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The Nonprofit Fundraising Solution by Michael Solomon, Laurence A. Pagnoni

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CHAPTER TWO

LEADERSHIP FROM THE BELLY OUTWARD

MY FATHER WAS A STRONG Italian guy with even stronger opinions. He believed fervently in the value of solid leadership and eventually became an organizer with Teamsters Local 463. One of his favorite expressions was “the fish rots from the head back,” which was his way of saying that poor leadership is almost always the root cause of an organization's failures.

I carried that maxim in my brain all the way from childhood through graduate school and my post-graduate management studies and, like most of my fellow management students, I eventually became a devotee in the cult of leadership. The mental picture of the fish was messy, but the metaphor seemed wise and enduring. But last year, on a whim, ...

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