How are you making the world a better place?

World A Better PlaceEvery member that joins the Y Scouts Leadership Community answers a series of questions to help us understand where they find purpose and meaning in their work.

One of the first questions we ask is, “Roy Spence of the Purpose Institute defines Purpose as “a definitive statement about the difference that you are trying to make in the world.” What do you believe your purpose to be?”

You can imagine that we receive a lot of answers along the lines of, “I want to make the world a better place.” This morning, we received an answer along these lines, but with a bit more elaboration. We thought we’d share it with you…

Q: Roy Spence of the Purpose Institute defines Purpose as “a definitive statement about the difference that you are trying to make in the world.” What do you believe your purpose to be?

A: This is a question that has actually been on my mind for a while…and my answer is simply to make the world a better place. I am sure this reply would make most people say “geez, what a horribly lame answer”, so please let me elaborate. While I have come to the conclusion that in all likelihood I will not find a cure for leukemia, end world hunger or rid the world of violence, I do realize I am able to make the world a better place through my actions. It could be by making my job (and the owners of the company) happy by being successful at my job…or it could be by making my co-workers and the people who report to me happy by being an organized thoughtful boss that treats people with respect….or it could be by doing random unselfish acts everyday in my personal life. When I came to this conclusion a few years back I not only realized I was making the world a better place, but was also making myself happy.

How are you making the world a better place? Tell us by joining other leaders in the Y Scouts Leadership Community.

Y Scouts is a leadership search firm that connects purpose-driven organizations with purpose-driven leaders. We believe that the best employer and employee connections start by connecting through a shared purpose.

What’s Your Why? Click here if you’re an employer. Click here if you want to make a difference in a new role.

Are Your Windows Up?

Are Your Windows UpThis is a post from Y Scouts Managing Partner and co-founder, Brian Mohr.

It’s that time of year in the desert southwest when the morning air has a hint of chill – it’s a welcomed relief from the scorching hot summer months. My thermostat indicated a perfect 68 degrees as I drove into work today. Being a passionate music enthusiast, I love rolling down all of my windows, cranking up the tunes, and letting the cool desert air blow through my receding hairline. As I was grooving in my own world this morning, I looked around at all of my fellow commuters and noticed very few, if any, had their windows down. My suspicion is that most people have become so acclimatized to the summer heat that they forgot they have the power to change their environment by simply rolling down their windows.

My simple observation reminded me of a quote from ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coehlo, “What’s the world’s greatest lie?…It’s this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate”.

I believe many of us have become indoctrinated to the received wisdom of the way things work, and get stuck in believing our path is set. I know I fell victim to it over the course of my life. As soon as I recognized the fear of changing my future became less intimidating than the unhappiness of my present circumstances, is when I knew it was time to act. The result – the past 3 years of my life have been the most satisfying and exciting. Roll your windows down, crank up the tunes, and enjoy the cool breeze – it’s never too late to change your environment.

My best,
B-Mohr-1

Y Scouts is a leadership search practice that connects purpose-driven organizations with purpose-driven leaders. We believe that the best employer and employee connections start by connecting through a shared purpose.

What’s Your Why? Click here if you’re an employer. Click here if you want to make a difference in a new role.

Brian Mohr Receives Valley of the Sun JCC Kavod Award

Our co-founder Brian Mohr is receiving a Kavod Award from the Valley of the Sun JCC on Sunday, September 28th!

Kavod is a Hebrew word with deep roots. When literally translated, Kavod means “Honor.” And, the definition of Honor has three components: Personal Integrity: strong moral character or strength, and adherence to ethical principles; Respect: great respect and admiration and Dignity: personal dignity that sometimes leads to recognition and glory.

All human beings have an innate measure of Kavod, but its special people like Brian who take it to a higher level – giving of themselves, their time and their talents to make a difference in their community without the expectation of something in return.

We’re humbled that Brian was recognized with this amazing honor! Thank you Valley of the Sun JCC!

