GOVERNING WITH SOUL by Marjorie Sharpe
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS
To request a review copy of Governing with Soul, or to book an interview with Marjorie Sharpe, please contact her publisher, Leanne Hitchcock, at Civil Sector Press.
Phone: (416) 345-9403.
BIOGRAPHY - Marjorie Sharpe
An independent consultant in the charitable sector for more than 30 years, Marjorie J. Sharpe is President of Sharpe & Associates, where she’s consulted with health care institutions in Canada and the U.S. on management training programs and management systems.
As President and CEO of Altruvest Charitable Services, which assists charities to operate effectively and efficiently, she introduced the BoardMatch program, now one of the most successful programs in Canada to recruit and train new board members. She was Senior Consultant to the Regent Park Community Health Centre’s successful Pathways to Education Program since its inception in 2001. This resulted in the recent launch of the Pathways Canada Foundation.
As President and CEO of the Toronto Community Foundation (1985-1996), where capital assets of the Foundation grew from $640,000 to $17 million during her tenure, she supervised the investment of over $3 million in community grants to hundreds of organizations.
Her not-for-profit U.S. experience includes: ED and CEO of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association; Board member, American Society of Allied Health Professions; Assoc. of Junior Leagues; Visiting Nurse Assoc., Chicago; and Taylor Institute, Chicago, among others. She served on National Task Forces on Juvenile Justice, and Citizen Participation. With a B.A. from the University of Toronto and an M.S. in Management from the National College of Ed., Illinois, she was a member of the Women’s Section of the President’s Committee on Employment of the Handicapped, and the Kellogg Foundation Ad Hoc Committee on Volunteerism. She’s appeared in The Canadian Who’s Who; Who’s Who of Canadian Women; Who’s Who in America; and the World Who’s Who of Women.
As chair of the Foundations Committee, Can. Centre of Philanthropy, she was Project Director for the national study on legislative and regulatory environment for charitable non-profit organizations, “Law, Tax, and Charities.” A founding board member of Community Foundations of Canada, she is currently on the Council of 100 of the Toronto Community Foundation. Marjorie was the first Canadian member of the Committee on Community Foundations, Council on Foundations, Washington, D.C.
Book Launch, December 1, 2010 at “Books For Business”, Toronto, ON, Canada
Good evening. I want to thank you all for coming to the launch of my book: “Governing with Soul”. Some of you have come a long way to be here tonight and it means a lot to me.
It certainly has been a very exciting journey of discovery and meeting or speaking with some wonderful people across Canada and a few other countries.
I want to thank Jim Hilborn the founder of Civil Society Press for agreeing to publish my book and Leanne Hitchcock, the publisher, for marketing it, and arranging our book launch. Thank you as well to Books for Business for making their space available to us.
I also want to thank my team who worked with me over the three years it took to do the research and write the book.
Last not least, a big thank you as well to the Counselling Foundation of Canada and their generous support when this book was just an idea and a concept.
Let me start by answering the most common question other people have asked me over and over again and you may have on your mind as well:
“Marjorie, what made you decide to write a book about governance and soul?”
And there are two reasons:
The first one is that board activity is crucial for the health of the organization, the community, and the not-for-profit sector. Too often board members are not adequately briefed as to their role and responsibilities and meetings are more often than not dedicated to rubber stamping reports with little or no debate, and slowly the board member who sees no role for him or herself in making a difference, becomes bored and disillusioned and drops out.
My second reason for writing this book was the discovery that there was, and still is, a surge of interest in “spirituality” in the corporate world. I discovered two books: (1) A Spiritual Audit of Corporate America, by Mitroff and Denton and (2) Megatrends 2010, by Patricia Aburdene, not John Naisbitt, who wrote the first two.
Both books describe the most important trend as “Spirituality”. People all over the world want to know that who they are and what they do at work is making a difference.
As Dr. Jean Houston, an internationally renowned scholar, philosopher and author says, “We yearn for meaning and deal with trivia”.
Having spent many years on many boards of charities, both here and in the US, I was really interested in how this trend is affecting the governance of nonprofits. In short, I wanted to find a way to help their boards achieve excellence by bringing a “spirited, soul related” approach to the important work of governing charities.
To explain what I mean when I speak about a “spirited, soul related” approach, I like to quote Lynne Twist, global activist, speaker and author: “We act with integrity. We are thoughtful and generous, courageous, and committed. We feel at peace within ourselves and confident that we are an integral part of a larger, more universal experience, something greater than ourselves.”
Looking at the trend of successful corporations not only seeking to make profits, but also to weave spirituality into all of their relationships, we, and many others, discovered that this new business model, rooted in compassion and caring, releases creativity, improves productivity, creates happy employees and customers and contributes to success.
Becoming curious to see if this trend was affecting the governance of charities, we searched for charities that successfully integrate a sense of higher purpose and soul in governing their organizations. We chose a cross-section of the not-for-profit sector in Canada, U.S. and Great Britain and then selected 33 of these charities for interviews and you will find many of their inspiring stories in the book. Their boards bring a holistic approach to their governance. They are innovative, respectful and supportive of all involved – clients, staff, volunteers and community – in achieving their missions.
With all the bad news out there, our readers will be fascinated to learn about what these organizations are doing right. For example: Santropol Roulant in Montreal takes meals-on-wheels to the next level. Founded and run by young people, this community organization uses food as the vehicle to bridge generations and restore dignity to elderly citizens.
