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What Is An Annual Directional Statement and Why Should Every Executive Director Have One?

I am a huge believer in organizational annual directional statements for two rather simple reasons. First, the annual directional statement provides clear instructions as to what the board expects of the Executive Director. Second, I’ve found that most effective nonprofit organizations consistently use annual directional statements. 

What is an annual directional statement?

An annual directional statement is a document that can contain just a few or as many as ten or twelve goals that the organization will endeavor to accomplish in a specific year. It should contain goals for both the Executive Director and the board. It is jointly created and then approved by the Executive Director and the board.

These goals are simply written and completely measurable. 

When an organization has developed a two-three year strategic plan, the goals in the annual directional statement are the practical steps that accomplish this plan. 

An annual directional statement is critical to a successful Executive Director’s annual performance review.

An annual directional statement is a key component of the performance review process for the Executive Director because it provides the documentation for assessing the success of the Executive Director for that year.

I believe that it’s risky for a board of directors to implement a performance review on their Executive Director without the benefit of an annual directional statement.

Why? Because without tangible goals, the Executive Director is vulnerable to well meaning board members’ subjective opinions regarding the kind of job he/she is doing as the leader of day-to-day operations.

An annual directional statement includes tangible goals for the board of directors as well as the Executive Director.

I believe the relationship between the board and Executive Director is based upon “sacred trust” because of how dependent they are on each other to successfully fulfill their duties to protect and advance the organization. 

The board trusts that the Executive Director will follow their policies and guidelines as they lead the organization and implement oversight of day-to-day operations and the Executive Director is dependent on the board to provide adequate and timely governance decisions of the corporation.  

By containing goals for both the governing body and the executive leader, an annual directional statement provides a process for mutual accountability as these two organizational roles work closely together to protect the corporation and advance the organization’s mission.

Click here to download a sample directional statement. 

Leadership Edge Seminar 2016

Last week, we had an awesome turn out for our first Leadership Edge Seminar for women in leadership. Topics included corporate structure, the leaders personal core values, corporate vision/mission, how to hire right to build your executive team, and personal leadership development strategies. The next Leadership Edge Seminar will be February 1-3, in Vancouver, Washington. More information coming soon.


The best way to stand up for yourself


Visionary Woman Leadership Seminar



For women who are visionary leaders.

Click here for more information 

Walk Alone


An Exercise That Decreases Stress

I recently read about a study where 46 college students at the University of Texas, Austin, were asked to write about life events for 15 minutes for four consecutive days. Some were told to do expressive writing and others to write about trivial matters.

In the six months following, the students who wrote about their stressors and traumas took fewer pain relievers and visited the health center less frequently than those who wrote about trivial subjects.

Similar studies have recorded physical benefits for conditions including sleep apnea, asthma, migraines, HIV, and cancer.

In addition, expressive writing has been found to lower stress and anxiety. A recent University of Chicago study found anxious test-takers received better grades on an important exam when they wrote about their feelings before the test, compared to their peers who did not write beforehand.

Therefore, finding the time and will in your day to write appears to be an important part of staying healthy.

Here are a few tips from Sam Horn, author of our Write Well, Write Fast, Write Now course:

  • Create a daily ritual. Tell yourself, “For five minutes every morning I’m going to grab a cup of tea and sit down to write.” Sit at the same place each time, and it will eventually become a habit.
  • Find a journal that feels right in your hands. If you don’t already have one, go to your local bookstore and find one that speaks to you. Maybe its cover features peacocks… horses… or a fine leather.
  • If you don’t know where to begin, do an Internet search to find lists of engaging questions like the Proust Questionnaire. Or begin asking yourself questions: What was something good that happened yesterday? What am I afraid of? What do I really want to say?
  • Write whatever comes to mind. Let your thoughts flow onto the paper. The faster your pen moves, the truer your thoughts are, because you are not censoring them.

Write out your thoughts daily while they are fresh and top of mind, and you may soon find yourself reaping the benefits of this nourishing ritual.

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Results of 2014 Survey


Remember when I asked executive directors if 2014 was an awesome or challenging year for them? Well, over 200 responded. Here are the results of this survey.

  • 46% agreed that 2014 was an exceptionally challenging year and “I look forward to seeing it in the rear view mirror of my life.”
  • 53% agreed that 2014 was an awesome year filled with enriching experiences and “I will look back on this time with a smile on my face.”


2014 Survey


Would you please help me by filling out a short survey? I want to know 1) how you feel about saying good-by to 2014, 2) what area of your life was under spiritual attack the most and 3) what you learned this year?


Beth Chase

thank you1

A Short Never Give Up Story

I love “never give up” stories. Here is one that a friend sent me today about Sylvester Stallone and I decided that I just had to pass it on to you. Enjoy…

– Begin –

Sylvester Stallone grew up in and out of foster homes.

As a young adult he had to sell his dog for $25.00 to help turn on his electricity.

Two weeks after selling his dog Stallone wrote the Rocky script in nearly 20 hours straight.

He peddled the script relentlessly.

Finally, after being rejected over 1500 times, Stallone was given a nod by United Artists for $125,000.

BUT – only if Stallone would NOT star in it. Stallone refused.

He was subsequently offered $250,000 and $325,000!  But he would not accept unless he starred in it.

Finally they compromised.

stalloneThey would allow him to play the role of Rocky, but would only pay him $35,000 and a percentage of profits as a concession. He accepted.

Incidentally, Stallone’s first purchase with his $35,000 windfall was buying his dog back for a whopping $15,000!

Rocky cost $1,000,000 to make. It grossed over $200,000,000!! His sequels grossed over a billion dollars!!

Never Quit!