Visionary Leadership with Bill Strickland

" The only problem with poor people is that they are poor."
-Bill Strickland

I was excited, but not surprised when I saw one of my favorite people in the world as a featured speaker on TED Talks. Bill Strickland is the kind of visionary leader that I think all of us strive to be but the amazing thing about him is that his vision is so basic that it makes it seem downright crazy. Bill believes that by treating people with respect and kindness anyone can achieve great things. This means that by filling your community center with fresh flowers and gourmet food you will be able to teach an illiterate single mother how to be a pharmacy technician. It sounds crazy but he has done this and so much more for many, many years. I had the great privilege of visiting the Manchester Craftsman Guild (his nonprofit) during a Council on Foundations conference in Pittsburgh. I believe that visiting his center has changed the way that I approach program officer work and has made me encourage my grantees to reach so much higher than I ever would have in the past. Please take a half an hour to view his TED Talk, I promise it will be the most useful half an hour that you spend all week.