An Cosán in Dublin was founded believing that community education of children and adults is the key to overcoming social exclusion and poverty.
In closing let me say that there’s never been a time like the present - with all its dangers and its opportunities - for finding new paths of connection and compassion, sharing and partnership. These charities are doing it right. Frugal with their resources, compassionate and innovative – these are the charities to inspire us.
Thanks again for being here tonight and to share with us this exciting moment.
Enjoy your evening.
Chair of the Board, The Centre for Spirituality and the Workplace
Sobey School of Business, Saint Mary's University, Halifax
Co-author of The New York Times business bestseller, Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work
In order to have a soul-wise organization you need a Board that governs with Soul, a Board that helps unleash the full spirit of the organization so that everyone engages their soul and spirit. I Chair a Board and have served on many Boards and I've never seen anything that addresses this topic...until now. This truly is a ground-breaking book. It's very easy to read, chock full of useful information garnered from the direct experience and insights of those who create soul-wise Boards. It's brimming with lots of practical, innovative, and Soul releasing information, practices and ideas. If you serve on a non-profit Board, or know someone who does, buy this book. It will definitely open the path for more soul inspired governance.
Associate Vice-President Research and Corporate Planning
Centennial College Toronto, ON, Canada
Governing With Soul is an invaluable board resource - for building new board member engagement and for strengthening commitment and focus for existing board members. Written in refreshingly plain language with numerous real world success stories and examples - Governing with Soul - is both pragmatic and inspiring.
Founder, Pathways to Education Canada
Governing with Soul is an inspirational, leading edge approach to Non-Profit Governance. Executive Directors/CEO’s and Board members who strive for excellence and want their charity to make the biggest impact possible will find this book extremely valuable. Charity, incorporating a spiritual approach, embraces operating from a values base and is mission and vision driven which results in a charity’s ability to punch above its weight and make a huge impact on society. What is so refreshing about this book is that it actually guides Boards of Directors and Board leaders on the “how to” of putting this approach into daily practice.
President and CEO, Community Foundations of Canada, Ottawa
How refreshing to read a book that speaks eloquently about conscious leadership, respect, principles and relationships – all against a backdrop of stories from accomplished leaders, words from wise people in literature, history and management, and a host of practical tips. This book belongs on every leader’s shelf, be they Board volunteers, CEOs or staff.
Principal, Suzanne Gibson & Associates
Both inspiring and inspired, "Governing with Soul" will mobilize your Board to achieve great governance. Packed with ideas, tips, and generative approaches, this is a must-have resource for nonprofit executives and Board members, alike.
Chief Executive Officer, Habitat For Humanity, Toronto
NGO’s around the world are making things better. They’re restoring dignity, providing hope and picking up where government and society have left off. It’s a monumental task. How are they striding forward on that long road with so few resources? Soul-inspiring leadership is the starting point and Marjorie Sharpe’s Governing With Soul is the map for boards excited about their mission and dedicated to its success.
THOMAS C. MACMILLAN
Chairman CIBC Mellon Toronto, Ontario
Governing With Soul is a well written, meticulously researched and practical book about how to achieve board and organizational excellence. It reminds us in a very compelling way of how critical the human component is in achieving good governance - relationship building, leadership, trust, teamwork, respect. This is an important book and a must read for Chairs, CEO's and board members. While primarily focused on the charitable sector I believe Governing With Soul has a strong message for the corporate world as well. I wish I had read it earlier in my career!
Senior advisor, and former Assistant Deputy Minister of Health and Executive Officer, Ontario Public Drug Programs
Marjorie Sharpe’s book – compellingly told – chronicles how some non-profit boards have embraced the new paradigm of governing with soul, or “conscious leadership”. This superb series of case studies and best practices from organizations governed with soul makes it more and more obvious that both board and staff members need to become conscious leaders, in order to bring their organizations closer to fulfilling their missions.
Marjorie Sharpe’s book is a primer for enlightened not-for-profit governance. It is a book to go back to again and again as you work to create governance with soul for your own organization. The book is easy to read and very well researched.
JUDI NEAL, Ph.D.
Director, Tyson Center for Faith and Spirituality in the Workplace, Sam M. Walton College of Business, University of Arkansas.
Author of Edgewalkers: People and Organizations that Take Risks, Build Bridges and Break New Ground.
Governing With Soul is a breath of fresh air for its spiritual approach to Non-Profit Board Development. The ideas are cutting edge and at the same time down-to-earth. This book is a must for Board members and Board leaders who want to integrate their core values with the practical tasks of stewarding a charity so that it can make the most difference possible.
President, Crawford Connect
Serving on the governing board of a charity may be the most interesting, the most rewarding and the greatest gift your heart may ever receive. Marjorie’s experience and dedication to the charitable sector shines through – Governing with Soul not only gives us brilliant examples of organizations that demonstrate how it has been done but also the tools and guidelines needed to be able to apply it to your own organization.
Executive Director, Creative Trust
Governing With Soul offers a refreshing and inspiring perspective on nonprofit governance. Its deeply felt, values and vision based approach reminds us of why board members and staff devote energy and passion to helping people and improving communities through nonprofit social benefit organizations. Its emphasis on respect, fulfillment, compassion and shared values makes this a wise, imaginative, and very useful publication.