Blog: The Painefree Perspective 2018-01-12T09:58:57-06:00

Blog: The Painefree Perspective

Written by our principal, Marissa Q. Paine. The Painefree Perspective blog exists to offer leaders a place to access honest, informed advice, fresh perspective, and moral support as you navigate your real-world life in business and organizational leadership.

Have a topic, question, or scenario that you’d like to hear The Painefree Perspective on? Send us a message to let us know, and we’ll try to address it as quickly as we can.

How To Create a Culture of Accountability

By | October 1st, 2018|

Imagine your ideal employee.  She happily comes to work each day, logs in and gets right to it.  After briefly getting her coffee, she says hi to her coworkers. Your employee immediately jumps into the day's task list, working until it is completed. Besides that, she completes the work [...]

How to Put a Stop to Unproductive Meetings

By | September 26th, 2018|

Ugh!!! There’s yet another meeting on your calendar for tomorrow morning and you can’t think of anything you dread more….well, maybe that same meeting on a Monday morning, right? We hate bad meetings too. When done well, meetings can be a way for your team to discuss issues, resolve problems [...]

Strategies for Increasing Employee Engagement

By | September 19th, 2018|

Stories abound everywhere of discontent in the workplace. For example, let’s look at the story of Sally. Sally was very excited to start her new job. She got to work the first day early. She had a great time meeting everyone and seeing the systems she would be working [...]

How to Secure a 6-Figure Grant

By | March 28th, 2018|

Years ago, I had the pleasure of leading a faith-based social service organization. Like many nonprofits, we depended on volunteers to deliver our services. We provided outstanding services to people in need. We had visions to do grand things. ...And we basically had no budget. It’s hard to compete as [...]

How to Fix an “Us” vs. “Them” Mentality Among Teams

By | March 28th, 2018|

I recently worked with an organization, let’s pretend they’re a widget company, that had a very problematic “us vs. them” dynamic. There are two main groups within the organization: the Makers who create the widgets and the Sellers who sell them. (Creative naming, I know!) The two groups [...]

5 Steps to Addressing Negative Non-verbal Behavior

By | March 28th, 2018|

Any time you start a new job — especially if you’re entering hostile work conditions — you can walk into quite a bit of negative nonverbal energy. Maybe people had a beloved leader that you’re replacing, or they wanted the job that you now have. Or maybe they’re just taking [...]

Five Ways to Freshen Up a Stale Board

By | February 25th, 2018|

Board governance is a delicate line for a CEO. On the one hand, it’s your job to take a bird’s-eye view, control the reigns, and lead the organization as effectively as possible. On the other hand, the board is technically a CEO’s boss. So telling them that they’re not cutting [...]

The Critical Difference Between Job Satisfaction and Motivation

By | February 21st, 2018|

I moonlight as a graduate professor at my alma mater, The Brown School of Social Work at Washington University. I recently led a management class on job satisfaction vs. job motivators — how satisfying your employees is critically different than motivating them. We had a great discussion that reminded me [...]

How to Make Money Doing Work That You Love

By | February 14th, 2018|

I have a client who made the jump to working for herself about two years ago. She’s working in an area that she loves — and one she excels in — but it’s not coming together financially. She came to me saying “Marissa, I love what I’m doing but I’m [...]

When Being In Charge Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

By | December 7th, 2016|

  There’s a myth out there in the business world that the view’s always better from the top. It’s the corporate version of “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” We work so hard to climb the ladder in our careers. To do great work. [...]

The #1 Way to Sabotage Your Next Organizational Change Initiative

By | November 23rd, 2016|

Whether you’re realigning job duties because your treasured right-hand assistant recently left, you're transitioning to a new and improved database system, or you're restructuring to create better alignment with your long-range goals...managing change is challenging. As the saying goes, “better the enemy I know than the one I don’t!”  And [...]

How to recover when your right-hand person resigns

By | November 16th, 2016|

Every leader dreads the day when their beloved, right-hand employee walks into their office, avoids eye contact and hands them a resignation letter, right? Let me start by saying if you’re going through this right now, my condolences! I know what it feels like to finally reach a place where [...]

Workplace Referee-ing: Tips for Navigating Workplace Drama

By | January 23rd, 2014|

Dear Marissa, I recently had to break up a workplace argument between two of my best employees.  After things calmed down, we discussed the situation and I was surprised by how different the accounts of each person was.  It was as if they were describing two completely different situations!  I [...]

So You Want To Start A Nonprofit: Five “Not to Be Skipped” Steps to Boost Your Chances For Success

By | September 9th, 2013|

Starting and sustaining a nonprofit is serious BUSINESS. It takes careful planning, strategy, skill, time and resources (i.e. money!). Like any business startup, many new nonprofits fail. Actually, many established nonprofits are merging or closing their doors as well; so in the spirit of Harlem’s famed Apollo Theater, the message [...]

The Nonprofit Business Plan: It “Ain’t No” Oxymoron

By | July 5th, 2013|

Ask ten different consultants about the need for, components of and process for developing a nonprofit business plan, and you’ll get ten different answers. There are, after all, a number of "must-have" plans out there vying for the nonprofit leader’s attention: Strategic Plans Development Plans Marketing Plans Operating Plans Evaluation [...]