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The Essential Skills for Nonprofit Leaders

By September 5, 2013One Comment

NonProfitLeadersMany nonprofit leaders fall into their careers quite by accident.  Current research says that more than 70% of nonprofit employees are not prepared for leadership positions and that 54% of all nonprofit leaders are not properly prepared for leadership positions.  Does that make you feel a little better about not having it all together? Remember, I mentioned earlier, there are no perfect people or boards? Well you can add to that there are no perfect nonprofit leaders and you shouldn’t expect to be one. What you should want to do however is always be learning and open to finding better ways to do things to get the job done. We love helping you every step of the way!

To be an effective leader, nonprofit leaders must plan ahead and take every opportunity to grow both personally and professionally.  For when someone grows personally, they are strengthening their professional skills.  This is a win-win for you personally and for your organization as well. Specifically, nonprofit leaders need the following competencies:

  • Strategic thinker
  • Relationship builder
  • Collaborative decision maker
  • Have an entrepreneurial spirit
  • Communication skills
  • Lead as a change agent
  • Motivate others

Not an easy mix to just possess naturally! Most leaders, if not ALL leaders, will need to develop in multiple areas and continue an ongoing education mindset. In addition, nonprofit leaders must also possess a strong sense of integrity, adaptability, perseverance, sensitivity and passion.  Knowledge must be possessed in the areas of financial management, the nonprofit sector and the world of business and diversity.

Not sure where to start? We have a leadership assessment resource that will clearly identify those areas where you need to grow.  Contact us today to take this free leadership assessment.  After completing it for yourself, have staff complete it about you, their leader, and return to you.  This assessment will help you identify specific areas where you need to develop professionally so you can start making measurable progress.

Are you wanting to take your skill level up a notch as quickly as possible? We’ve helped many nonprofit leaders benefit much faster by matching them with a nonprofit coach. The coaching process helps you develop your skills in these areas and brainstorm in a safe environment much faster than they would do on their own. For more information about working with a nonprofit coach, contact our office today!

Photo credit: Victor1558 / Foter / CC BY

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