Peter Bonanno

The Neuroscience of Purpose: Recharging in the Nonprofit World

posted by
Peter Bonanno, M.Ed.
Information Volunteer
for State Expansion
MindUp Program
The Hawn Foundation

Paula couldn’t figure out why things had stopped running smoothly. As the CEO of medium-sized business, she was admired for her decision-making ability, moral conscience, and close coordination of staff activities (“Paula Front-and-Center,” they called her). But recently she was overhearing aggravated remarks from staff: she wasn’t paying attention to them, she was missing appointments, and forgetting to discuss important points at meetings.

Conscientious Paula was shocked to uncover these frustrations, and only stumbled on the solution by accident. Paula’s secretary Amy directed all of the traffic in and out of Paula’s office, but Amy had recently gotten so burned out from work that she couldn’t handle the traffic anymore. She failed to pass along calls, snapped at visitors, and passed along incomplete messages that made it look like Paula was being sloppy. Paula knew that helping Amy de-stress was step one of getting things back on track.

Let’s pull back the curtain.