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7 Habits of Highly Effective Jewish Leaders

Stephen Covey’s classic, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, is a must read for any Jewish leader who wants to be more productive and effective.

Using these 7 Habits, I'll pinpoint some key ideas that will give you an immediate boost in your leadership, productivity and fundraising.

Covey's 7 Habits are -

  1. Proactivity
  2. Begin with the End in Mind
  3. First Things First
  4. Win Win
  5. Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
  6. Synergy
  7. Sharpen the Saw


Covey's First Habit, Proactivity, is about “recognizing our responsibility to make things happen."

You’re where you are today as a Jewish leader because you’re proactive.

Covey encourages us to examine our own level of proactivity. Where do we spend the most time and energy?

Covey says that a proactive person will focus only on the things they can change.

In our fundraising, proactivity is obviously key. Money does not get raised without us being proactive!

Pay attention to the time you spend throughout a given week proactively pursuing funding opportunities.

This measure - time spent looking for new opportunities - is a key indicator to your future fundraising success.

How many times a week are you being proactive, moving new or existing opportunities forward?

Is this enough?

Alongside your personal proactivity, you can develop a culture and mindset amongst your team, board or volunteers to be proactive.

This can be the catalyst to open up new funding opportunities outside of your own abilities and connections.

(Your team or board don’t have to actually do the fundraising, they just have to know a) what you need and b) what they can do to help you raise the money.)

Begin with the End in Mind

Covey’s Second Habit is about understanding the outcomes you want to see from a task or journey before you begin.

One question I often ask when working with fundraisers is, ‘What outcome do you want to see from this meeting or opportunity?”

It can take time to get that clarity. But once you have it, it’s a different world in terms of the efforts you'll make moving forward.

In our fundraising, think about 'Begin with the End in Mind' both in terms of the macro and the micro.

For the macro, i.e. the big picture, think about what you are trying to achieve this year. How much so you need need to raise?

For the micro, think about how much you want to ask this donor to give. What can you do to develop this relationship?

Clarity is an essential part of being highly effective in our fundraising.

First Things First

Covey’s Third Habit - First Things First - is the ability to take action.

This depends on having the clarity of the ‘End in Mind’.

To take action, you need to break down your plan into action steps. What do you need to do to reach your end goal?

In our fundraising, a big challenge is the uncertainty of the steps you need to take to reach your goal. At very least, you should try to gain clarity around your most immediate next step.

Ask yourself, in any situation you find yourself in, “What should I do next?”

In fundraising, this can often mean doing something - anything! - since the biggest stumbling block is doing nothing.

Next week, I’ll share the next four Fundraising Habits of Highly Effective Jewish Leaders.

B'Hatzlacha Raba Raba


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