming need for affordable and stable housing for families.

For example, according to one of its event websites there are 3900 children who are without a stable home, meaning that they are living in hotels, with friends, “couch-surfing”, or in unreliable homes. This is not a need in a third-world country – this is a need right where we live.

Thankfully, this need is what drives Habitat for Humanity Durham, a charity which is set up in such a way that every donation, and every home built and owned, cyclically continues to give over and over again. This is done through a type of revolving fund for humanity.

Simply put, the revolving fund for humanity sees that:

“the homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments go into a fund that is used to build more homes. The more homes that exist, the more cash flow there is available for further building. This Revolving Fund for Humanity fuels exponential growth in the number of Habitat for Humanity houses that are built over time.”

So how can you help?!

Easy. Here are some practical, tangible, and affordable ways that you can contribute to your own community:

Better yet, if you’re like my wife who can’t put a hammer to a nail, buy tickets for and attend the charity’s upcoming gala suitably themed, “In Our Own Backyard”. All of the money raised at this event will go to finishing the final phase of Habitat for Humanity Durham’s “CentreTowne” build.

Considering that Christmas is only a couple of weeks away, why not surprise family, friends, and clients with tickets to this sure-to-be-fun gala and give a gift that will indeed keep on giving!

About #CharityTuesday: Each week, we’ll use the popular CharityTuesday hashtag and Twitter recognition to highlight our Tuesday blog post on Canadian charities that are close to our hearts!

#CharityTuesday – The Daily Bread Food Bank

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” rings the infamous Christmas song, sang by Andy Williams.

Although for some people, this wonderful time of year represents a time of worry, anxiety, and stress as tasks like feeding one’s family become increasingly difficult.

With this in mind, we uphold the work of the  Daily Bread Food Bank in Toronto, ON for this #CharityTuesday blog post.

According to its website, the Daily Bread’s vision is: “Fighting to end hunger in our communities.”

What is especially admirable about the work of the Daily Bread Food Bank is that the organization not only meets the need of those who are hungry, but it also is working proactively to reduce poverty and end hunger. Thus, its mission is three-fold:

  • Providing food and resources for hungry people.
  • Mobilizing greater support, involvement and action.
  • Creating social change to reduce poverty through research, education and advocacy.

The need for food to feed families is an increasingly overwhelming need. Consider the following statement about the scope of work that the Daily Bread Food Bank conducts within the Greater Toronto Area:

A leader in the fight against hunger, Daily Bread Food Bank distributes food through over 200 food banks and meal programs across Toronto. Daily Bread provides food for an average of 63,000 visits a month to food banks and prepares more than 3000 nutritious meals in its kitchen that are sent out every week to shelters, hostels and neighbourhood meal programs. We are the largest provider of food relief in the GTA.

As you consider giving this season, perhaps to a food bank, please try to remain open-minded and non-judgmental about who uses and needs such services. You would be surprised to learn of the colleagues, neighbours, and network connections who have had to use a food bank at some point in their lives due to unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances.

With this in mind, please consider donating up one or two extra canned goods every time you go grocery shopping to place in your community’s food bank collection box, because it is not just the major holiday seasons in which food is needed. Even if you don’t live in the GTA, you can easily give to your own local food bank, often times right in your own grocery store.

Could you imagine how easily we could end hunger if we collectively gave away a few extra canned goods during our weekly grocery trips?

 

About #CharityTuesday: Each week, we’ll use the popular CharityTuesday hashtag and Twitter recognition to highlight our Tuesday blog post on Canadian charities that are close to our hearts!

A Headhunter’s Dirty Little Secret No. 1 – Poaching Candidates

Want to know a recruiter’s secret about luring top-notch executive talent from other organizations?

Timing.

Believe it or not, the Fall season is one of the most ideal times to hire executive talent for a charitable, non-profit, or social-profit organization.

Why is this the best time of year to hire? Consider the following:

  • Those who come to the realization they are ready for a career transition often do so once they return to work and daily routines after a leisurely summer vacation.
  • In many people’s minds, the start of the New Year is a logical time to start a new job.
  • The Fall season initiates the beginning of networking events and seasonal parties when natural interaction among professionals occur, making it a great time for people to organically talk about and promote an opportunity at your organization among their respective networks.
  • There is a natural breaking point in this sector around the Christmas and New Year holidays, thereby making it a great time for executives to resign and take a week or two off before starting a new role.
  • It is easier for executives to disengage from their present charitable organizations at the start of the New Year because most of the high-volume fundraising work is over after the Christmas season.

With this in mind, during this season when your executive recruiter goes tapping your favourite executives from other organizations on the shoulder on your behalf about a career move, you may find there is an overwhelming allure to a leadership role within your organization.

