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Dead ends can open up ideas

by The NonProfit Times - August 20, 2013

Anyone can run into a dead end, but in the nonprofit sector dead ends can be damaging to fundraising or mission fulfillment. They have to be avoided.

In her “A Random Book About the Power of Anyone” Talia Y. Leman looks at dead ends and sees them not as dead ends but as potential breakthroughs. She offers the tip that the brain and determination are all-terrain vehicles, not confined to a paved and marked road.

Leman offers the following as ways to help break through a dead end:

  • Find the root cause. What’s in the way might be only a small hurdle that can be cleared with a small jump.
  • Look for the lesson. Be honest about this. Ask questions.
  • Challenge your beliefs. The thing you think you can’t do. Picture yourself doing it.
  • Let the world know. How does someone else see the dead end? It’s helpful to get more than one perspective. Brainstorm solutions with friends and family.
  • Then look. Start noticing what’s going on, and be hyper-aware. Look for blips on the radar screen and learn more about them.
  • And take time. Sometimes the answer is to just sleep on it. Dead ends are not permanent.

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