Better Together
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Better Together

How Top Nonprofit CEOs and Board Chairs Get Happy, Fall in Love, and Change Their World

About the Book

Change begins in conversation with your most important partner

The Dayton Foundation went from near-anonymity to a major player in public-school revitalization and the nation's second-largest community grantmaker. The Lincoln Children's Zoo transformed its CEO's role to fuel fantastic financial success.

At the center of these stories: Transformational partnerships between the CEO and board chair. Every nonprofit should have a transformational partnership like these. Tragically, dysfunction locks too many nonprofit leaders in cycles of mutual agony. They survive by counting down the days until the sweet embrace of term limits takes them away.

This book provides the blueprint CEOs and board chairs need to stop counting down the days left and start counting up accomplishments. When they do, they'll stop surviving and start thriving, and their communities will thrive with them.

Changing the world really is better together.

About the Author

John M. Fulwider, Ph.D.
John M. Fulwider, Ph.D.

Professional communicator John Fulwider helps nonprofit chief executives advance their strategic visions through everyday conversations. Combining coaching, teaching, and training, John works exclusively with high-achieving CEOs who want their leadership teams and boards rowing in the same direction. He is a sought-after speaker and the not-yet-bestselling author of five books, including Better Together: How Top Nonprofit CEOs and Board Chairs Get Happy and Fall in Love (with the Mission) and Everyday Strategic Conversations: How Top Nonprofit CEOs Get Their Teams and Boards Rowing in the Same Direction.

John works primarily with community-development organizations and foundations, and those that mainly serve children. Some recent clients include alt.Consulting, Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, NeighborWorks Lincoln, NeighborWorks America, and West Central Initiative.

John’s clients have included:

Child-Focused: Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands, Child Advocacy Center, Hope Center for Kids

Economic Development: alt.Consulting, Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, Goodwill Industries

Foundations: Heartland Council of Community Foundations, Kearney Area Community Foundation, Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, Nebraska Community Foundation, West Central Initiative

Health Care: Brain Injury Association of Kansas and Greater Kansas City, Brain Injury Association of Nebraska, Bryan Health, Nebraska Optometric Association

Housing and Community Development: Lincoln/Lancaster County Habitat for Humanity, NeighborWorks America, NeighborWorks Lincoln

Higher Education: South Dakota State University, University of Nebraska Public Policy Center

Other: Human Services Federation, KZUM 89.3 FM, Lincoln American Marketing Association, Lincoln Arts Council, Lincoln’s Young Professionals Group

John is also a happy husband, a proud papa, a fun-loving foodie, and an advocate of alliteration. He has lived and traveled all over the world. He is a passionate foodie who can suggest what to eat, and where, in an impressive number of cities. While he charges a lot for his other services, his advice on eating out is always free.

John previously taught political science at the university level and wrote about politics for various newspapers. He holds a doctorate in political science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Five things you might not otherwise know about John:

  • His favorite cuisines are Ethiopian, German, and Indian, in that order.
  • He once completed a five-rappel descent off Cat in the Hat in the dark, without a headlamp.
  • He’s a redhead whose hair has gone dark. (Sad.)
  • He still has the rock he used to (slowly) chip ice out of the wheel wells (all four!) of his Geo Metro one particularly wintry day in Boulder, Colorado, circa 1996.
  • He adores functional public transportation systems with an abiding passion.

Table of Contents

    • Praise for Better Together
    • Acknowledgments
    • Tour of Duty, or Transformational Change?
      • The Tragedy of Poor Relationships
      • Thriving, Not Surviving
      • The Micromanaging Chair from Hell
      • The Short-Time Calendar
      • Why I Wrote This Book
      • Controllable Factor Holding Back Nonprofits
      • What’s in This Book
      • Who This Book’s For
      • Start the Transformation with Two Questions
    • Why Happiness and Love Matter
      • Happiness and Engagement
      • HAPIE Leadership Pairs
      • Happiness Isn’t “Soft”
      • Happiness Changes Lives
      • Greek Love
      • Loving Your Leadership Partner
    • Why Leadership Partnerships Matter
      • Transformational Leadership Partnerships
      • Happiness for the Chief Executive and Board Chair
      • Challenges to Happiness
      • Effects of Healthy, Happy Partnerships
      • Accomplishing the Mission—Or Not
    • How Leadership Partnerships Work Best
      • Prerequisites
      • Key 1: Trust and Transparency
      • Key 2: Clear Expectations
      • Key 3: Frequent Communication
      • From Poor to Transformational
      • Spreading the Love
      • The Fourth Key: Being Real
  • Case Studies
    • Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands
    • Community CROPS
    • Cowichan Green Community
    • The Dayton Foundation
    • The HUB
    • Lincoln Children’s Zoo
    • NeighborWorks Lincoln
  • Shameless Self-Promotion
    • Partnership Jumpstart
    • Better Together: The Companion Workbook
    • Help Me Improve the 2nd Edition
    • Services for Nonprofits
      • Executive Coaching
      • Strategic Planning
      • Team Building
      • Internal Communication
    • Speaking Topics
      • Better Together (workshop version)
      • Better Together (general educational version)
      • Advance Your Career through Nonprofit Board Service
      • Making Rock Stars for Mission Impact
    • About the Author
    • Contact Me

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