7 Stages Of The Business Lifecycle Model

Stages of Business Lifecycle Model

Based on the seven stage business lifecycle model, which 2 stages best align with where you thrive?

Seed – just a thought or an idea, birth of a new business

Start-Up – products or services are in production first customers exist

Growth – revenues and customers are increasing with many new opportunities and issues, profits are strong, but competition is surfacing

Established – sales growth is not explosive but manageable, business life has become more routine

Expansion – a new period of growth into new markets and distribution channels

Mature – year over year sales and profits tend to be stable, however competition remains fierce

Exit – the big opportunity for the business to cash out on all the effort and years of hard work

Y Scouts is a leadership search firm that connects purpose-driven organizations with purpose-driven leaders. We believe that the best employer and employee connections start by connecting through a shared purpose.

What’s Your Why? Click here if you’re an employer. Click here if you want to make a difference in a new role.

14 Factors That Determine Job Satisfaction

The first step to finding job satisfaction is identifying what’s important to you. From the list of factors that determine job satisfaction below, get out a piece of paper and rank the most important to least important factors in how you would choose your next career move. We think doing this exercise will help you determine whether you’re in the right role, or if you’re need of a career change.
Job Satisfaction Factors

  • Making a Difference
  • Financial Compensation
  • Relationship with Leadership
  • Commute Time
  • Schedule Flexibility
  • Vacation/Time Off
  • Benefits and Perks
  • Culture and Values Alignment
  • Job Title
  • Opportunity for Growth
  • Company Stability
  • Relationship with Colleagues
  • Travel Requirements
  • Level of Influence

Y Scouts is a leadership search firm that connects purpose-driven organizations with purpose-driven leaders. We believe that the best employer and employee connections start by connecting through a shared purpose.

What’s Your Why? Click here if you’re an employer. Click here if you want to make a difference in a new role.

4 Types Of Organizational Culture

Organizational Culture

Researchers and academia define organizational culture as the values, beliefs, symbols and behavior of people who work in an organization. Robert E. Quinn and Kim S. Cameron at the University of Michigan have identified 4 types of Organizational Culture. What organizational culture best describes where you thrive?

Clan – family-like, with a focus on mentoring, nurturing, and “doing things together”

Adhocracy – dynamic and entrepreneurial, with a focus on risk-taking, innovation, and “doing things first”

Market – results oriented, with a focus on competition, achievement, and “getting the job done”

Hierarchy – structured and controlled, with a focus on efficiency, stability and “doing things right”

Y Scouts is a leadership search firm that connects purpose-driven organizations with purpose-driven leaders. We believe that the best employer and employee connections start by connecting through a shared purpose.

What’s Your Why? Click here if you’re an employer. Click here if you want to make a difference in a new role.

Four Categories Of Purpose

The book Conscious Capitalism by John Mackey & Raj Sisodia suggests that there are four categories of purpose. Based on the categories listed, which purpose best applies to you?

The Good – Service to others: improving health, education, communication, and quality of life

The True – Discovery and furthering human knowledge
The Beautiful – Excellent and the creation of beauty
The Heroic – Courage to do what is right to change and improve the world

Y Scouts is a leadership search firm that connects purpose-driven organizations with purpose-driven leaders. We believe that the best employer and employee connections start by connecting through a shared purpose.

What’s Your Why? Click here if you’re an employer. Click here if you want to make a difference in a new role.

15 Outstanding Questions Leaders Ask Themselves Every Day

8031132576_1aaf974135_mOne trait successful business leaders have is asking themselves important questions each day. By asking themselves the questions below, leaders are able to stay relevant and grow as an individuals.

What questions should leaders ask themselves each day? We polled the Y Scouts Leadership Community and selected the 15 questions below.

What can I hand over?
Leaders sometimes try to take on too much. By asking the question, “What can I hand over,” a leader can identify the responsibilities they can afford to let go of and transfer to other members of their team. This allows progress to happen much more quickly.

What did I NOT do?
A great leader knows that there isn’t time to do it all. By asking the question, “What did I NOT do,” a leader can be conscious and deliberate about the things that take time and don’t add value.

What do I want to accomplish today?
With so many things that happen each day, it’s easy to get distracted. By asking yourself what you want to get accomplished, leaders can keep their focus and finish the things that are important.

Are my values evident in my leadership?
Great business leaders have a strong set of personal core values, but not every leader leads with these values in mind. Taking the time to ask this simple question will force you to evaluate whether you practice what you believe.

Am I doing my best work?
This simple question will cause a leader to evaluate whether they’re at their best, or if they’re operating at a less than optimum level. The natural follow up question, if the answer is “no,” is “why not?”

What can I learn from this?
Leaders fail. It’s a fact of life. Some leaders learn from their mistakes by going to directly to the source and discussing what went wrong. Take the time to talk with your team and learn from your experiences.

Who succeeded today?
The success of others ultimately makes your business successful. Good leaders take the time to focus on the success of their team to make sure they’re providing them with opportunities to succeed each day.

Why did I get out of bed today?
Not to be confused with the question, “Why am I now in bed right now,” this question focuses on one thing: purpose. Asking the question of what drove you to jump out of bed helps identify what motivates you, and what your purpose for working may be. By keeping this motivation in mind, leaders are able to focus their energy in the right places.

What are my sticking points?
Leaders have to get through the bottlenecks and every day problems of their business. By identifying the stumbling blocks of the business, a leader can focus on creating a workable strategy for getting through the issues.

What will I do today that will matter in the future?
At the top of every leaders to-do list should be one bigger picture task that will matter in the long run. Just having this big picture item on the list will help leaders focus on today to create change for the future.

Am I enjoying this?
A leaders enthusiasm is contagious and trickles down throughout the organization. If a leader isn’t enjoying what they do, then this lack of enjoyment will effect the entire team. Taking a minute to ask if the enjoyment is there will help leaders identify what they enjoy most, and refocus their attitude towards work.

Did I work toward my goals?
Purpose-driven leaders rarely lose sight of their goals. Every leader should do an evaluation by asking themselves every day if they’ve worked toward their goals.

13. What did I achieve?
Keeping track of your daily achievements is a wonderful motivator. Strive to achieve at least one task that gets you closer to your personal goals.

How did I treat people today?
Every one from the lunch waitress to the VP of Operations takes notice of how they’re treated by a leader. In fact, people often don’t remember much else about you other than how they’re treated. Asking this simple question will help remind you to treat people well.

Did I set the example?
No matter how large your organization, leaders can always lead by example. What kind of example did you set today?

What questions do you ask yourself each day as a leader? Drop us a line in the contact section below.

You may enjoy these executive level posts about interview questions:

// 15 High Level CTO Interview Questions
// 15 Exceptional CIO Interview Questions
// 15 Incredible CFO Interview Questions
// 15 Amazing CMO Interview Questions
// 15 Extraordinary COO Interview Questions

Y Scouts is a leadership search practice that connects purpose-driven organizations with purpose-driven leaders. We believe that the best employer and employee connections start by connecting through a shared purpose.

What’s Your Why? Click here if you’re an employer. Click here if you want to make a difference in a new role.

What can you be the greatest at?

What can you be great at?This is a post from Y Scouts Managing Partner and co-founder, Brian Mohr.

Earlier this year, I attended a personal development retreat hosted by author, Kevin Hall. If you haven’t read Kevin’s book, Aspire, I highly encourage it. On the second day of the retreat, he handed out a worksheet and on it was a question, “how can you become greater at what you are greatest at?”

The question took hold of me in a big way – it consumed my every thought. I was desperate for the answer. I felt if I could figure out what I was the greatest at, the rest of my life would unfold seamlessly. Was it public speaking? Was it leading a team? Was it building relationships? Was it being a husband, a father, a son, or a brother? Was it something else entirely? For the remainder of the retreat, I was fixated on finding the answer.

