Years ago, Matt Boda gave me a book.  I had hit a few speed bumps with our growing team at SLF and—as a good friend, pastor and board member—Matt was often of sage counsel.  He gave me a book called Leadership and Self-Deception.  Not only did it help me during that time of personal growth, but it would be a harbinger of things to come.  Not just for one nonprofit executive director, but our entire community.

Last year, another book by the same publisher crossed my desk:  The Outward Mindset.  Seems this book was making its way across a lot of people’s desks!  And not only the book, but a valuable training that was being made available to all sectors of the Salem-Keizer community.  Like many businesses, agencies, nonprofits and schools, SLF is taking advantage of this training and deploying the concepts into our work and collaborations.  The concepts are at once ancient and modern; personal and corporate; scientific and simple.  In the vernacular of SLF, it’s a book and a training that is resonating with people-of-faith and people-of-goodwill alike.  In a nutshell, the Outward Mindset points us away from being “Inward” (i.e. self-centered and selfish) to a perspective that is other-oriented and collaborative.  In the words of Jesus, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”  So instead of seeing other people as 1) assets I exploit for my gain, 2) obstacles in my way, or 3) objects I blame for my failures … we are challenged to view others as people-of-value whom we can serve and collaborate with for rich, mutual benefit.

Thanks to Mountain West Investment Corporation, which provides the accredited staff for training and mentoring, the outward mindset is being deployed in every corner of Salem-Keizer.  This includes book #3—The Anatomy of Peace—which is congruent with a teaching series called ‘Preaching Peace’ that my colleague DJ Vincent is sharing with our SLF team and a cohort of Salem-Keizer pastors in the coming year.  So many dots connecting, so many community parts starting to row in the same direction.  If you haven’t already, you should be hearing ‘outward mindset’ in presentations, coffee conversations, events, public meetings, and even on the streets.  It has the potential to be a simple, yet powerful, agent of change and unification even as all the different organizations retain their distinctive missions.                                                                                                                                                                                To learn more, contact Chris Pineda at or (503) 581-4654.

For years I’ve floated the idea that virtually every ministry, nonprofit, municipality, business, agency and organization in Salem-Keizer all share the same core mission:  the health and well-being of our community.  In other words, Shalom.  With an outward mindset, we can get there together.