James Mueller & Associates

Two Strategies for Improving Team Dynamics at Your Next Meeting

This is the first installment in a two-part series. In this newly emerging era of human-centered management, there are competing opinions regarding effective use of meeting time. The “who, when, how-long” equation regarding meetings isn’t…

Business Culture for Jim Mueller and Associates

Want to get the best from your team? Focus on culture.

This is the second installment in a two-part series. Click here to read the previous post, “Want to Get the Best from Your Team? Start with a Personal Audit.” Change starts with ourselves As discussed…

Want to Get the Best from Your Team? Start with a Personal Audit

I was in conversation with a senior executive I’m coaching. She was experiencing a common challenge for many leaders, a disconnect between how she was seeing herself in workplace interactions and how others were experiencing…

Vetting Your Next Nonprofit Board Seat

This article was originally published by Directorship magazine and is republished here with permission from NACD. Experience as a nonprofit board member can be incredibly satisfying, regardless of experience level. It can offer a sense of purpose, provide the…

James Mueller Relationship Fundraising

Getting the Gift: Empathy, Identity and Philanthropy

Over the past year, I have been working with three nonprofit capital campaigns. One has launched, one was to be launched right when social distancing was enacted, and one that is still in the planning…

Productive Board of Directors

Create a Productive Board Culture that Retains High-Quality Talent

Creating a productive, collaborative board culture is critical to effective governance. Boards that don’t pay attention to their culture can experience several problems:  from difficulty in recruiting and keeping high quality members, to cliques that…

Relaxation and renewal in COVID

Finding Moments of Wellbeing Amid the Stress of COVID-19

I have been so impressed with my colleagues and clients throughout the sector who have shown extraordinary stamina and a positive mental attitude in the face of the global pandemic.  Still, there are a number…

Judge character for board of directors

Character Counts When Recruiting Volunteers

“She what?!?!?!” Those were the first words out of my mouth as I grappled with regaining my composure. How? Why? No way.  Really?  Oh, my god.  I know this person…   I thought. When I served…

James Mueller Laughter as Leadership

Laughter as Leadership in Times of Stress

“After all I’ve done for him. How could he say such a thing! ‘Failure of leadership?!?’” !*&?#^%3!” These are some thoughts going through Jill’s (not her real name) mind as she reads to me from…

Company Core Values James Mueller

How Great Boards Live Their Core Values

Core values determine how a company acts in the world, from the formation of its vision and mission to the way it constructs and delivers its products and services. They are not something toward which…

Jim Mueller Company CEO consultant

How do I Find a Great Consultant?

Finding a great consultant can feel daunting. Being one myself, I admit that the number of us can seem endless and the approaches are quite varied. But if you go at it methodically, you can…

Fundraising Events

3 Magic Ingredients for Donation-Driving Fundraisers

For many not for profit boards, the first response when faced with raising philanthropic support is: “We need to have a fundraiser!” Though some fundraising events are extraordinarily successful and raise a lot of money,…

Special Fathers Network: Fathers Raising Children with Special Needs

David Hirsch talks to special father Jim Mueller. Jim and his wife Margot are parents of three children, Jessica, Lili and Luke, who was born as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. Jim tells David of his journey raising a special needs son and how it helped enrich his and his family’s life. Sadly, Luke passed away in December of 2016 but the Mueller family moves forward and Jim shares with us his many insights he learned from being Luke’s father.

The 4 C’s of Nonprofit Board Recruitment

Serving on the board of directors is the highest office one can hold in the nonprofit sector. Yet, when it comes to board member recruitment, many times insufficient attention is paid to the qualifications required to fulfill the fiduciary obligations that are the heart and soul of the job.

Strategic Planning is a Venn Diagram, Not a Linear Process

The purpose of an effective planning process is to deeply understand your organization, to develop sound strategy, and understand your purpose in the context of the community you serve. An effective planning process never leads you to a place where you have such narrow options that you freeze in a crisis. It’s just the opposite.


Change Management: When Team Members are Deeply Resistant to Change

In this series of posts, I’ve discussed some of the challenges managers face as they help team members negotiate organizational change. The series has a light-hearted approach, using pseudo-scientific names: Benightedness, Phobia, Obliviousia, and Xenoskepticosis….


Change Management: When Team Members are Oblivious

In this series of posts I’ve been discussing some of the challenges managers face as they help team members negotiate organizational change. The series has a light-hearted approach, using pseudo-scientific names: Benightedness, Phobia, Obliviousia, and…


Change Management and the Fear of Change

In this second installment of a four-part series, I write about how to manage the fear of change. Fear as the Fight Response Whenever confronted by change, all of us experience some degree of fear that…

Change Management Plan

Manage Your Team through Change (and Avoid 3 Common Pitfalls)

Managing change is a challenge that organizations constantly face. This was brought home to me again recently as I was reviewing resumes for a client—with the majority of the applicants describing how they are “effective…

Fear of Fundraising

The Fear of Fundraising and the Joy of Storytelling

Not-for-profit board members, volunteers, and staff members often get very pragmatic advice on how to get over the fear of fundraising. Those approaches include: conduct role-plays, practice “the ask,” use a script, go for a…

caring for loved ones

Caring for Loved Ones at the End of Life

We have had two family members living with us supported by in-home hospice care. It is a deeply moving experience that combines the undying, heartfelt love of members of the family with the competence of…

Strategic Plan Effective Action

Turning a Strategic Plan into Effective Action

Converting a strategic plan into effective action is a challenge for many organizations.  So much so that there is an anti-strategic planning movement afoot.  Proponents say that strategic planning takes too much time and energy.  That in today’s…

Strategic Plan Template

Strategic Plan Template & Download

  Since we’ve had requests for a written strategic plan template, here it is. However you craft a plan, it should not be too complex or overblown with lots of narrative. Be concise. The written…

Strategic Plan Template

Strategic Plan Template & Written Plan

Though the planning template is laid out in phases, strategic planning is not a linear process. It is more of a conversation, with each element informing the other, and through an interactive process, the best…

Strategic Plan Template

Strategic Plan Template Key Definitions

We receive a number of requests for strategic planning templates. Over the many years I have been involved in strategic planning, I have seen seemingly limitless approaches. On the face of it, one might think: this…