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The Language
of Conscience

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    The New Legacy
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Enlightened Conservatism
    The Tao of the
     the Triangles
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Weekly Poll Question


On Culture of Service
What you do is important,
How well you do it is significant,
But why you do it is critical.


        Any nonprofit, civic effort has some things in common and some common needs. Having a vision of what needs to be done simplifies the problems, reduces the risk, lowers the fear, and conserves resources.

        In Texas we point out the old adage that a cowboy could spend a day describing how a rifle worked to an Indian who had never seen one, but shooting one buffalo accomplishes a great deal.

        A wagon with round wheels is a simple tool for hauling once you see it, but it took many centuries to originally contemplate.

        Today we all know generally what should be done in efforts, but if we have checklists and guides, it gives confidence and turns the effort from a shotgun blast of many pellets with great noise going a short distance into a rifle bullet aimed effectively at a more distant and more significant target.

Determine What You Want To Do and Why.

Knowledge is understanding what to do; wisdom is in understanding why you do it; the real virtue is in completing the effort by doing it

(1) The first item to contemplate is what you want to do and why you want to do it. The goal and the motivation begin the idea, they have to be thought through first. That is what we try to address in the concept of enlightened conservatism with the triangle examples at the start of The New Legacy and in another section of this site. It is the reason for the preface of The Language of Conscience. First understand what you want to accomplish by analysis and then why you want to do it with the perspective of character. If you really do not know what is to be done then organize the group to study that question as the Texas Lyceum did in the case studies shown.

Build Support and the Group.

(2) The next issue is to build support and the group that will assist you. You can always accomplish more with the support of others and you need to be a catalyst. That is accomplished by explaining to others why you are undertaking the effort and then documenting it. The written word does a great deal to help show credibility, thought, and leadership. Many people talk, few act, so you need to show substance and dedication. In The Language of Conscience we include a number of case studies, mostly of public policy efforts, that give an idea of how you can format these presentations. Like a lawyer using a book of forms, usually there is a past effort that gives you a guideline.

Form the Nonprofit Organization.

(3) The next effort is to form the nonprofit and operate it legally and effectively. There are organizations that assist nonprofits in these areas. Our hope is to get law firms with a specialty here—not to form them or give direct legal advice, but instead to give an overview of the process, the key factors to consider, and the best ways to proceed. We want to link to nonprofit organizations that provide support in operations of nonprofits and specialize in developing leadership in various areas where you can go directly to these organizations for more specialized questions and answers. (Always remember, we have one privacy policy that is detailed. But once you leave our site, you need to remember they may have a different privacy policy.) Funding is a key consideration of every organization, and we wish to have advice from successful fundraisers at local levels. But mainly we would like to have information on grant writing and courses available, advice from foundation heads as to how they view and rank applications, and advice from successful leaders of nonprofits—both executive directors who are among the best of retained staff and from noted volunteer leaders as to what they have found to work well for them. If you would like to be a part of this effort please e-mail us. We will work toward creating this resource and link between organizations and individuals dedicated to the culture of service as rapidly as we can. The books presented and related efforts are aimed at increasing the pool of people dedicated to these ends.

Train the Leadership.

(4) The second phase of need is to see that members can be trained in leadership if that is their goal. They need to get an early view of problems they will encounter so that they will not have to reinvent the wheel. They need access to methods of fundraising that can sustain organizations and that can provide a one time boost. Resources are key and purpose is the key to resources, but only if it is well explained and documented. This site will be an evolutionary process in conjunction with various leadership groups, foundations, and nonprofit support efforts. Like any social capital effort many details must be sorted. The accomplishment to date has been the effort all have provided in the creation of the two books described earlier that talk of what the culture of service is, why it is important, and how examples of the past can be guides of the future. They are the base upon which this site will be built. The perspective on conscience over convenience is simple but essential to people working together.It is critical to remember that crisis or inertia governs when leadership is not present and will continue until leadership emerges.

The Leadership Ladder

Linking interested people to proper organizations of leadership training or talent is complex because of age, level of knowledge, specialty of interests, etc. The Leadership Ladder concept in Texas is an example. The John Ben Shepperd Forum specializes in leadership of the younger level - high school, college, and immediately after. The Texas Lyceum specializes in analyzing policy issues for leaders in the early thirties to forties, the Texas Leadership Institute coordinates many leadership groups for common goals and has courses in grant writing and many leadership training specialties. All are in our links. These will hopefully let you select something appropriate for your needs and interests.

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