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Leading a nonprofit organization is challenging, stressful work—yet it can also be richly rewarding. Alex Counts mastered the art of mission-driven leadership through decades of trial and error, as he built from scratch one of today’s most admired philanthropic foundations. Now he shares 214 of the most powerful lessons he discovered along the way—life and career secrets you'll never learn in school. Frank, quirky, counterintuitive, and ultimately inspiring, these nuggets of wisdom cover the toughest challenges nonprofit leaders face, from fundraising, strategic decision-making, and people skills to surviving business travel, running meetings, and mastering public speaking.


When in Doubt, Ask for More is Alex Counts’s gift to everyone working in the nonprofit world—employees and leaders in nongovernmental organizations, charities, foundations, government agencies, faith-based organizations, political and social advocacy groups, and more. They’ll find that Alex Counts's sage advice can help them get through the day feeling more in control while making a greater impact on the world they seek to serve.


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  • "Each tiny lesson is a self-contained, salient observation that shines a light on a specific aspect of leadership. . . . Whatever the subject, the author condenses a meaningful pronouncement into its simplest, most elegant form, using high-impact prose to make his point. . . . Parceled out pearls of leadership wisdom."-Kirkus Reviews


    “Alex Counts has been critical to creating and building the global microcredit movement from its start. He knows how to lead. And how to write! When in Doubt, Ask for More will help you be a more powerful leader—and have fun doing so.”—Bill Drayton, Ashoka: Everyone a Changemaker


    Alex Counts has compressed his three decades of social entrepreneurship into bite-sized lessons for greater happiness and success in one’s life and career. These practical nuggets are valuable offerings to curious life-long learners, particularly those aspiring for excellence as well as social impact.”—Susan Davis, co-author, Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Need to Know, past chair, Grameen Foundation, and co-founder, BRAC USA


    “Our sound-bite world is often filled with quick and shallow interactions. When in Doubt, Ask for More offers hundreds of brief but important reflections on how to be effective and get to the world and life we truly want.”—Sam Daley-Harris, Founder, RESULTS and Civic Courage


    “With When in Doubt, Ask for More, Alex Counts has compiled a treasure trove of practical suggestions for organizational leaders cultivated through decades of experience. His insights generously build on the content of his previous book, Changing the World Without Losing Your Mind, I recommend them both heartily!”--Paul Winum, Ph.D., ABPP, Senior Partner and Co-Practice Leader, Board and CEO Services, RHR International LLP


    “Alex’s lessons serve as daily prompts to be more mindful and intentional about how I lead a nonprofit organization. Each lesson offers hard-won wisdom from Alex’s decades of experience. Together, they inspire me to always seek and be open to feedback from peers, staff, board members, donors, and volunteers. Otherwise, leaders and their organizations will never grow their impact.”—Shannon Maynard, Executive Director, Congressional Hunger Center

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