Ms. Anderson is an approved Certified Learning Provider (CLP) at Appleton Greene. She has experience in nonprofit leadership, operations, management and fundraising. After receiving her Bachelors of Arts in Communication from Pacific Lutheran University, Ms. Anderson spent 20+ years in key leadership roles with nonprofit organizations focused on healthcare, education and athletics. Ms. Anderson provides coaching and consulting services to nonprofit organizations across the United States in one on one and group settings. In addition, Ms. Anderson provides regular training for nonprofit leaders through dozens of state nonprofit associations, private foundations and colleges across the United States. Ms. Anderson is a sought-after keynote speaker and trainer at nonprofit conferences and training seminars. To date, she has worked with 350+ organizations to create shared visions, strengthen both board and staff leadership practices, draft strategic plans and increase fundraising revenues. Her service skills include leadership, organizational capacity building, change management, crisis communication, fundraising, succession planning, board development and staff coaching.
To request further information about Ms. Anderson through Appleton Greene, please Click Here.
Appleton Greene corporate training programs are all process-driven. They are used as vehicles to implement tangible business processes within clients’ organizations, together with training, support and facilitation during the use of these processes. Corporate training programs are therefore implemented over a sustainable period of time, that is to say, between 1 year (incorporating 12 monthly workshops), and 4 years (incorporating 48 monthly workshops). Your program information guide will specify how long each program takes to complete. Each monthly workshop takes 6 hours to implement and can be undertaken either on the client’s premises, an Appleton Greene serviced office, or online via the internet. This enables clients to implement each part of their business process, before moving onto the next stage of the program and enables employees to plan their study time around their current work commitments. The result is far greater program benefit, over a more sustainable period of time and a significantly improved return on investment.
Appleton Greene uses standard and bespoke corporate training programs as vessels to transfer business process improvement knowledge into the heart of our clients’ organizations. Each individual program focuses upon the implementation of a specific business process, which enables clients to easily quantify their return on investment. There are hundreds of established Appleton Greene corporate training products now available to clients within customer services, e-business, finance, globalization, human resources, information technology, legal, management, marketing and production. It does not matter whether a client’s employees are located within one office, or an unlimited number of international offices, we can still bring them together to learn and implement specific business processes collectively. Our approach to global localization enables us to provide clients with a truly international service with that all important personal touch. Appleton Greene corporate training programs can be provided virtually or locally and they are all unique in that they individually focus upon a specific business function. All (CLP) programs are implemented over a sustainable period of time, usually between 1-4 years, incorporating 12-48 monthly workshops and professional support is consistently provided during this time by qualified learning providers and where appropriate, by Accredited Consultants.
Leadership can make or break an organization. Leadership in nonprofit organizations presents a specific set of challenges and hence requires a unique set of skills. Executive leadership development training can be key to growing nonprofit core competencies among board members, staff and volunteers alike. Above all, this type of training can create a team that will better serve an organization, and help the organization meet its goals.
The idea of “leadership” is the same across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. Good leadership is anchored in the ability to achieve building and sustaining the engagement of people to accomplish something – together. The nonprofit sector requires people who have been engaged, are currently engaged, and want to remain engaged for personal and team accomplishment.
Leadership in nonprofit organizations is critical, and there are some unique elements associated with leadership in the nonprofit sector. A primary difference in nonprofit leadership is that it takes both paid and unpaid people to fulfill the mission. An example: most for-profit organizations and governmental organizations engage their people through employment, while most non-profits engage their people through voluntarism. Hence, a nonprofit leader must operate from a different definition of equity than a business owner.
Why is equity important? Community equity is both financial and nonfinancial. There is a social value to the work of non-profits that can’t be calculated solely using a financial value equation taught in most business schools. There is also an in-kind income stream that for-profits don’t measure, which is the “value” of people’s volunteered time, donated goods, and pro-bono expertise. The nonprofit leader provides a social return on investment, rather than a financial return that these same individuals would be seeking from an investment in a business. Non-profit leaders have to engage constituents to not only create a positive return on investment for the organization, but must also work equally hard to show a measurable social bottom line or social profit resulting from the work.
The nonprofit has less control over some variables in its impact, because it occurs in a community instead of inside a warehouse or manufacturing plant. Leadership is a life-long learning process for any professional whether she/he is employed by a corporation, by government or by a nonprofit.
Non-profit groups are real-time learning laboratories for leadership development. People learn to lead communities, manage businesses highly dependent on voluntary contributions, and advance societal concerns. In this sector, leaders take time to help the public understand the complexities of social issues. They work effectively with diverse groups of people. They learn best practices of nonprofit and community leadership. They make prudent financial decisions in the best interest of their group. Emerging leaders often choose the nonprofit sector as a career because of the life-long learning opportunity, and the chance to learn to lead more effectively.
Despite an increase in nonprofit leadership development over the past 15 years, misunderstandings and misperceptions still remain. Many nonprofit groups think leadership development is too expensive, that it’s all about training and no action, that it’s a “nice but not necessary” employee benefit, or that executives should focus on other things.
