Ep 142: How Kindness and Community Empower Todays Nonprofit Leaders (with guest John Hoffman) - test


Came to twenty twenty one kind of annoyed annoyed that nonprofit leaders and their remarkable heroics in twenty twenty didn't get the spotlight or the recognition. They deserved we all fussed. In twenty twenty about the dearth of leadership in our society. I think folks just looking in the wrong place overlooking leaders around this country who educate advocate feed the hungry provides shelter bring beauty through the arts lead congregations to help us keep the faith all of these people right here in front of our eyes. I see it every day and it makes me kind of angry that others don't or worse still. We talked about staff board. Volunteers of these nonprofits the backbone of our society we talk about these people as nice. Nice really rubs me the wrong way. It feels really pass to me now. Kindness is a word. I can brace but i don't know that i had ever spent that much time thinking about the distinction between the two until i watched a documentary on amazon prime the film. The antidote offered me an aha moment. And i just love a good moment is i learned that the reason i embrace the word kindness is that implies action it requires commitment and in this documentary. We see through stories. Beautifully told by my friend and six time emmy winner. John hoffman the kindness. M- may be thought of as something gentle but it has real strength. John says that kindness is a weapon for change. One of the heroes. He's spotlights in the film. Says quote kindness is a practice. Kindness is a stance end quote. And so today. I want you to meet my friend and john. He and i both know this to be true. Kindness may not be the ultimate antidote. And it's not actually something special you can drop into any community at any time and find it blossoming and you'll find those leaders who are practicing it every day. John's journey developing idea and bringing it to life is as instructive and as inspiring is the film. What's up. I feel lucky. Indeed to be able to introduce you to my friend. John and grateful that he's game to share his story with you. Greetings welcome to nonprofits her messy. I'm your host joan. Gary founder the nonprofit leadership lab where we help smaller nonprofits thrive. I'm also a strategic advisor for executive directors and boards of larger nonprofits. I'm a frequent keynote. Speaker blogger an author on all things leadership and management learn. More at joan gary dot com. I'm a one with a mission to fuel. The leadership of the nonprofit sector my goal with each episode is to dig deep into an issue. I know the nonprofit leaders are grappling with finding just the right person to offer you advice and insights. Today is no exception. John hoffman is a six time emmy award winning filmmaker whose most recent films include rancher farmer fisherman which premiered at the sundance film festival in january twenty seventeen and out of many one which premiered at the new york film festival followed by net flex in two thousand eighteen much. John's work as a filmmaker has focused on the key. Health issues of our time including the weight of the nation addiction and the alzheimer's project all on. Hbo and i in human on discovery. A six hour series set in the world's largest research hospital. The nih is building ten. In addition to making films. John has also been a network executive. He was the adp of docs specials for discovery. From twenty fifteen to two thousand eighteen and After nearly two decades as vp of documentary programming at hbo not in john's by is that he was instrumental. In persuading me that i needed to leave corporate america and become a nonprofit executive director. He may take some degree of pride in that. But it is far exceeded by the gratitude. I feel for what became a complete personal and professional transformation for me so john welcome and i am just not sure i can ever repay you for the art of press. Suasion was on display during a lovely brunch at our home so many years ago. Hi john john really wonderful to be with you. I am so out of you and all that you have accomplished in the time that we've known each other But the the tremendous evolution of your sort of career. You're you're on understanding end leadership in the not so My hat to you for all. You're doing that seems. Seems like you go have a piece of my hat. So so let's pick up your story about the making of this film from the point at which you and your team became kind of hyper focused on this world kindness and how you might explore it in a documentary. I guess you kinda define it. I why don't you tell us about the process. Well in in the two thousand sixteen two thousand seventeen but bearing much In i was Very disturbed as so. Many people were by the growing distance in the country. An outright hatred that was expressed in so many ways in the country and i had the incredible good fortune of having a relationship with A nonprofit health system called dignity health. They had funded in a very generous way some public health that i was doing when i left. Hvo when i created a nonprofit media company called the topic good projects and i was with the ceo of dignity house and their model is hello human kindness and i was having a very interesting conversation with him and senior leadership about the strong commitment as a nonprofit helped brighter kindness and our authentic was and i said would you ever consider doing the documentary becomes and lighting and that led to were conversation and eventually led just on that word to them giving principal funding for what became the antidote total editorial control. It was literally confidence in me to make a film on that. Were not a big risk now. Really not big risks. And so i put together a small team. I found a remarkable co director cooperman. Who was nominated for the kennedy award for short film. She did hojo's violin. Beautiful beautiful short documentary and we started on jer. We read everything we could about compassionate empathy decency putt from art and poetry in economics and political theory and evolution. We found absorbs so much and we quickly came to the realization that the world does not need any more exploration random next is that there's so many media platforms that on. Social media is love stories of random acts. We

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