Rebecca Hagelin

Take the second practice, seeing business as a partner. That’s what Environmental Defense President Fred Krupp starting doing in 1987 -- and it wound up making a huge difference to his organization, which had previously dealt aggressively with polluting companies, suing and shouting all the way.

Krupp had eaten at a McDonald’s with his kids when he looked at the Styrofoam, plastic wrappers and non-recycled paper on the table. We can help them do better, he thought. “That night,” Crutchfield and Grant write, “he and his son composed a letter to the CEO of McDonald’s proposing that the company work with Environmental Defense on a plan to reduce their solid waste.” The result: a cooperative partnership that drastically cut the amount of packaging waste McDonald’s generated.

Then there’s the sixth practice, sharing leadership. This one really caught my eye --largely because Forces for Good highlights my bosses here at The Heritage Foundation, CEO Ed Feulner and COO Phil Truluck A lot of people know Heritage but not many outside the Beltway or the corridors of power can name either of the top two men -- which is just fine with Feulner and Truluck, whose joint goal has always been to create an organization that outlives them.

The authors make a stunning but true statement about Feulner, a man who GQ magazine has just named one of the fifty most powerful people in Washington: “He gives power away, rather than hoards it,” Crutchfield and Grant write. “We spend a great deal of time studying Heritage’s success, and came to see that this structure, with its broadly distributed leadership, provided the critical capacity Heritage needed to sustain its growth and impact.” The result, they note, is “an unstoppable organization.”

Part of what makes Heritage “unstoppable” is its success at the fourth practice -- building networks. “When Heritage was founded in the early 1970s,” Forces for Good notes, “most think tanks were quiet backwaters of research that did nothing to actively promote their agendas. Heritage changed all that.” From Heritage’s first Mandate for Leadership, which President Ronald Reagan treated as the “blueprint” of his administration, through the annual meetings of Heritage’s Resource Bank and the growth of its ground-breaking, timely research -- all of which can be accessed online -- Heritage’s collaborative approach has helped enlarge and popularize the conservative movement and changed the ideological landscape for the better. Small wonder that hundreds of thousands of donors -- ordinary citizens hoping to spread this “force for good” -- contribute to The Heritage Foundation annually.

Forces for Good provides many more examples of stellar leadership at work. And it is, quite frankly, a truly inspiring experience to see so many people working to help their fellow man. All of us -- whether we run a huge nonprofit or a small family -- can benefit from the lessons the authors have distilled into this powerful book. If you want to find out how you can become a force for good, look no further.


Rebecca Hagelin

Rebecca Hagelin is a public speaker on the family and culture and the author of the new best seller, 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family.
 
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