But these groups have it wrong – wrong enough to seriously upend their vision and mission. After years of working in the nonprofit sector and helping non-profits develop strong leadership, I believe these are the five most important things every nonprofit executive needs to know:
Leadership development provides high returns on investment (ROI)
The data is available, clear and compelling: many studies have demonstrated the very high ROI of effective human capital management and leadership development initiatives. Dozens of other studies encompassing a diverse set of organizations (including non-profits, for-profit companies, and public sector organizations), spanning countries worldwide, and across dozens of diverse fields (such as health care, education, media, and manufacturing) all point to the same conclusion. The headline of these studies is clear: Investing in an organization’s human capital management and leadership development capabilities pays for itself and continues to produce tangible benefits that far exceed the costs.
Strengthening leaders results in more mission impact, higher revenues, lower costs, and greater stability
A high ROI is not just a financial concept. Strengthening leadership development produces concrete improvements in the areas non-profits care most about. Investing in leadership development isn’t a distraction from programs; it’s how you ensure that your organization achieves its potential impact.
Leadership development dollars are spent inefficiently
Over the past 60 years, corporations have invested billions of dollars studying and refining how to most effectively develop current and future leaders. What has emerged is a handful of best-practice principles that run through all the best programs at both corporations and non-profits. Unfortunately, only a small number of non-profits are practicing and sharing these guidelines. Experts have discovered that about 70 percent of learning happens on the job through carefully chosen assignments, 20 percent happens as managers help employees succeed in those assignments, and only 10 percent happens through formal training. Yet most non-profits focus leadership development resources on the most expensive – and smallest – part: the 10 percent allocated for training, materials, conferences, and sabbaticals—all-important, but insufficient on their own. Non-profits need to learn how to take advantage of these kinds of principles so that they can get the most from limited leadership development resources.
Non-profits can achieve high-quality leadership if they lead courageously
Designing and implementing a highly effective leadership development program is simple – it is also quite hard. Hard, because it requires courage. A great program will create a deep pool of talent and ready successors for important roles. It can be unnerving to work with one or more people on the staff or board who will be ready to take your place; being indispensable is much more comfortable. Great leadership development programs often move developing leaders into a variety of roles to provide a breadth of learning opportunities. It takes courage to move an employee from a role in which she/he is highly successful to another where she/he is less proven, even if it is the right development opportunity. Great leadership development programs also tend to focus limited resources on employees who are considered the most capable of becoming future leaders. It takes courage to choose which of your employees is going to get outsized attention because of her/his high leadership potential, and which will not. Finally, it takes courage to invest in leadership initiatives when making payroll is in question.
Non-profits can make big improvements right now
Even with limited or no additional funding, non-profits can make immediate progress on leadership development. If there is time to do just one thing, recruit an experienced executive with expertise in leadership development and succession management onto your board, and have them lead this important initiative.
What kind of leaders will the nonprofit sector need over the next twenty years? There are very few certainties about the future. While change is inevitable, successful organizations that address the importance of emotions, creativity, communication, social justice, adapting, context, and time will be better positioned to thrive. Successful organizations will focus on analysis, strategy, and scenario planning.
Recent studies found that three out of four executive directors planned to leave their positions within three years. The major reasons they cited were lack of adequate compensation, burnout, overwhelming fundraising responsibilities, and a fear that they would not be able to retire properly.
The struggle to find replacement executive directors is just one symptom of a problem that is holding the sector back from achieving its full potential. For decades, non-profits have been built around an idea that leadership should come from either a single individual or a small group. This leads to the consolidation of responsibility and power in the people who occupy those positions and the creation of positions within organizations that demand long hours, compromised personal lives, and distance from personally fulfilling client and program work in order focus on administration.
This insular view of leadership also makes it hard to see the leadership qualities exhibited on a daily basis by people in all positions within our organizations. Instead of harnessing everyone’s ability to lead, envision, and create, organizations ask staff to follow the few who assume a great burden.
The key to this new organizational framework is mutual empowerment and peer accountability. With mutual empowerment, space is created for each other to discover and pursue opportunities that synergize to achieve the outcomes of the organization. With peer accountability, we build intentional relationships to ensure that our activities are aligned and we are all fulfilling our commitments. How can this occur? Organizations must replace the inefficient structure of hierarchy, with the dynamic structure of peer co-creation.
Research shows that distributing leadership throughout an organization can create organizations that are more effective at advancing their mission, more adaptable and responsive to complex systems, more accountable to their communities, and more fun. As younger staff members express frustration over decision-making, hierarchical structures, communication, transparency, a culture of sacrifice, and lack of change, worker self-direction addresses the most significant obstacles to a generational leadership transition. Worker self-direction also presents new possibilities for the impact of the sector.
Work/life balance is often a challenge for people in traditional leadership roles such as nonprofit executive directors. In a worker self-directed nonprofit, aspects of the ED’s role and other roles where responsibility and power are highly concentrated (such as fundraising and strategic planning) are redistributed across the organization. Staff also has the opportunities to set employment policies that apply to them and have a say in what work the organization takes on. This empowers people to create arrangements that actually work for them.
People are looking for fulfilling; meaningful lives filled with all sorts of experiences and opportunities for themselves and those close to them. Money is an important aspect of what enables an enjoyable and meaningful life, but it is not the goal in and of itself. The nonprofit sector knows this well; it is filled with people who have voluntarily accepted lower pay in exchange for the emotional, spiritual, and social benefits of doing work to make the world a more just and sustainable place.
Worker self-directed non-profits enable staff to organize their labor and compensation in a way that is sufficient and sustainable for them. By choosing when and where they work, staff regains a tremendous amount of autonomy over their lives.
Non-Profit Leadership – Part 1- Year 1
- Part 1 Month 1 Leading Vs. Managing
- Part 1 Month 2 Time Management
- Part 1 Month 3 Leadership Styles
- Part 1 Month 4 Conflict Resolution & Problem Solving
- Part 1 Month 5 Purposeful Communication
- Part 1 Month 6 Coaching Up
- Part 1 Month 7 Leadership Mistakes
- Part 1 Month 8 Performance Coaching
- Part 1 Month 9 Culture of Engagement
- Part 1 Month 10 Change Management
- Part 1 Month 11 Leading by Example
- Part 1 Month 12 Non-Profit Leadership Core Competencies
The content below represents the Key Program Objectives (KPO) for the Appleton Greene Non-Profit Leadership corporate training program.
Non-Profit Leadership – Year 1
Part 1, Month 1 – Leading Vs. Managing
The main difference between leaders and managers is that leaders have people follow them while managers have people who work for them. A successful nonprofit executive needs to be both a strong leader and manager to get their team on board to follow them towards their vision of success. Leadership is about getting people to understand and believe in your vision and to work with you to achieve your goals, while managing is more about administering and making sure the day-to-day things are happening as they should.
While there are many traits that make up a strong leader, some of the key characteristics are:
Honesty & Integrity: are crucial to get your people to believe you and buy in to the journey you are taking them on
Vision: know where you are, where you want to go and enroll your team in charting a path for the future
Inspiration: inspire your team to be all they can by making sure they understand their role in the bigger picture
Ability to Challenge: do not be afraid to challenge the status quo, do things differently and have the courage to think outside the box
Communication Skills: keep your team informed of the journey, where you are, where you are heading and share any roadblocks you may encounter along the way
Some of the common traits shared by strong managers are:
Being Able to Execute a Vision: take a strategic vision and break it down into a roadmap to be followed by the team
Ability to Direct: day-to-day work efforts, review resources needed and anticipate needs along the way
Process Management: establish work rules, processes, standards and operating procedures
People Focused: look after your people, their needs, listen to them and involve them
In order for you to engage your staff in providing the best service to your guests, clients or partners, you must enroll them in your vision and align their perceptions and behaviors. You need to get them excited about where you are taking them while making sure they know what’s in it for them. With smaller organizations, the challenge lies in making sure you are both leading your team as well as managing your day-to-day operation. Those who are able to do both will create a competitive advantage. Are you both a leader and a manager? What would your staff say if you were to ask them?
When you are promoted into a role where you are managing people, you don’t automatically become a leader. There are important distinctions between managing and leading people. Here are nine of the most important differences that set leaders apart:
1. Leaders create a vision, managers create goals: Leaders paint a picture of what they see as possible and inspire and engage their people in turning that vision into reality. They think beyond what individuals do. They activate people to be part of something bigger. They know that high-functioning teams can accomplish a lot more working together than individuals working autonomously. Managers’ focus on setting, measuring and achieving goals. They control situations to reach or exceed their objectives.
2. Leaders are change agents, managers maintain the status quo: Leaders are disrupters. Innovation is their charge. They embrace change and know that even if things are working, there could be a better way forward. And they understand and accept the fact that changes to the system often create waves. Managers stick with what works, refining systems, structures and processes to make them better.
3. Leaders are unique, managers copy: Leaders are willing to be themselves. They are self-aware and work actively to build their unique and differentiated personal brand. They are comfortable in their own shoes and willing to stand out. They’re authentic and transparent. Managers mimic the competencies and behaviors they learn from others and adopt their leadership style rather than defining it.
4. Leaders take risks, managers control risk: Leaders are willing to try new things even if they may fail miserably. They know that failure is often a step on the path to success. Managers work to minimize risk. They seek to avoid or control problems rather than embracing them.
5. Leaders are in it for the long haul, managers think short-term: Leaders have intentionality. They do what they say they are going to do and stay motivated toward a big, often very distant goal. They remain motivated without receiving regular rewards. Managers work on shorter-term goals, seeking more regular acknowledgment or accolades.
6. Leaders grow personally; managers rely on existing, proven skills: Leaders know if they aren’t learning something new every day, they are falling behind. Leaders remain curious and seek to remain relevant in an ever-changing world of work. They seek out people and information that will expand their thinking. Managers may double down on what made them successful, perfecting existing skills and adopting proven behaviors.
7. Leaders build relationships, managers build systems and processes: Leaders focus on people – all the stakeholders they need to influence in order to realize their vision. They know who their stakeholders are and spend most of their time with them. They build loyalty and trust by consistently delivering on their promise. Managers focus on the structures necessary to set and achieve goals. They focus on the analytical and ensure systems are in place to attain desired outcomes. They work with individuals and their goals and objectives.
8. Leaders coach, managers direct: Leaders know that people who work for them have the answers or are able to find them. They see their people as competent and are optimistic about their potential. They resist the temptation to tell their people what to do and how to do it. Managers assign tasks and provide guidance on how to accomplish them.
9. Leaders create fans, managers have employees: Leaders have people who go beyond following them; their followers become their raving fans and fervent promoters – helping them build their brand and achieve their goals. Their fans help them increase their visibility and credibility. Managers have staff that follow directions and seek to please the boss.
Part 1, Month 2 – Time Management
The day-to-day whirlwind of activity in organizations makes it very difficult for leaders to ensure that their teams are working on what’s most important. That’s why guarding your time and managing it well is crucial to your success. It’s not just about getting it all done – it’s also about avoiding burnout and having a sense of contentment and accomplishment at the end of the day.
The more responsibility we have, the more people need our time. As we progress in our careers we’re often in more meetings, on more calls, need to have more one-to-ones, and we have more areas across the business we need to stay on top of and drive… there just seems to be more. But the time we have doesn’t change. So how do the best leaders make it all work? This course teaches leaders how to heighten productivity by focusing on what matters most to drive the team and business forward.
Plan realistic reactive time
It’s tempting and seems sensible to plan 100% of our day. I frequently ask coaching clients, “What percentage of your day on average is reactive?” That is, how much time is taken up by things that arise on the day, which genuinely need your attention and input? The answer is usually between 40–60%. So, by engaging in the discipline of only planning the remaining 60-40% and leaving the rest free for the reality of necessary reaction, we can build a calendar that is sustainable.
How do we find this extra time so that we can build in substantial necessary reactive time? One way is to push out deadlines even by a day or two. When a donor, asks, “When could we get that?” we often answer habitually with the soonest possible time we could get it to them, taking into account our other commitments in our calendar. But we haven’t built in our necessary commitment to reactive time. Suggesting a day or two later, or a week or two later, is often surprisingly met with the response, “That’s fine, thanks.” Then we can deliver before expected deadlines and still build a little extra time in for our reactive realities.
Avoid the 25-minute meeting rule
People are regularly in meetings that last too long, often with little that directly involves them. One response can be to instigate a 25-minute maximum (or similar) meeting rule. But this seeming quick fix can undermine collaboration and creativity, which typically requires longer, giving people space to brainstorm. Instead, address the root of the problem and challenge managers to ensure and continually check the right people are in the room and encourage people to take some conversations “off-line.”
Carve out your best brain time
We all know when our best brain time is – when we have our most productive time for getting heavy thinking work done. For many it is in the morning. Whenever your personal best time is, plan your day to give yourself these energizing windows. If others arrange your calendar, ensure they know to block out this time, and in the case of the organization-wide shared calendar, add this window, as a calendar event to avoid others filling it up with meetings that may not be a priority or the best time for you.
It’s easy to get frustrated with constant interruptions when in the middle of some work, yet we know people interrupting often genuinely need our input. We can easily unintentionally follow, “Do you have a minute?” with, “No, I’m really busy” or “Yes” but with an accompanying facial expression that shows our frustration or we don’t look up from our computer. Great leaders answer either, “Yes, sure” and give their full attention, or “Yes, I’d be happy to chat, let’s find a time” and make plans for when it will work. The best leaders are proactive and purposeful about their day, every day. It enables them to use their best brain time, ensure interactions with team are positive and productive, and are energized knowing that they run their diary – not it runs them.
Short list of top priorities
What do you want to get done today? What do you want to get done this week? Write down (with a pen and paper) the most important three or five tasks that come to your mind. Make sure you break your list down to the task (not project) level. Give yourself clear deadlines. Spend about 15-30 minutes to attack this list at the beginning of each day, before unexpected tasks pop up to steal your time and attention. Physically cross things off your list as you achieve them to give yourself a moment of gratification that will propel you onto your next task. Alternatively, you could make a list at the end of the day of all the things you actually got done. This way you focus on what you accomplished versus what you did not. For some people, this is more motivating.
Stop constantly checking your email
Don’t be a slave to your email inbox. Have regular times when you read and reply to messages, and resist the temptation to respond to the email pings and pop-ups that will inevitably alert you day and night. If you’re unable to quit checking your inbox throughout the day, consider turning off push notifications and other alerts. Silence your phone when you go to bed or leave it in another room to avoid late night or early morning checking. Communicate your “electronically available” times to your co-workers and employees. Let them know that you’ll only be replying to emails during these hours. Ask them to only call or text you with “urgent” issues during your “offline” hours.
Create reusable text
Do you frequently write the same chunk of text in many of your emails or written correspondence? Create reusable text blocks that you can add to your email or Word document instead! Write it once and then save it as reusable text. When you need it, you can add it to your email or collateral piece without rewriting the whole thing.
Part of spending less time in your inbox is having an organized inbox. Delete emails you’ll never want to read again. Unsubscribe from recurring emails you don’t actually read. Use labels, folders and categories to organize your inbox. Consider using broad categories like “Action Items,” “Waiting,” “Reference,” and “Archives.” If you’re good at staying on top of your folders – particularly your “Action” and “Waiting” folders – you could use them as a daily to-do list. Set up some “rules” that automatically sort your email into particular folders as soon as it comes in. Outlook, Gmail and many other email readers allow you to do this. Use a helpful app like Boomerang for Gmail. This one lets you write an email draft and schedule it to send later, “boomerang” a message to disappear from your inbox and come back when you actually need to address it, and get a reminder if you haven’t gotten a reply from someone after X number of days.
Use your calendar wisely
Use a calendar that is accessible on all your devices and desktop to keep you in sync. Be committed to transferring any appointments you quickly record on paper onto your main calendar. Schedule specific times to complete a project or task. Most electronic calendars also let you create several overlapping calendars, like Personal and Work. This is a nice feature to use so that you can make sure you don’t double-book yourself, while still having the ability to hide certain calendars and focus solely on the rest.
Ask clarifying questions at the start of a meeting
It’s hard to get anything else done when you spend most of your day in meetings. Make your meetings more efficient and productive by clarifying the goals and objectives of the meeting at the start. What are you looking to achieve? Agreement? Brainstorming? A list of action items?
Asking these questions to yourself and then the group about meeting goals can keep everyone on track.
Book meetings for less time than you think they will take
If extra meeting time is available, people tend to stretch things out. If there’s a sense of urgency about squeezing everything into a shorter amount of meeting time, people tend to get to the meat of the matter and wrap up their points quicker. Remember, if at the end of the meeting time attendees still have questions or concerns, you can always meet with them one-on-one or schedule a follow-up meeting.
Book all of your meetings back-to-back
Whenever possible, set meetings up back-to-back so that the rest of your day is left in one solid chunk. It’s difficult to really concentrate on something when you’re anticipating your next meeting. And you’re less likely to produce your best work if you constantly have put it down to go to a meeting. You never have a chance to get into a good groove. Most importantly, don’t adopt a timesaving process that works for someone else but not for you. If any of these strategies feel forced or unnatural, don’t hesitate to try something else. Find what habits work for you. Don’t feel guilty about abandoning a strategy that doesn’t suit your needs.
Part 1, Month 3 – Leadership Styles
At some point in your career, you may take on a leadership role in some capacity. Whether you’re leading a meeting, a project, a team or an entire department, you might consider identifying with or adopting a defined leadership style.
Most professionals develop their own style of leadership based on factors like experience and personality, as well as the unique needs of their company and its organizational culture. While every leader is different, there are 10 leadership styles commonly used in the workplace.
In this course, we will cover the 10 most common leadership styles and provide examples and common characteristics of each to help you determine which leadership style you most identify with.
The importance of developing a leadership style
In a recent survey, 55% of employers cited asking about leadership skills in an interview as the most accurate evaluation of a candidate’s ability to succeed in a role. As you develop leadership skills, you’ll likely use different processes and methods to achieve your nonprofit’s objectives and meet the needs of the employees who report to you. To be effective as a manager, you might use several different leadership styles at any given time.
By taking the time to familiarize yourself with each of these types of leadership, you might recognize certain areas to improve upon or expand your own leadership style. You can also identify other ways to lead that might better serve your current goals and understand how to work with managers who follow a different style than your own.
Here are 10 of the most common leadership styles:
1. Coaching style
2. Visionary style
3. Servant style
4. Autocratic style
5. Laissez-faire or “hands-off” style
6. Democratic style
7. Pacesetter style
8. Transformational style
9. Transactional style
10. Bureaucratic style
Coaching leadership style
A coaching leader is someone who can quickly recognize their team members’ strengths, weaknesses and motivations to help each individual improve. This type of leader often assists team members in setting smart goals and then provides regular feedback with challenging projects to promote growth. They’re skilled in setting clear expectations and creating a positive, motivating environment. The coach leadership style is one of the most advantageous for employers as well as the employees they manage. Unfortunately, it’s often also one of the most underutilized styles—largely because it can be more time-intensive than other types of leadership.
Visionary leadership style
Visionary leaders have a powerful ability to drive progress and usher in periods of change by inspiring employees and earning trust for new ideas. A visionary leader is also able to establish a strong organizational bond. They strive to foster confidence among direct reports and colleagues alike. This type of leadership is especially helpful for small, fast-growing organizations, or larger organizations experiencing transformations or corporate restructuring.
Servant leadership style
Servant leaders live by a people-first mindset and believe that when team members feel personally and professionally fulfilled, they’re more effective and more likely to produce great work regularly. Because of their emphasis on employee satisfaction and collaboration, they tend to achieve higher levels of respect. A servant leader is an excellent leadership style for organizations of any industry and size but is especially prevalent within non-profits. These types of leaders are exceptionally skilled in building employee morale and helping people re-engage with their work.
Autocratic leadership style
Also called the authoritarian style of leadership, this type of leader is someone who is focused almost entirely on results and efficiency. They often make decisions alone or with a small, trusted group and expect employees to do exactly what they’re asked. It can be helpful to think of these types of leaders as military commanders. This leadership style can be useful in organizations with strict guidelines or compliance-heavy industries. It can also be beneficial when used with employees who need a great deal of supervision—such as those with little to no experience. However, this leadership style can stifle creativity and make employees feel confined.
Laissez-faire or hands-off leadership style
This leadership style is the opposite of the autocratic leadership type, focusing mostly on delegating many tasks to team members and providing little to no supervision. Because a laissez-faire leader does not spend their time intensely managing employees, they often have more time to dedicate to other projects.
Managers may adopt this leadership style when all team members are highly experienced, well-trained and require little oversight. However, it can also cause a dip in productivity if employees are confused about their leader’s expectations, or if some team members need consistent motivation and boundaries to work well.
Democratic or participative leadership style
The democratic leadership style (also called the participative style) is a combination of the autocratic and laissez-faire types of leaders. A democratic leader is someone who asks for input and considers feedback from their team before making a decision. Because team members feel their voice is heard and their contributions matter, a democratic leadership style is often credited with fostering higher levels of employee engagement and workplace satisfaction. Because this type of leadership drives discussion and participation, it’s an excellent style for organizations focused on creativity and innovation—such as the technology industry.
Pacesetter leadership style
The pacesetting leadership style is one of the most effective for driving fast results. These leaders are primarily focused on performance. They often set high standards and hold their team members accountable for hitting their goals.
While the pacesetting leadership style is motivational and helpful in fast-paced environments where team members need to be energized, it’s not always the best option for team members who need mentorship and feedback.
Transformational leadership style
The transformational leadership style is similar to the coach-style in that it focuses on clear communication, goal-setting and employee motivation. However, instead of placing the majority of the energy into each employee’s individual goals, the transformational leader is driven by a commitment to organizational objectives. Because these types of leaders spend much of their time on the big picture, this style of leading is best for teams that can handle many delegated tasks without constant supervision.
Transactional leadership style
A transactional leader is someone who is laser-focused on performance, similar to a pacesetter. Under this leadership style, the manager establishes predetermined incentives—usually in the form of monetary reward for success and disciplinary action for failure. Unlike the pacesetter leadership style, though, transactional leaders are also focused on mentorship, instruction and training to achieve goals and enjoy the rewards.
While this type of leader is great for organizations or teams tasked with hitting specific goals, such as sales and revenue, it’s not the best leadership style for driving creativity.
Bureaucratic leadership style
Bureaucratic leaders are similar to autocratic leaders in that they expect their team members to follow the rules and procedures precisely as written.
The bureaucratic leadership style focuses on fixed duties within a hierarchy where each employee has a set list of responsibilities, and there is little need for collaboration and creativity. This leadership style is most effective in highly regulated industries or departments, such as finance, healthcare or government.
Part 1, Month 4 – Conflict Resolution & Problem Solving
Conflict management is defined as the ability to identify and handle conflicts efficiently and fairly. Leaders must deal with conflict management on a daily basis. It is important for leaders to remember to deal with the situation – and not be tempted to become involved in nonrelated issues. Leaders must ensure they continuously communicate with their team as well as articulate a vision. The impact of conflict in the workplace can result in a disruption of the effectiveness of employees and slow the achievement of organizational goals. Leaders are often challenged with navigating seamlessly through conflict. Identification of the conflicting source using a thorough assessment of the situation is essential.
This course teaches conflict types, behaviors and reasons, and the five methods of dealing with conflict. A key outcome of the course is the development of conflict resolution strategies for current workplace challenges.
Some important leadership strategies for dealing with conflict management include the following:
A leader must act responsibly when handling conflict. If the leader is not responsible, respect for the leader may be affected.
Diagnose the conflict
Diagnosis of the conflict begins with a thorough assessment of the situation. It is important for leaders to remember not to avoid the issue. The leader must make attempts to minimize or neutralize the conflict. The leader must remember they are not in a popularity contest and not all decisions will be supported by everyone. Before acting, the leader must ensure there is proof of wrongdoing. It is important not to create unnecessary conflict and not to wait until the situation is beyond repair. If the leader waits too long to act, others will feel the leader is hesitant to make decisions.
A leader must assist and support others in maintaining boundaries. Additionally, the leader must possess enough self-awareness to keep themselves from crossing lines. An ongoing awareness of boundaries will help assist in establishing standards to prevent further conflict.
As opposed to influencing, the leader must respect the unique skills of those. Far too often, a leader sides with those they trust the most and do not venture out to capture the diverse skills of their employees. A leader must work to appreciate the gifts everyone brings to the workplace.
Identify a goal
Leadership includes doing things others do not like to do. This includes conflict resolution. The leader must be careful when addressing only one person’s point of view. The leader must gather information, develop their own self-awareness, and be ready for the unexpected. A goal for managing conflict should be identified and strategies specific to achieving the identified goal should be implemented. This strategic approach can assist the leader in staying on task and resolving the issue at hand.
Conflict management is an ongoing job duty of a leader. Developing skills in managing conflict in the workplace through self-awareness, communication, respect, and appreciation for others skill set are important aspects of the leader’s role in ensuring conflict is managed and organizational goals are prioritized.
Part 1, Month 5 – Purposeful Communication
The key to becoming a great leader has always been being skilled in communication. Especially today, when communication channels are rapidly increasing and the need for connectivity between a leader and their employees is in high demand, effective leadership communication is a definitive cornerstone to business success. If you want to be able to implement changes and produce real business results for your company, you first need to learn the skills necessary to have effective workplace conversations.
Looking at effective workplace communication as a 2-way street is important, but it also glazes over some of the complexities involved in communication itself, particularly from a leadership perspective. Effective leadership communication is far from a new business buzz phrase. Rather, it describes a particular approach to workplace communication that has a clear and critical impact on an organization’s bottom line.
Leadership communication consists largely of messages related to a company’s culture and core values. These messages are significant to the key stakeholders of the company, including the employees, customers, strategic partners, shareholders, and media. When it comes to communications from leaders, they are critical because of their direct impact on this relayed message regarding the organization’s vision, mission, and transformations. The most important goal of leadership communication is to cultivate a sense of trust in the workplace through the messaging coming from leaders, keeping employees engaged and focused in the right direction.
Communication is a core leadership function; meaning effective workplace communication and effective leadership are closely intertwined. An effective leader needs to be a skilled communicator, applying that skill in relationships at the organizational level, in larger communities and groups, and sometimes even on a global scale. According to statistics, 57% of employees report not being given clear directions, and as much as 69% of managers are not comfortable communicating with their employees in general.
The problem here goes beyond managers lacking confidence or the skill levels necessary to be successful business leaders. Rather, leaders who are falling short in the communications department will have a direct negative impact on employee satisfaction, motivation, and productivity levels. Without effective leadership communication in place, a leader cannot and should not expect their employees to be engaged and connected in the workplace, introducing a host of other detrimental impacts on the success of the business.
Keeping employees motivated and driven towards success should remain a top priority for any leader. But, in order to inspire and motivate in the first place, business leaders need to establish and foster a strong line of communication. As a leader, you need to think with clarity, express ideas, and disseminate information to a multitude of audiences. A good leader can handle the rapid flows of information that circulate within the organization, and between customers, partners, and any other stakeholders. Essentially, maintaining strong leadership communication within the workplace is the key to keeping your business not just afloat, but thriving in the industry as a whole.
Fostering strong lines of communication as a leader introduces a particular set of goals that differ largely from the business skill of general communication. As a leader, it is your responsibility not only to have good basic communication skills, but also to ensure that the lines of communication you open within your business cover the following leadership goals:
• Align employees with the company culture.
• Align employees with the company’s strategic goals.
• Build trust within the workplace.
• Maintain employee engagement.
• Encourage two-way conversations and open dialogue.
• Promote employee collaboration and teamwork.
• Keep employees informed.
• Communicate any upcoming changes effectively and in a timely manner.
• Prevent internal miscommunications.
• Disseminate important information and make it available to employees.
Part 1, Month 6 – Coaching Up
The premise of “coaching up” enhances a leader’s understanding of what coaching is and helps leaders overcome common misconceptions and limitations about their role as a coach. This course introduces a six-step process that serves as a framework for coaching. A key area of focus in this workshop is how to Coach for Growth. Two key messages in the course are: coaching is a style of communication, and, coaching starts with question.
Most people begin successful careers by developing expertise in a technical, functional, or professional domain. Doing your job well meant having the right answers. If you could prove yourself that way, you’d rise up the ladder and eventually move into people management—at which point you had to ensure that your subordinates had those same answers.
As a leader, you knew what needed to be done, you taught others how to do it, and you evaluated their performance. Command and control was the name of the game, and your goal was to direct and develop employees who understood how the business worked and were able to reproduce its previous successes.
Not today. Rapid, constant, and disruptive change is now the norm, and what succeeded in the past is no longer a guide to what will succeed in the future. Twenty-first-century leaders simply don’t (and can’t!) have all the right answers. To cope with this new reality, organizations are moving away from traditional command-and-control practices and toward something very different: a model in which leaders give support and guidance rather than instructions, and employees learn how to adapt to constantly changing environments in ways that unleash fresh energy, innovation, and commitment.
The role of the leader, in short, is becoming that of a coach. This is a dramatic and fundamental shift. Over the past decade, I’ve seen organizations transforming themselves for the digital age. I’ve discerned it from executive directors and coaching clients who have told me about the leadership skills they want to cultivate in themselves and throughout their organizations. I’ve noticed that more and more of the non-profits I work with are investing in training their leaders as coaches. Increasingly, coaching is becoming integral to the fabric of a learning culture—a skill that good leaders at all levels need to develop and deploy.
When I talk about coaching, I mean something broader than just the efforts of consultants who are hired to help executives build their personal and professional skills. That work is important and sometimes vital, but it’s temporary and executed by outsiders. The coaching I’m talking about—the kind that creates a true learning organization—is ongoing and executed by those inside the organization. It’s work that all leaders should engage in with all their people all the time, in ways that help define the organization’s culture and advance its mission. An effective leader-as-coach asks questions instead of providing answers, supports employees instead of judging them, and facilitates their development instead of dictating what has to be done.
Part 1, Month 7 – Leadership Mistakes
Leadership is defined as engaging other people to deliver desired results. This course provides a forum to help leaders learn more about how to do that. A leader’s role in leading people is critical to success both in terms of employee engagement and business results.
Through the introduction of three foundational models, leaders are challenged to step back and think about not only the kind of leader they want to be, but also the kind of person they want to be. With this foundation set, this course explores the reasons for and consequences of the seven most common mistakes leaders make and how to overcome them.
All leaders make mistakes. To be human means to mess up once in a while. But the difference between good leaders and great ones lies in how they handle those mistakes.
What are you modeling to those around you when you make a mistake? Your team will be watching, and what they see will affect their relationship with you and the level of trust they hold for you, so it’s important to get it right. There are several ways you can demonstrate great leadership when you make a mistake:
1. Acknowledge your mistakes – Never try to cover up or blame others for what went wrong. If you messed up, admit it and own it. It doesn’t have to be a big deal–simply acknowledge your responsibility and move on. Insecure leaders may be afraid of looking weak, but not admitting their mistake makes them look worse and costs them respect. I believe that in leadership, vulnerability is the ultimate strength. Admitting your mistakes earns you the respect of those you lead and makes your leadership human.
2. Learn from your mistakes – Once you learn from your mistakes, don’t repeat them. As the old saying goes, when you repeat a mistake it is not a mistake anymore but a decision. The nature of great leadership lies in accepting risks, trying new things, and taking big chances, looking for the limits of what’s possible. And the best leaders know creativity often means breaking rules, making mistakes and learning along the way. Mistakes are among the greatest teachers, and working to understand your mistakes is one of the best forms of self-education. Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes; leadership is learning from them.
