Your staff

I've written these staff pages specifically for...

Social change and social justice leaders.

And I've done this because there are things I believe we need that don't show up in the typical personnel books or workshops.

It seems to me that SC and SJ nonprofits are committed to the most challenging mission there is...

Changing how power works in our society so it stops hurting people and stops killing the planet.

My staff pages are designed with a focus that takes us from building sustainable teams and organizations directly to building sustainable coalitions and movements—which is what we need to do if we want to bring about radical, lasting social change...


1.  The Triple Mission: make it or break it for social change
If we want to turn our work into successful movements for radical change, then our first priority needs to be building sustainable teams by reaching across all the divisions that keep us from being united.

2.  Relationship courage: everything else depends on this
At its core SC and SJ work is about building new kinds of relationships so we can create new kinds of communities. And relationships start not with how-tos but with courage

3. The Advocacy Stand: power in service of love
Principles and practices you can call on in every conversation you have—with staff, Board, or donors—to deepen your connection with them. It is not a technique but a way of life. So you can use it in every different kind of conversation from the most challenging and difficult to the most tender and intimate.

4. Three core needs: so your staff will love working with you
There's so much advice about supervising personnel we could drown in it. There are dozens of qualities leaders are supposed to exhibit. Too many for any real human being to master. The Advocacy Stand gives you a powerful action plan so you can create a stellar team even if you aren't a by-the-book, picture-perfect leader.


Pages 5, 6, and 7 are mostly stories of what the Advocacy Stand looks like in practice, because one story is worth a thousand bullet points...

5.  Staff-development: championing vs. correcting
Not only is this the most effective way to do staff development and supervision, it's also invigorating. And you can use championing everywhere in your life.

6.  Hiring for relationship
Polite interviews don't get you what you need so you can make the right decision about someone. There are two much more proactive things you can do. Why not take hiring as seriously as it deserves to be taken?

7.  Firing as relationship work
If you do rigorous hiring and vigorous championing of your staff, firings will be rare. But if you do have to fire someone, why not take the fear out of it so you can keep the compassion in. And so you'll have the confidence to do the firing as soon as you know it's really necessary.


And then I've added two bonus pages...

8.  360s vs. direct talk in the spirit of mutual advocacy
The best way to get feedback on yourself is through direct, gutsy, in-person conversations. But not everyone is up for that and not every nonprofit is ready for this. If you're going to use the classic 360 process, here are tips to prepare you to deal with the downsides of the 360 so you can take better advantage of the benefits.

9.  Story assessments: a deeper appreciation of each other
Coming soon.


Finally, I want to say that the Advocacy Stand, which is the focus of all these pages, is something that can grow with you as you develop mastery in working with staff. And with your Board and donors and people in your community.

What I've given you here are the fundamentals of the Stand and basic stories about how it shows up in practice. But this Stand can be used in the most challenging, complicated, triggering interactions. In fact, I find the more challenging a situation and the higher the stakes, the more I need to call on the Advocacy Stand. And the more you master it, the more it has to give you.


© 2012 Rich Snowdon