Monthly Archives: June 2017

Leadership at Amazon

Amazon has published a set of leadership principles. Great! Many organizations do that. But they have people, long-term managers, whose job is to see that new hires understand those principles and that the organization actually follows them.

The principles are easy to read but harder to apply. They are contrary to practices in many, if not most organizations.  For example, the customer comes before profitability.  Most companies follow the dictum of Milton Friedman that the sole purpose of a corporation is to increase profits.

Obviously, Amazon understands that the higher purpose of a corporation is to add value. Then profits come as a fallout of that value.

Another principle is ownership. Leaders are owners. They think long-term and don’t sacrifice long-term value for short-term results. They take ownership of issues and results.

Most of the other principles flow from these.

Dave Anderson, one of those Amazon leaders, has written an article, both humorous and sad, about outrageous responses to interview questions about these principles. Then he demonstrates an answer he loves. He posted it both on Scarlet Ink and on Linkedin. Go read it. You will be glad you did.


Are You Ready to Apply for Grants?

The Linkedin Grant Writing Networking Group created this grant readiness checklist.

It is interesting, although I like my list better.

I have not cleaned up the obvious grammatical, structural, and punctuation errors.

Organizations Grant Readiness
❏ What is the scope of work needing funding?
❏ Do you have nonprofit status at this time?
❏ Do you have a minimum of 3 years of clean tax audits?
❏ Have you implemented any project? If so, did you evaluate the project?

New Non­profit
❏ Where do you see this organization going?
❏ Do you have a strategic plan?
❏ What are the unmet needs or unique problem the organization is being created to meet? (Similarly, how is the organization unique in comparison to others providing similar services?)
❏ Who already funds your requests (some funders, like United Way, may not fund you if you receive awards or support from organizations that they fund.}
❏ Have you done a well­documented market analysis, complete with all the stats that support the unmet need for your mission and vision?
❏ Do you have your organization’s legal paperwork, history, mission and vision statements prepared and accessible?
❏ Is your accounting done in a standard non­profit method? Is your accountant available to provide needed financial data in a timely manner?

Organizational Status and Information
❏ Business Plan for organization
❏ Annual Budget for organization
❏ DUNS number
❏ Employer/Tax Identification Number (EIN)
❏ Registration with SAM; and/or other appropriate agencies
❏ (501)c3 Status letter
❏ Bylaws and other governing documents Standard Documents (boilerplate)
❏ Organization mission and goals, population served
❏ Organizational chart and description of management structure
❏ Tax and financial data (i.e. past tax forms, audited statements)
❏ Resumes of key personnel and Board of Directors

Organizational readiness
❏ How do you plan to sustain the project