Problem is, many leaders in the charitable, non-profit, and social-profit sectors fail to maximize this time of year. Instead of attempting to secure talent and solidify a strong leadership team in the months leading up to the New Year, organizations focus on the panic and immediacy of end-of-year fundraising.

As a result, most searches for executive talent are pushed off until the start of the New Year, when your most desirable executive candidates have already secured roles elsewhere.

But don’t just take our word for it. Consider the data released by Executives Online in July of 2014, which affirms that January is:

third from the bottom of the twelve months in terms of new jobs. What makes January even less advantageous to the job-seeker is the New Year’s resolution effect: Candidate registrations surge in January, which may make it harder for yours to stand out. The ratio of new candidates to new jobs – a figure we’ll call the Search Competition Index or SCI – is highest in January of any month, by a considerable margin (24% higher than the next month). Too much noise in the market also makes the employers’ and recruiters’ task of selecting the right people for shortlist and hire more difficult. It may be better, when hiring, to wait for a calmer month. (Beitel, 2014, para. 3)

If you really want to be a charitable, non-profit, or social-profit organization that is truly set apart from others in the sector, why not start by growing and strengthening your executive leadership team when no one else is doing the same.

Reference:

Beitel, Anne. (2014, July 31). Data reveal best time of year to hire, find a job. Retrieved from: http://www.executivesonline.fr/en/blog/2014/07/31/data-reveal-

best-time-year-hire-find-job/

#CharityTuesday – SickKids Hospital

After taking a hard hit to the boards in a hockey game on Saturday night, our friends’ son was airlifted to SickKids Hospital for fear of neurological damage.

Thankfully, he’s fine aside from a broken wrist.

Still, there is deep sense of relief knowing that the best healthcare for kids is within our reach.

That said, SickKids Hospital is more than just the best healthcare, though.

For example, not too long ago, a candidate engaged in a search process with us shared about how her own child was admitted to sick kids for months. She spoke so highly of the genuine care, support, and service she and her family received by the staff of the hospital while they were there. She said to us, that every year when SickKids makes their annual donor calls, she writes a cheque because she truly does believe in the holistic mission of SickKids Hospital.

According to the SickKids Hospital website, the mission of SickKids is to:

provide the best in family-centred, compassionate care, to lead in scientific and clinical advancement, and to prepare the next generation of leaders in child health.

Not only does SickKids Hospital provide medical care, but it also offers a wide range of programs and services to support children and families in many other ways. For example, the programs and services offered by SickKids Hospital include:

  • Accommodations
  • Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Child and Family-Centered Care
  • Child Life
  • Children’s Council
  • Creative Arts Therapy
  • Epilepsy Classroom
  • The Play Park

A charity of this magnitude, however, still relies on donations and gifts both big and small. The ways in which you can give are:

On this #CharityTuesday, consider the ways in which you or your business may be able to support this worthy cause that it is indeed making a difference within the daily lives of families.

About #CharityTuesday: Each week, we’ll use the popular CharityTuesday hashtag and Twitter recognition to highlight our Tuesday blog post on Canadian charities that are close to our hearts!

#CharityTuesday – re: charity Blog

Today we turn the #CharityTuesday proverbial table.

Instead of focusing on an audience of donors and the worthy causes to which they can give, we will instead focus on an audience of nonprofit professionals, and the dynamic resources that are available to them.

This idea came to me on Thanksgiving Monday as I read a post written by Brady Josephson of the re: charity blog, which happens to be our #CharityTuesday honouree this week!

Specifically, the post I was reading was entitled “Millennials Changing Philanthropy” and it focused on the philanthropic characteristics of those born in the years of 1980-2000. In particular, one shocking characteristic of these Millennials is that they are said to be transferred $30 trillion of wealth in the next 30 years.

(I had to write out the word “trillion” because, to be honest, I wasn’t sure how to represent that number numerically. Too. Many. Zeros.)

The best part about the re: charity blog, however, is not just a “fun fact” producing publication. No, rather the opposite. For example, the blog post I read offered insights into what to expect from Millennials in regards to giving trends, motivation for giving, and expectations for direct involvement in impacting change.

Truly, this blog and its writer are worthy of your time as a professional working in the charitable space. You will continue to be challenged, moved, and encouraged within your work after having read his posts. Consider starting with some of the following posts that we’ve personally enjoyed and were inspired by:

Best part about Brady and his posts – it’s free. If there is indeed a way for you to “give back” to the re: charity blog, it would be to follow, subscribe to, share, tweet, comment on, and like his posts so that your network, too, can benefit from keen and thoughtful insight into the charitable sector.

