Book Review: Lessons From a Mama’s Boy
Though not specifically about fundraising, Scott Swedenburg’s new book, “Lessons From a Mama’s Boy … How Mom Taught Me to Be a Success in Business and Life,” is a fun and easy read for anyone who might need a little refresher course in the basic guidelines for success both in the business and “real” worlds, as well as anyone who could stand to improve his or her relationship skills. Extrapolated to the fundraising world, of course, that means donor, volunteer and staff relationships.
Scott is a partner with Birmingham, Ala.-based direct-marketing fundraising consultancy Mail Enterprises and an occasional contributor to FundRaising Success.
As charming and unassuming as its author, the book is broken down into three sections — Circle of Friends, Attitude and Actions — and each consists of a number of lessons that Scott’s mom, Shirley, taught him as a child and young man that stay with him today. Each section as has two or three “homework assignments” that encourage readers to practice what he preaches.
There are sections on showing gratitude and appreciation, laughter, smiling, keeping it simple, honesty, sacrifice, passion, minding your manners, putting others first and keeping your word, for example.
There aren’t any revolutionary fundraising strategies or ground-breaking business principles to be learned between the covers of “Lessons From a Mama’s Boy,” but Scott’s style is accessible, and his friendly take on the basics of success — in life and business — is refreshing. The book is a terrific reminder that all successful relationships are rooted in respect, honesty and straighforward communication, and that passion and a good attitude will serve you well no matter what your calling.
“Lessons From a Mama’s Boy,” $19.95. Available from Milestone Books. Call 205.824.2223 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org