The retreat ended and the answer never came. What was supposed to be an uplifting retreat ended on a very somber note. I boarded the plane for my flight home. I was looking out the window as we were taxiing to the runway and the answer hit me like a freight train. There is only one thing in this world that I can be the greatest at – being Brian Mohr.

I am an unrepeatable miracle. My life, the gifts and the struggles I’ve been given are uniquely mine. The same is true for you. I spent an entire weekend looking outward for the answer to a very important question whose answer could only be found by looking inward. It was a pivotal moment for me.

It’s been more than 6 months since the retreat and I’ve worked very hard to look inward more often – I’m hoping it will soon become my default setting. As a society, we are so conditioned to look outward for happiness, for success, for approval, for well-being, for meaning, for satisfaction.

I’ve come to the simple conclusion that many of the answers I seek lie within. I’m curious if you feel the same way?

My best,
B-Mohr-1

Y Scouts is a leadership search practice that connects purpose-driven organizations with purpose-driven leaders. We believe that the best employer and employee connections start by connecting through a shared purpose.

What’s Your Why? Click here if you’re an employer. Click here if you want to make a difference in a new role.

Lindsay DeFrancisco, Teach For America

This is a transcribed interview with Lindsay DeFrancisco, Executive Director at Teach For America in Phoenix. Teach For America is a nonprofit recruiting, training and supporting our nation’s most promising leaders. These recent college-graduates and career-changing professionals make an enduring commitment to educational equity, beginning with an initial commitment to teach two years in high-need district and charter schools throughout the Phoenix Valley area.

This year, nationwide, 10,600 corps members will be teaching in 50 urban and rural regions across the country while 37,000 alumni work across sectors to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education.

This interview explores why Lindsay DeFrancisco became the Executive Director at Teach For America in Phoenix, as well as what the culture and hiring practices are like at the organization.

Lindsay DeFrancisco - Teach For America

Tell me your story and what brought you to Teach For America?

In the small town where I grew up, the educational opportunities for low income students were significantly less than the opportunities that I and other more affluent children had. Growing up, I didn’t understand fully why many of my friends from elementary school were not in my AP classes by high school. It wasn’t until college when I took sociology courses that I understood.

Frankly, as I reflected on the abundance of opportunities I had growing up, I just got really angry about this gap and the limited opportunities that my peers who came from low income backgrounds had. As I learned more about Teach For America’s mission and the work that they do, I became really passionate about the mission and the reality that I saw that not every child got the type of education I got. Even in the same school building where I was. I decided to apply, got accepted and moved to Phoenix.

Phoenix was the number one place where I wanted to move. I moved here and taught fifth grade in South Phoenix. I taught for three years. When I started I wasn’t sure what I would do long term. I thought I would do this for a couple of years and then go back to med school. But half way through my first year I was really angry about what I was seeing and the opportunities that my students needed, but weren’t getting. And how different that was from what I knew a lot of other children were getting. The potential that I saw in my students and what they could achieve and how complex the problem was– that’s when I realized I would be working in this for the rest of my life.

By my third year of teaching I was seeing a lot of the different things play out. A lot of policies were being passed at the state level that were impacting the classroom. I was thinking a lot about school leadership. Just all these different pieces that make up the experience that a child has. I had the opportunity to be in the micro-level in the classroom and I wanted to understand what was going on in the research and policy level– how the opportunities for kids could be altered in different ways on the macro-level.

I studied education policy and management at Harvard. I had the opportunity to do some work at Boston Public Schools while I in the area. Then I worked with a startup nonprofit called Teach Plus and helped them create some of their curriculum for their policy fellows. I also worked at a nonprofit called the Achievement Network that supports low income schools using data to drive student achievement. So I got to be in a lot of different school buildings. It was really interesting.

Through all of this, I was really reflecting a lot on Phoenix.

There’s a real possibility here for people take on leadership roles. Our community embraces innovation. There’s so many amazing things that have happened here. I really wanted to move back to Phoenix and felt really passionate about it.