 

About #CharityTuesday: Each week, we’ll use the popular CharityTuesday hashtag and Twitter recognition to highlight our Tuesday blog post on Canadian charities that are close to our hearts!

#CharityTuesday – Kutoa Foundation

We’re taking a different appraoch to #CharityTuesday in the weeks to come by focusing on a vital part of the charitable sector – foundations.

Recently, Imagine Canada and the Philanthropic Foundations Canada published a report entitled, “Assets and Giving Trends of Canada’s Grantmaking Foundations” which documents the impact foundations have the nonprofit and charitable sectors – an impact valued at $966 million annually.

Specifically on this #CharityTuesday we’re happy to introduce you to the foundation Kutoa.

Kutoa refers to its foundation as a movement – a means to mobilize people to do two very small yet significant things: 1) donate; and 2) vote on the project you wish to see funded.

The foundation, itself, was birthed out of the thought that wondered, “What if every person gave just $1 to this cause? What kind of impact would that make?” This “power of one” thought process is at the core of what Kutoa does for global charitable causes.

For example, according to its website:

When a lot of people are willing to give a little, a lot will get done. We’ve all heard of globalization, right? Kutoa is the globalization of hope.

It’s a movement that joins us all together, to help people from around the world. We are all connected by the desire to see that those who need it, get what they need. Kutoa does this by funding sustainable solutions. It provides the opportunity and obligation to contribute towards those in need.

Regardless of one’s age or ethnicity, political bent or theological slant, Kutoa believes that every person is of equal value and has an equal voice. Our goal is to foster an environment of awareness, increase generosity between people around the world, and fund organizations that do great work to help people. Our vision is to generate the largest donor base in the world; not for bragging rights, just because the more donors we have, the more people will be helped.

What we especially like about Kutoa is that is it allows anyone and everyone to participate, no matter the size of one’s donation. With this in mind, you don’t need to have the philanthropic wealth of Bill and Melinda Gates or Warren Buffet to make a real, tangible difference in the lives of other human beings through Kutoa.

Instead, you only need to embrace the “power of one” – one person with one dollar believing that “small change can produce big change” (Kutoa, 2014).

 

About #CharityTuesday: Each week, we’ll use the popular CharityTuesday hashtag and Twitter recognition to highlight our Tuesday blog post on Canadian charities that are close to our hearts!

Coffee the App

You know us, we rely on networking and are very intentional about engaging our network. It’s the core of who we are, really: “We make connections with exceptional people who have exceptional connections.”

Yep, that’s us alright.

What you may not know about us, is that we’ve been integrating social recruiting more intentionally too. It has become a means for us to add greater value to our network and  be more encompassing to the leadership and hiring needs of those we serve in the not-for-profit sector.

As you can imagine, when we stumbled upon the Coffee app, which is designed to “create a mobile community of hiring managers and job seekers” (Bernard, 2014), we were eager to try it out.

Coffee_ScreenshotQuite simply, Coffee connects job seekers with hiring managers or recruiters. It quite literally allows you to strike up a conversation with the people you’d like to work for or with folks you’d like to hire in the same way you’d strike up a conversation over a face-to-face coffee.

With this in mind, Nathan Bernard, Founder and CEO of Coffee says, “At Coffee we don’t believe that a job posting should represent a person. Instead, a person should represent a job posting. You’ll learn a lot more about a company by seeing, connecting and chatting with a real employee / hiring manager rather than just reading a boilerplate job posting . . . This sort of social recruiting is going to be huge.”

It’s new – like brand new – so if you’re going to notice it currently has limited exposure to executive nonprofit professionals, Canadians, and nonprofit organizations, but that’s why you should download the app and try it out! The more people who begin to use it, the more beneficial it will be to the overall userbase!

Our social recruiter tried Coffee out last week and ended up having a “coffee” with Nathan Bernard, himself!

Nathan was happy to receive our feedback about how the app could better encompass the charitable sector and those who work and hire in not-for-profit organizations. He assured us that tags to reflect nonprofit interests are in the works for version 2, as well as a web app for hiring, and a way to indicate on your swipe card that you are hiring.

So download it! Try it out! Strike up conversations! The more nonprofit Canadian talent that uses the app, the better it will be!

Read More:

Huff Post Tech:The Coolest Networking App You’ve Never Heard Of

Bostinno:BU Alums Create Coffee to Connect Yo-Pro Job Searches

LinkedIn: Millennial Job Search Gets a Cue from Tinder

Boston Globe: New App Makes Job-Hunting a Social Experience

#CharityTuesday – ALS Canada & #IceBucketChallenge

This #CharityTuesday post comes one day early.

Why?

Well, Paul Baltovich and Dana Baltovich nominated me for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and thus I only had 24 hours to make good on the nomination by both pouring a bucket of ice water over my head and donating to the cause as per the rules of the viral charitable exercise.

