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Bruce Scott roundtable Sabrina Staires5008.jpg

When asked to finish this sentence:

 "Sometimes I think I'm the only person in our organization who ___________,"  CEOs usually respond with some version of:

  • Connects the dots

  • Looks to the future

  • Gets it!

Space to Focus participants are relieved to be with others who relate to these answers and happy to share advice on connecting the dots.

The role of the nonprofit executive is demanding, changing, and stimulating, and while surrounded by many stakeholders it is often lonely.   Few people understand the challenges of leadership at the top like our peers, and that’s why confidential discussion with other CEO’s provides a place to openly share your concerns. This gives executives the chance to  hear from savvy, accomplished, and unbiased leaders - and gain Space to Focus.

Purpose & Concept: Space to Focus is a facilitated peer learning group that meets to share ideas, successes, and challenges in a safe, confidential setting.  The groups are created as forums to analyze trends and current best practices in nonprofit leadership. The intention is to share what is happening in members’ organizations, discuss solutions, and receive feedback and ideas from others.

Membership & Structure

  • 10 participants who hold a top executive position in organizations grouped by annual revenue size

  • A 3 hour meeting monthly for 4 or 10 consecutive months

  • Group facilitation by Bruce Scott, M.S.W.

  • Members commit to confidentiality and agree to attend a majority of the sessions

  • One fee for the complete series of meetings.

Program Model

We use a pure peer-learning model that splits each session into a topical exploration and individually shared case studies. The topic-of-the-day allows the group to define and explore any pertinent subject, relying on member sharing and skilled facilitation to gain focus each week.  Structured discussion topics (supported by advance reading materials) have included: growing an executive leadership team, benefiting from challenging board members, strengths based leadership, the “overhead myth,” and board-executive partnership. In ten-month groups we use books to guide the discussion (see examples below*).

Case study reviews comprise at least half of each session.  Members bring their “cases” and use the group as “consultants” with this format:

  • The Headline – short and enticing.

  • The Nutshell – a concise statement of the issue.

  • The Background – the players, how long it's been going on, what’s at stake.

  • What’s been tried?

  • Clarifying questions from the group.

  • Peer Consultation.

  • Review - What are you taking back with you – what will you try?

*Books utilized in past groups are: The One Thing, Gary Keller; The Work of Leaders, Julie Straw et al; The Advantage, Patrick Lencioni; Fierce Conversations, Susan Scott; The Four Disciplines of Execution, McChesney, Covey, Huling.


  “For leaders to get results they need three kinds of focus.  Inner focus attunes us to our intuitions, guiding values, and better decisions. Other focus smooths our connections to the people in our lives.  And outer focus lets us navigate in the larger world.  A leader tuned out of his internal world will be rudderless; one blind to the world of others will be clueless; those indifferent to the larger systems within which they operate will be blindsided.”

  Daniel Goleman, Focus – The Hidden Driver of Excellence, 2013  




Roundtables 2019:

Sponsored by The Miller Group, February-November, 2nd Fridays

Spring Cohort, March-June

Fall Cohort - August-November







“This really is a good space to get focus.  We’re all CEOs and can talk a mean game, but I need to be reinforced by others to fight my way through what I know needs to happen.”
— Roundtable Member
Bruce’s masterful group facilitation skills create open, peer-to-peer dialogue which produces valuable insight for all present.
— Dean Olson, President, The Family Conservancy