Nonprofits need leaders not managers, and there is a difference
Every nonprofit has a manager but does your organization have a leader? Contrary to what many believe, they aren’t the same thing. To manage someone is very different from leading. Leadership is a skill and a talent and one not nearly enough people take the time to learn. Instead we settle for managers who direct and command rather than teach and guide, leaving our organizations with staff who can’t think on their feet or resolve problems on their own.
A lack of leadership in nonprofit organizations is a key factor of underperformance and failure. It creates a weak staff, poor donor development, and an environment based on the ideas and processes of just one person – the manager. In an article published in the Wall Street Journal discussing management versus leadership, Alan Murray points out many differences between the two, including the fact that “managers maintain and leaders develop.” This is significant because it’s the difference between status quo and growth.
Organizations wanting to raise more money, have more successful events, and see growth year over year need to take note of what to look for when hiring a leader.
- Has the ability to check their egos at the door and be a team player
- Teaches people by example
- Empowers employees to think on their own
- Offers insight and advice while allowing people to create their own unique path to success
- Provides the tools and canvas to be successful
- Allows others to take the credit
- Makes you want to exceed goals and be the best you can be without having to use pressure tactics and panic as a motivator
- Focuses on big picture goals instead of micromanaging day to day tasks
I see far too many managers at the helm of nonprofit organizations. They can stifle creativity, require a one size fits all mantra to development, and squash the morale of employees. The key to success starts with leadership and so should your organization.
Is your organization in need of staff development and training? Are you looking for ways to boost morale, get more productivity from staff and develop leaders? Email email@example.com and find out how I can help your organization meet its goals.