Honestly, though, our desire is not to highlight the #IceBucketChallenge, but instead to focus on the organization of ALS Canada – an organization whose good work is supported by the donations from the challenge.

According to its website, ALS Canada’s vision is simple, “To find a cure for ALS”. The organization is committed to:

  • Support research towards a cure for ALS.
  • Support provincial ALS societies in their provision of quality care for persons living with ALS.
  • Build public awareness of ALS and its impact.

As with many charitable organizations, there are many ways that you can get involved and support the organization through various fundraising events.

Turns out, that the Ice Bucket Challenge isn’t the only creative and daring fundraiser through which you can get involved either. Why not skydive in tandem for the cause with the Jumping 4 “PALS” (People with ALS) campaign?! Uh, let’s just not nominate me for this type of dare!

Oh. I almost forgot – see below for my video proving my fulfillment of the #IceBucketChallenge.

As per the rules of the challenge, I nominate three other Presidents of executive search firms in Toronto who serve the not-for-profit sectorMarnie Spears of KCI; Deborah Legrove of Crawford Connect; and of course, David Hutchinson of Hutchinson Group Inc. Would love to see your videos posted to #nfpsearchfirms if possible!

 

 

About #CharityTuesday: Each week, we’ll use the popular CharityTuesday hashtag and Twitter recognition to highlight our Tuesday blog post on Canadian charities that are close to our hearts!

Family Matters – What My Wife Taught Me about Education in Ontario

As I mentioned in my first “Family Matters” post, I am slowly reintroducing my social media activity within the not-for-profit executive search market with this new blog series which will focus on what I’ve learned or observed from my family related to the not-for-profit and employment sector over these past nine months while I’ve been offline.

This week shall focus on the not-for-profit sector as it relates to education.

The world of education, within Ontario in particular, has become a greater focus in our home and office ever since my wife – Amber Smith – has been taking online courses towards a Bachelor of Education in Adult Education through Brock University.

As you may know from our website, Amber uses her knowledge of recruitment and employment as a part-time professor at Durham College in which she teaches in Communications department of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Employment Services. As one who loves the world of academia as both a teacher and a student, she tends to share her passion with anyone and everyone who will listen.

In the Fall, Amber highlighted for me an article from the Globe and Mail published on September 18, 2013, the headline reading: “Specialize or risk losing, funding Ontario tells universities and colleges”.

In this article, columnist, James Bradshaw, writes:

“Ontario’s government has taken its boldest step yet to compel universities and colleges to make hard choices about how they spend their resources, circulating a draft policy designed to stretch limited provincial dollars by narrowing some schools’ missions . . . (para. 1)

The aim is to boost schools’ quality and competitiveness, but the impetus is clearly financial. ‘With institution inflation ranging from 5 – 8 per cent annually, and operating grants increasing by 1.1 per cent on average, existing cost structures are under pressure,” the draft framework says.’” (para. 5)

No matter what the outcome of the Ontario government’s specialization plan for its colleges and universities, it seems that government funding for college and university programs will be limited, and thus, colleges and universities will need to seek their own funding for research or to maintain some of their programs.

From past experience in my years as a not-for-profit executive recruiter within Toronto, Ontario, I expect that likely a few things will happen in the education sector over the next few months and years.

  1. Fundraising in the education sector will become more competitive than it already is as everyone will be looking to donors for research or program development funding.
  2. Fundraisers and development officers who aren’t pulling their weight by achieving or exceeding the budget will be let go to make room for high-performing candidates.
  3. High-performing fundraisers currently working within a specific school will be hard to keep, as they will be tempted with offer after offer from other organizations looking to build their own exceptional development teams.

With this in mind, no matter whether you’re an educational institution or a fundraiser within the education sector, you will need a plan to both survive and thrive over the next few years.

If you’re an educational institution, consider the following:

  • How might you be pro-active in retaining your best fundraising talent? (i.e. Added benefits? Incentives? Extra days off? Paid courses?)
  • How will you approach hiring new fundraising talent in the next few months or year? (i.e. Do your own recruiting? Hire a recruitment firm?)
  • How successful is your current development team?

If you’re a fundraiser in the eduction sector, consider the following:

  • What would the right offer look like to lure you away from your current role?
  • What is the ideal organization for which you’d like to work? (You know, in case they come knocking at your door.)
  • Would you survive a purge if one came to your development team? If not, how can you be pro-active about improving and proving your worth? (i.e. Achieve a designation? Take courses? Make a bold move now?)

And if you found any of this helpful, well, you can thank my wife for that.

END YOUR SEARCH HERE

Get in touch with us!