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Leadership Training Series (video): Episode 6 of 21 - Authentic Passion (part 2 of 7)

Updated: Apr 24

Learn how to turn "lip service" passion into "authentic passion" at your nonprofit in order to create a "Get it Done!" do something, I'm in, culture.

Intended Audience:

Executives, Board Members, Staff.

About the Series:

Welcome to my Nonprofit Leadership series "How to Build a Gold Standard Nonprofit."

Whether you're a seasoned executive director, or new to the nonprofit world, this video series of 21 videos will give you a set of tools and principles (and good reminders) that will help take your staff, board, organization, to the next level of performance and impact.

The videos are short. There is no mumbo-jumbo theory, just wise advice and practical tactics you can use and apply immediately. It all comes from though lessons I've learned while building eight nonprofits over the last 20 years.

I'll be sending out one video a week. For those who want to binge on the series, or if you missed an episode, you can find them all (and more) on my YouTube Channel -- The Nonprofit Mentor.

Save These Videos

Save these emails in a folder and send them to staff once a week. Or, show one or a two at every board meeting. You can even use them when on-boarding staff, board members, or volunteers. Enjoy and Learn!


PS: You can read more high-quality leadership content in the bestselling books below. (50% off)

by Tom Iselin

“America’s Best Board Retreat Facilitator”

Hi! . . . and welcome to first things first this

is day six of boot camp

a leadership guide to building a gold

standard non-profit

on day five we kicked off a series

called authentic

passion i discussed the difference

between live service passion

and authentic passion and why people

must talk less

and do more to fulfill the worthy

mission they claim to care so much about

today and over the next few weeks i'm

going to be talking about the tactics

you'll need to put in place

in order to create an authentic culture

a do something culture

the first tactic you'll need to put in

place is commitment

why because authentic passion is genuine

belief in a mission

manifested in meaningful action and

action means doing

and doing requires commitment commitment

and motivation so the first thing you

can do to establish a culture of

authentic passion

is to commit to making a commitment to

fulfilling your mission

see anyone can be committed to a mission

i can be committed to your mission

pat you on the back and walk away having

done nothing no work

no contribution that's why it's not

about being committed to a mission

it's about being committed to fulfilling

a mission

every person connected with your

nonprofit must understand that the

number one priority of your nonprofit

is commitment to fulfilling your mission

let me say that again

it's not your mission it's the

commitment to fulfill

your mission remember the story i told

you last week about adaptive sports

the non-profit was in turmoil with no

direction no money yet

board members kept telling me how

passionate they were to start a special

olympics program

to help wounded veterans and to generate

sustainable funding

but they personally did little to

nothing in six years

to make any of it happen why because the

board was not committed to fulfilling

the mission

sure they may have been verbally

committed to what the mission stood for

but they were not willing to take action

and work

to fulfill the mission and there's a

huge difference between those who talk

about a mission

and those willing to do something to

fulfill it

if you want to create a do something

culture an authentically

passionate culture start by making this


make the commitment to fulfill your

mission the number one business

objective at your non-profit

to do this you'll have to change the


of those connected with your nonprofit

that's not an easy task i can assure you

start by holding a series of meetings

and discussions with board members and

staff members

to educate them about authentic passion

and to get them to adopt the principle

of fulfilling the mission this is a

paradigm shift

that may require an overhaul of staff

and board culture

and some of the key philosophies and

policies governing your nonprofit

change can be unsettling so expect


however once people hear the words

commitment to the mission

framed in a manner that expresses work

and fulfillment instead of passive


you'll find that people will roll up

their sleeves trim sails swab decks

all in an effort to help you sail to the

island of your dreams

of course some people won't buy into the

change and they'll want to jump ship

and that's okay toss them a life

preserver and a gracious wave goodbye

as you sail off into the sunset well

that's it for today

tune in next week when i'll talk about

how authentic passion requires a clear

sense of purpose and direction

until then do what's right for your


not what's convenient or easy who you




Tom Iselin

“America’s Best Board Retreat and Strategic Planning Facilitator”

Additional Resources:


Tom's Books, Podcasts, and YouTube Channel

Tom Iselin has built four sector-leading nonprofits and four foundations. He’s written six books, sits on six boards, and hosts a video blog and podcast. Each year, Tom speaks to more than 5,000 nonprofit leaders at conferences across the country. He is considered America's best board retreat and strategic planning facilitator and is a leading authority on high-performance nonprofits, and his impact on the industry has been featured on CNN, Nightline, and in Newsweek.

Tom is the president of First Things First, a business specializing in board development retreats, strategic planning, fundraising, executive coaching, and speaking. To relax, he loves mountain biking, hiking, skiing, tennis, and baking.

If you’re in the hunt for the best board retreat/board development facilitation, or the best strategic planning facilitation, it would be a privilege to learn more about your organization and the aspirations you hope to achieve as you work to propel your noble mission. Jot me an email to set up a meet-and-greet call.

To learn more, visit:


Looking for answers?

I’m here to help. Contact me . . ., or 858.888.2278


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