Sit with your Yoda!


Ever sat with Yoda? Think about it… you want to be a Jedi and you get to have coffee with the most renowned and powerful Jedi Masters in galactic history! He was known for his wisdom, mastery of the Force, and was pretty good with a lightsaber!

Last week I had the chance to sit with my new coach. This man was a CDO (Chief Development Officer) for a leading non-profit for nearly 18 years. We spent the day together and I asked him these two questions:

  • How should I think as CDO?
  • What can I do, that only I as the CDO, can do?

As we sat looking out over the changings color of leaves on a brisk Colorado afternoon, here was his answer that I hope will translate into what you are working on in your life.

  • Be the “relationship builder” in chief. I loved this, and as I look down at my notes he also said, “ignite meaningful relationships.” Love this – it’s challenging for sure.
  • Create a culture that embraces philanthropic partnership. I think that one of the take-a-ways here was to allow many within your organization to participate with your goals.
  • Be a strategist and a planner. Implement what you plan! Later that afternoon he gave me some good thoughts on making a strategic plan.
  • Strive to be a “thought leader.” Be educated in your discipline. I asked him about others in this field, and who does this well. The two examples he gave me were followed by this: “They pay attention to what is happening in this space.”
  • Flag Bearer! (Walk the talk.) Challenge the team to give, work on having as many as possible to have skin in the game.
  • You ARE a “Sight Raiser!” God-sized goals … ambitious … always one step ahead asking, “what is next?” People want to be around you – you are exciting to be around.
  • Talent Magnet. You want people in the organization to want to come and work in your arena. Great place to work, environment, and a thriving vibration that exudes.
  • Servant Leader. Always try and invert that organization chart or pyramid.
  • Mentor your successor. Be thinking about what happens if you left your post today.
  • List Management. Be tactic. In the world of development, use the “Moves Management” as a practice. Have a system to the relational approach.

As we walked away from the table we sat at for nearly 6 hours … let’s just say that the lightsaber felt a little heavy, and the years of flight my mentor has experienced were evident. I have a lot to learn … and excited to do just that!

“Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is.” (Yoda to Luke Skywalker)

One thought on “Sit with your Yoda!

  1. Eric, it is good to see you processing your new job. I am praying for you brother. I miss our times together. But I like hearing from you on the Blog. Read Heb. 13:20,21 as my blessing on you.

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