Russell Dennis

  Russell Dennis


The most effective way to get good results in business is to act strategically and swiftly. Fail fast and small to prove your concept, and then build on what you learn. There is some research involved, but only to the extent you can take steps in a logical sequence to get the desired result. This is hard to do if you do not have a good team to support your efforts.

The legend of superhuman entrepreneurs who “pull themselves up by the bootstraps” is still part of popular American Mythology. Solopreneurs who are wearing every single hat in their businesses are drowning in the day to day effort to run their operations. No person is strong in every area impacting a business. We all have gaps in our knowledge, talent, and skills that can be filled with people we hire or form alliances with over time.

If we want to succeed, it’s a poor use of time to work to anything other than our primary strengths. We also need people to bounce ideas off to determine if we are heading in the right direction. So where does one get the needed advice? There are a multitude of coaches and consultants (including yours truly) offering advice on everything, from proper alignment of inner energy, to using the right strategies.

They have varying degrees of experience, talent, and expertise. Some are better suited for specific industries and specialties than others. Your investment in time, energy, and funds varies a great deal, too. I have personally engaged some of the brightest and most talented people around to help me get results in my business and personal life. I measure my results both internally and with money.

I have moments when I think about things I could have done differently, but I choose not to dwell on them. After all, there is no path to a better past in this life.

Money is the scorekeeping method used in business. I discovered, much to my dismay, that there are internal workings that must be tended to get better external results. Some of the best business minds in the world are a telephone call away from me. My trouble was that, for the longest time, I did not act on the advice I got. If it wasn’t some type of unidentifiable fear, it was some type of belligerence on my part that balked at taking good advice, in favor of taking up some bright idea that I thought would work better.

I did not have the proper focus, nor was I clear on exactly what value I brought to the table or who it was that I served. Good business advice is available in many places. There are people who will cash the checks you write and sleep well in the knowledge they delivered what they said they would. There are some who will sell you something you do not need, and cash those checks whether you have received what they promised or not.

In the end, we are all responsible for our own results. If we are not clear on what we are trying to accomplish, we can throw lots of good money after bad. I have invested heavily in myself and made bad decisions in the past, to the tune of many thousands of dollars.

I have moments when I think about things I could have done differently, but I choose not to dwell on them. After all, there is no path to a better past in this life. I am mindful of lessons learned and have made a very radical shift because of past experiences.

Many books on leadership will talk about the importance of good mentors. These are people who take you beyond coaching and consulting. They will share wisdom that is tailored to your needs and help you avoid many pitfalls. They can accelerate your business results by many years if they are successful, focused, and driven. That is, provided you follow the advice they give you.

There is another type of trusted advisor that I call a “truth-teller.” These are people with whom you may have a personal or business connection. They will say things to you for your well-being without fear of hurting your feelings. They are more interested in saving your business or your life than offending you.

Truth-tellers are not there to beat you up or degrade you (most people do a good job of that without any support, especially if they are perfectionists). Honesty without compassion is nothing more than brutality. Truth-tellers can be mentors, coaches, or consultants. They lend a perspective to any situation that is free from attachment to how they look or to any specific result. They are trusted advisors at the deepest level.

I have been able to find mentors, coaches, and consultants who have acted as truth-tellers in my life. Most people, in the spirit of political correctness, will not give their opinions to you in an unfiltered way without some level of permission. When my decision-making pinned my back to the wall, I needed to find some of these people, because my results in every area of my life were less than optimal.

I was not manifesting results in my business or personal life that I wanted. My truth-tellers said things to me that forced me to back up, look at what I was doing, and take a different direction that was way outside of my comfort zone. They continue to push me in new directions for my own good. They have the integrity to know when they are not equipped to help me and make every effort to put me in front of someone who can.

Who do you know that may be a candidate for filling that role for you? When you find them, please do not hesitate to give them permission to say what needs to be said for your highest and best good! Your life and your results will be much better when you do.

Do you need one for your nonprofit? Try taking 30 minutes to find out.

Russell Dennis is CEO of RD Dennis Enterprises, LLC. He is host of the Nonprofit Culture of Success Show and co-host of Synervision Leadership Foundation’s Nonprofit Exchange Podcast. He creates customized tools that are easy to access, understand, and use to help social profit organizations raise more funds and attract more support for their missions. You can find him at and at user name RmanRussDen on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. Go to to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Subscribe today to Nonprofit Performance Magazine so that you won’t miss actionable articles that will help you run your nonprofit organization with less pain and more gain!

Join Hugh Ballou and Russell Dennis and their guests on our weekly Tuesday afternoon Nonprofit Exchange at 2 pm Eastern time.
If you already have a nonprofit or are thinking of starting one, this will be very helpful. Put it on your calendar NOW! It’s a session that you don’t want to miss! Discover what’s blocking your success!
The Nonprofit Exchange on Tuesdays at 2 pm ET has been quite beneficial for many participants and we have enjoyed sharing thoughts and tips for moving past the stuck places we all find in leading an organization to achieving its mission.
Learn more and access archives HERE.
As the famous British Composer and Conductor Ralph Vaughan Williams once said, “Music does not reveal all of its secrets to just one person.” If you replace the word “Music” with the word “Leadership” or “Team” or “Strategy” etc., then we all give and receive value from others. That’s the spirit of the Tuesday afternoon Nonprofit Exchange encounters, sponsored by SynerVision Leadership Foundation’sCommunity for Community Builders.”

You can join the conversation on Zoom or watch on Facebook Live Video. It’s your choice. You can comment on Facebook and on the Zoom chat box on any device.

Put this on your calendar NOW! It’s a session that you don’t want to miss! Discover what’s blocking your success!

We’ll “see” YOU on the call. Here’s to your greater success!

Leave A Comment