Pages Navigation Menu


Leadership in Changing Times – Thirst for Knowledge

Leadership in Changing Times – Thirst for Knowledge

Today’s post is a continuation of the conversation we started a couple of weeks ago.

As the Leader of a nonprofit organization, you have one of the most important jobs in America …because you are impacting lives and changing the world, one client, one issue at a time.

Yours is also one of the toughest jobs in America. You must be expert at managing a board of directors, major donors, government relations, complex funding streams and public image all in addition to carrying out your mission, often on a shoestring budget while competing for resources in an ever-changing funding environment. Success in this environment demands a highly skilled leader.

Over the past 35 years, I’ve had the opportunity to see a lot of different leadership approaches and while there is no “one size fits all”, I have come to believe that there are certain key characteristics that show up regularly when you look at the CEOs of the most successful organizations. These are personal characteristics that transcend time and circumstance; characteristics that are evident in the leaders of organizations which thrive in flush times, in lean times, and in changing times. Over the next several Blog posts, I’ll share those observations with you. This week’s observation is this:

3.  Great not-for-profit leaders are life-long learners. They are fascinated by new ideas and never stop growing and learning. They approach every learning opportunity with their minds wide open and they are energized by new or different methodologies. They share their own ideas with others and frequently engage in professional association activities and other industry gatherings. They embrace opportunities to take on new projects that stretch them and grow their capabilities.

Great leaders spend time developing their team members, too. They help their team identify learning opportunities that build the team members’ capacity to excel and that align with individual career goals. They coach their staffs and encourage mentoring relationships. They give staff members projects which stretch their capabilities to help them develop new skills. They understand that 70% of adult learning happens “on the job”, so they allow room for mistakes to happen to facilitate this process.

What are your thoughts on Leadership? What do you do to develop your team members? Please share your comments!

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: