Thursday, August 18, 2011

NPT At The 2011 New York Nonprofit Conference

The 2011 New York Nonprofit Conference just ended today, and The NonProfit Times was there to cover all of the action.  One particular event took the interest of our staff writer Sam Fanburg.  It was a presentation by James Mapes designed to introduce a new way of thinking.  Mapes, who wrote the book "Quantum Leap Thinking: An Owners Guide to the Mind," said the skills he would teach the audience would help improve their abilities as fundraisers:

Mapes, a speaker, performance coach and imagination expert, began his speech by discussing the realm of the conscious and subconscious. By understanding the two separately, Mapes argued, we could help influence our subconscious, through visualization so that we can live out our goals in the conscious.

Mapes likened the struggle between our subconscious and conscious to that of an elephant and its rider. The rider is our conscious, you can rationally see what is coming ahead of them, yet cannot control the elephant, our subconscious. The elephant or “subconscious,” wants what is wants, “now” and does not give up a short-term sacrifice for a long-term payoff.

Mapes' methods might have been a bit unorthodox, but the 500-member audience took him very seriously by the end of the presentation.  What changed?  Mapes had the audience perform an exercise where they were told to move a metal washer attached to a string--with their minds.  Many in the audience were able to successfully do this by concentrating deeply on imagining the washer move in circles.  His presentation wasn't just gimmicks, though.  Mapes gave the audience five steps for living an exceptional life:

• Make friends with reality- Turn your fear into positive action and control what can be controlled.
• Adjust your attitude- Have a positive attitude with co-workers, your team and clients, your family and friends and social network.
• Create a solid support system- Build your support system by helping others achieve their goals. Surround yourself with people who have a positive attitude.
• Ask for help and express your gratitude- Set aside your ego and ask for help from your friends.
• Create a vision that will carry you on through crisis- Use the power of imagery to quiet stress and fear to create a positive expectation for the future. Visualization is a very this very tool that can help serve you, your family and team. Vision and clear communication of vision is the mark of a true leader.

Want to learn more about Mapes' presentation?  Head on over to the NPT website for the full scoop.

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