The non-profit sector has a major need for strong and capable leadership–vision casters and administrators who can take an idea or a cause, develop a team, and turn these tools into a self sustaining powerhouse.
Want to lead a charity? Here’s what your team expects from you
Leading at the non-profit level may seem easier than in a traditional “dog eat dog” for-profit environment, but assume that, and the job may just eat you alive. Leading is leading, and if you don’t know how to do it, then you will fail at every level. But, if you understand what your team expects of you, anyone can rise to the occasion, and become a better leader.
Ronn Torossian believes leadership may very well be inborn, but it can definitely be developed, if you are willing to do what your team will expect you to do, and be the type of leader your particular situation demands. Here are four steps Torossian said every leader must take to be successful in the non-profit marketplace.
#1 – Understand the realities not just the differences
When transitioning out of the for profit realm into the non-profit marketplace, many would-be leaders say they understand that things will be “different.” But, many fail to identify specific realities before making plans, and setting agendas.
#2 – Understand who is responsible and who gets credit
Volunteers and staff are the lifeblood of any non-profit situation. That being said, much of the responsibility still lies with the leadership. In other words, you will have to shoulder the load while sharing the credit. And, there are no stock options here to help soften the blow.
#3 – Success has a short life cycle
In for-profit sectors, the “report card” comes due at each quarterly earning report. While non-profits also have benchmarks, these can sometimes be a bit more random. Often as immediate as the last fundraiser or public event.
#4 – Never stop learning
There may be a “way we used to do it” or a “way we do it now,” but neither of these methods are sustainable at a non-profit. Leading a charity requires a constant stream of learning, growing, acclimating, and overcoming. It sometimes feels like you are trying to work miracles blindfolded, when, in reality, your plan is just working itself out, but might benefit from some tweaking.
No member of your team may ever express any of this to you, but they are expecting it…even if they don’t realize it.