I ended up moving back to work at the Sanford Project at ASU. At the time, what I was helping them do was bring the best of Teach For America to their teacher preparation program. I did that for a couple years, and then came back to Teach For America. I’ve been in this role for about two and a half years. Teach For America is part of my identity and always has been. It’s been really incredible to come back full circle.

I’d like to get a sense of your leadership style. How do you lead and what’s your approach?

I think the two biggest things that are really important to me are:

  • A bold and meaningful vision for our work. Our corps members spend a lot of time regrounding ourselves in our community context as well as learning what’s happening in other cities across the country. To think strategically about what can be true in our community and our role in that. So being really vision driven with the decisions we make, the actions we take and how we spend our time. Everything should align to that vision.
  • The other piece is just talent. You can have the perfect vision, but if you don’t have the team to do it, then it doesn’t mean much. So there’s a big focus on people, and specifically the importance of a diverse staff in all respects. Backgrounds, perspectives, identities. All of that is something that’s really important to us, as well as the culture of inclusivity so we’re able to build off of those perspectives.

What about the culture here? For someone who has never been to Teach For America, how would you describe it?

We are all incredibly passionate and mission driven. That comes through in everything that we do. Many of our staff were corps members or have worked in education . They’ve experienced the challenges that our students are facing first hand, if they didn’t experience themselves as children. But those who aren’t are very mission aligned as well.

We have a lot of people here who want to think big and think bold and think differently.

Steve Erickson - Managing Director, Public Partnerships - Teach For America - Phoenix Christina Spicer - Managing Director of Development - Teach For America - Phoenix Cassie Breecher - Managing Director, Alumni Affairs - Teach For America - Phoenix Peter Hodgsen - Director, Alumni Affairs - Teach For America - Phoenix Lauren Forrester - Coordinator of Alumni Affairs - Teach For America - Phoenix Damon Twist - Vice President, Teacher Leadership Development - Teach For America - Phoenix Cecilia Boyed - Assistant to the Executive Director - Teach For America - Phoenix Lindsay DeFrancisco - Teach For America

How do you encourage people to think bold, or do the people you bring in think boldly already?

I think it’s a lot about the people we bring in. It’s a lot about how teams make decisions about their work, and being able to utilize people’s backgrounds and their voices. The ideas drive team priorities and directions.

On the talent piece, do you have a certain method for hiring? How do you make your hiring decisions?

When we think about how to select our talent, it’s a fit in both directions. We want to make sure the fit is there from our perspective of specifically our culture. It has to be someone who is aligned with our mission and feels like the work we’re doing is a social justice issue.

Also, Teach For America has a set of core values. The core values are very central to who we are. That’s a part of the process to make sure there’s a fit on both ends. We also look to understand the person and what their motivations are. We also have to make sure they’re the right fit for the role too.

Do you ever get non-traditional people for roles? Is it vital that people come from an education background?

I think it’s important to have diverse perspectives, including people that don’t come from within our corps talent pool. We have a lot of folks who have been corps members who are now alumni and work on staff. We know the fit is there because they applied to do Teach For America and had those experiences.But you still need to make sure they’re a fit for the team, the role and our vision. We do have several folks on staff who were not corps members. It’s really important to have their perspectives from the organizations where they’ve worked. That perspective is very valuable to push us to grow. That perspective is something that we value and seek to have a balance of as well.

Teach For America is a nonprofit working to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education. Learn about why people work at Teach For America of Phoenix in this post.

Y Scouts is a leadership search firm that connects purpose-driven organizations with purpose-driven leaders. We believe that the best employer and employee connections start by connecting through a shared purpose.

What’s Your Why? Click here if you’re an employer. Click here if you want to make a difference in a new role.

Contact Us

If your company or organization is looking for a leader to join your team, please reach out to Y Scouts by completing the information below. If you are a leadership candidate looking for the next step in your career, please join our leadership community by clicking here.

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