Leader to Leader Strategic Management nonprofit organizations, human resources management nonprofit strategic plan



"In this refreshing and straightforward book, Cass Wheeler uses the example of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation —a partnership between the American Heart Association and my Foundation to combat childhood obesity— to illustrate pragmatic ways for nonprofits to effectively reach their goals. You’ve Gotta Have Heart is a useful and insightful guide for how to transform hard work and dedication into change for those most in need."

Former President Bill Clinton

"Having worked with the American Heart Association, I was impressed with Wheeler's bottom line corporate approach and I'm glad he has shared strategies with the entire non profit sector in You’ve Gotta Have Heart."

Ram Charan, Business Consultant and Best Selling Author

"Can a nonprofit operate as a true 'revenue-producing' organization? The longtime (and newly retired) CEO of the American Heart Association, Wheeler proves without a doubt that a mission, passionately and vigorously adhered to, can make a difference in dollars and in bottom-line achievements. That dedication, combined with a focus on talent and credibility building, are three of the 'must-do' themes from the author’s three-plus decades at the association.

"Real-life challenges and opportunities pepper his story of how to do it right, from the successful 'Go Red for Women' campaign to the recruitment of the board of directors. All of his tales are informed by a 'soft-power' framework —the ability to get what you want by attraction rather than coercion (with credit to Joe Nye, dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School)— including the sense of mission, a clear decision-making model, the breakthrough goal, staff building and inspiration, and alliances and joint partnerships.

"Lessons learned and resources are featured on almost every page; one example symbolizes the good advice found throughout: 'Declutter projects and processes regularly to make sure you are not being held hostage to the way things have always been done.' Numbers don’t lie: the 11-year success alone of the AHA —up to $800 million per year in revenues, 22.5 million volunteers, and the expenditure of $1.4 billion on research in cardiovascular diseases and strokes— warrants a very close reading by all businesses, large and small, nonprofit or publicly held."

Barbara Jacobs,

"Non-profits large and small will expand their kits with the tools from You’ve Gotta Have Heart. One of America’s best-regarded executives has delivered for volunteers and staff desiring to achieve organizational excellence."

H. Art Taylor, President and CEO, Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance

"Cass Wheeler’s prescriptions for an organization’s success—clarity of mission, strong core values, ambitious but realistic targets, and focus—seem so common-sensical that you wonder why more nonprofits don’t follow them. But they will, if their CEOs read this lucid and practical guide, based on Wheeler’s stellar leadership of the American Heart Association."

Paul Brest, President, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

"You’ve Gotta Have Heart is fabulous! It is the definitive reference book that I wish I had been able to refer to earlier in my career and that I will put to good use in the near future."

Eduardo J. Sanchez, MD, MPH, FAAFP, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Blue Cross Blue Shield Texas, and Former Texas Commissioner of Health

"As the champion of the American Heart Association, Cass Wheeler has helped improve the lives of millions of Americans who suffer from heart disease and stroke. If, like Cass (and me), you believe the status quo is not good enough, this book will inspire you to take bold, innovative action… a must read for all non-profit staff and volunteers."

William D. Novelli, Chief Executive Officer, American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)

"Great coaching for leaders of non-profit organizations at any level! A wonderful way to learn from a leader who has 'been there'!"

Marshall Goldsmith is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal #1 best-selling author of What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

"In You’ve Gotta Have Heart, Cass Wheeler has given a marvelous gift to all of us who are committed to leadership in the non-profit field, just as he has done through his remarkable leadership of the American Heart Association. He shares his years of leadership experience in clear, concise ideas that will enable all non-profit leaders to become more effective in reaching their goals."

Bill George, author of True North and former Chairman & CEO of Medtronic

"You’ve Gotta Have Heart is a magisterial and inspiring book. At one and the same time an essay and a memoir. Brilliantly recaptures the secrets to AHA’s success and the specific challenges that nonprofits face if they want to survive into the future. Remarkable ideas remarkably set forth."

Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, Director, Mount Sinai Heart, Past-President, American Heart Association

"You've Gotta Have Heart is a timely guide to managing change in the rapidly evolving world of nonprofit organizations. Throughout the book Cass Wheeler shares motivational stories, wisdom and immensely practical advice from his remarkable journey at the helm of the American Heart Association. He writes to inspire the leader within all who work to serve the greater good in their professional and personal lives. I loved it and you will too."

Carol Cone, Chairman and Founder, Cone, Inc.

"Cass Wheeler has written a 'must read' book for anyone involved in advancing the essential work of non-profit organization's service to communities and our nation. At this critical time as stake holders demand more from these significant organizations, this book provides a comprehensive and practical guide for managers, employees, board of directors, volunteers, donors and others."

Reed V. Tuckson, MD, FACP, Executive Vice President and Chief of Medical Affairs, UnitedHealth Group

"The American Heart Association is one of the most successful not-for-profit organizations in America, due in no small measure to the leadership of Cass Wheeler and his embrace of for-profit principles to drive results in this not-for-profit world. Volunteers and staff at any level can learn and apply the concepts from You’ve Gotta Have Heart."

James J. Postl, Retired President and Chief Executive Officer, Pennzoil-Quaker State Co.

"In You’ve Gotta Have Heart, Cass Wheeler understands that the soul of a company is embedded in the ways it reaches beyond business needs to better communities, customers and employees. A 'heart felt mission' built into the very DNA of an organization is a recipe for success."

Shawn Dennis, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, American Girl Company

"You’ve Gotta Have Heart is a definite 'must have' for any leader’s bookcase —covering a broad scope of topics. Cass Wheeler has brought together an impressive array of tools, techniques and guidelines for organizational success, gleaned from his exceptional career as the head of one of the world’s most successful non-profits."

Robert Barner, Director of Talent Management & Learning, Accredo Health, and author of Bench Strength: How to Improve the Depth and Versatility of Your Leadership Team