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Episode 15: Creating A Vibrant Social Sector

Jennifer Mulholland & Jeff Shuck
September 15, 2020

When you are lost in the woods at night, sometimes the worst thing you can do is keep walking. You might bumble and fumble your way home, but it is just as likely that you'll wander even deeper into the woods. Sometimes, you have to be willing to slow down – or stop altogether – to find your bearings. 

In this week's podcast, we use this metaphor to explore an increasing trend we see in the social sector: the trade-off between organizational mission and personal wellbeing. As the economy has deteriorated, avenues to traditional funding have constricted or closed altogether. We can see that some executives are becoming increasingly frantic in their attempts to make up the losses. While some of these attempts have been successful, many haven't amounted to much, increasing the stress that was already pushing people to the breaking point. 

It's never easy to admit you're lost, just like it isn't easy to admit that you're down year-over-year or well off of hitting your goal. But racing through the woods isn't helping anyone find their way back home. 

Join us for this intimate conversation with Ellie Starr, CEO and Founder of Starrs Aligned, on how we can reinvent a vibrant social sector that stewards organizational growth alongside personal wellbeing. 


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Conscious Conversations With Leaders Like YouEllie Starrs HeadshotAfter more than 25 years leading philanthropic teams at some of Boston's most renowned institutions (including Brandeis University, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and the Museum of Science), Ellie launched Starrs Aligned out of lifelong, and now urgent, drive to repair the world and a desire to do so across sectors for deeper impact and lasting change.

For Ellie, conscious leadership derives from deep self-awareness that is cultivated, practiced, and always evolving, always improving, going deeper. In her experience, it comes from making a lot of mistakes and a willingness to look them square in the face, own them and embrace the lessons learned. It is listening and leading with an open heart and open mind.

A conscious leader presents a vision that all can see and believe in and then elevates each member of the team to learn how their specific gifts will combine and support the whole to reach that  vision.

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