3. Teach others from your mistakes – The times in our lives when we feel we have the least power can actually be the times we have the most–when we can affirm or redefine who we are and what we believe, and make choices that help others benefit from our experiences, good and bad. When you make mistakes, make a point of teaching others what you’ve learned. Doing so builds connection and trust. The best leaders are the great teachers, coaches, and guides who show us the way after they have been down that path.
4. Move beyond your mistakes – Success is connected with action. Successful people keep moving; they make mistakes but don’t quit. Learn to use failure as a stepping-stone away from the past. You don’t forget your mistake, but you don’t dwell on it or let it get you down. Get up and keep moving. You’re bound to make mistakes. But when you handle them well, they can help you be a better leader and a better person.
Learn what the most common leadership mistakes are and how to fix them.
• Poor leaders avoid conflict, don’t delegate work and don’t offer employee feedback.
• Leaders often make the mistake of lacking humility, vision or faith in their abilities.
• A leader is a role model and should set an example for how they want their team to behave.
Being a leader comes with a host of responsibilities, including handling workplace issues and setting a good example. You’re often held to high expectations as the person in charge, and managing an entire team of people can be intimidating.
Lacking humility. – Holding a position of power may be good for your ego, but it’s important you and your employees know you’re not above your shortcomings. When employees recognize that failure is natural, even for leaders, they’ll feel more open-minded and confident. Leaders need to have humility and learn from their mistakes.
Avoiding conflict. – One of the most difficult adjustments a new leader has to make is learning how to handle disagreements or issues. You want to be fair and balanced while avoiding potential conflict, but, sometimes, that’s difficult. A great leader understands how to fairly address problems on their team.
Being too friendly. – Many leaders make the mistake of trying to befriend their subordinates to seem likable and approachable. While it is important to have good candor with your staff, everyone in a leadership role needs to understand the importance of setting clear boundaries. Leaders are more likely to get taken advantage of when they cross the line and are too friendly with their employees. Leaders need to make unbiased, tough decisions sometimes, and that can be difficult if you are overly friendly with your team. Set clear boundaries and enforce them. An effective leader has the emotional intelligence to successfully toe the line between being friendly and assertive.
Not offering employee feedback. – A common leadership mistake is avoiding feedback, but open communication is a key element to growth, performance and employee retention. Some leaders take a hands-off approach and only offer employee feedback during scheduled performance reviews. This can be a major problem for your employees and the organization as a whole. Many issues blamed for incompetence or poor performance are actually a result of misunderstood employee expectations. If an employee is unaware that they are doing something wrong, they won’t know to fix it. Conversely, if an employee is doing really well at something and is going unrecognized, they may feel unappreciated or not know their strengths.
Taking on unnecessary work. – Leaders are typically hired or promoted to their positions because they know what needs to be done and how to do it. This may be accompanied by the mentality of “if you want something done right, do it yourself,” which can be a dangerous attitude to have when managing a team. Completing or tweaking employees’ work because it’s not to your liking, or not delegating tasks, not only creates more work for you but also hinders your team from reaching its full potential. When leaders take on the responsibility of completing a team member’s work, they are actually doing the team and themselves a disservice. By getting into this habit, a talented team member may bring a project to only 75 percent completion, assuming the leader will finish the rest. As a result, performance moves in the wrong direction while the leader takes on more responsibility for the team’s overall project demands.
Not having faith in your abilities. – You’ve been assigned to a leadership position because someone else trusts your judgment. Consistently second-guessing yourself rubs off on others, and before you know it, that trust is gone. Don’t be afraid to obey your gut instinct. While it’s important to listen to others, employees and clients alike, sometimes this can be very dangerous to an innovative startup. If you truly believe in what you are doing, it’s OK to listen only to yourself sometimes. Be loyal to your internal compass.
Being reactive instead of proactive to automation. – Adjusting to tech developments is inevitable in the business world. You have no choice but to confront these changes and determine how it will affect your company. Many roles face … being replaced by bots utilizing AI and machine learning. Identify those roles early, then you can begin to train employees on new skills to help them grow through this transformation. By being proactive and honest with your team, you will alleviate stress and anxiety caused by these transitions.
Failing to define innovation. – Innovation is different for every company and each person in it. As a leader, you need to define what it looks like to your organization and what obstacles might impede it.” While innovation needs to be fostered, clear expectations will prevent too much deviation from … activities proven to grow the business. Helping your team stay focused on specific innovation initiatives will allow you test ideas methodically, without spreading innovation efforts so thin they can’t be tested or aren’t effective. Additionally, it’s important to trust your employees with these processes. If you’re too involved, you might discourage their creativity.
Lacking vision. – Without vision, a company will have difficulty progressing. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to set expectations and goals for your organization in addition to holding each member accountable for reaching them. A lack of vision will result in unfocused projects, improper resources planning, inaccurate metrics for success, and a lack of buy-in from the rest of the organization. Leadership has to champion a vision that will align the entire organization, enabling them to effectively work together toward common goals. If you want to attract and retain talent, you must create a culture with a clear vision.
Saying one thing and doing another. – As a business leader, it is your responsibility to serve as a role model for your team. Once you define the guidelines and expectations for your workplace, it is important you follow them. For example, if you want employees to adhere to your dress code or maintain a positive attitude, you need to display those actions. You set the tone for how your team will behave, so lead by example.
Part 1, Month 8 – Performance Coaching
This course builds participants’ skills in order to maximize employee performance, day in and day out, all year long. During the course, participants learn about the three key components of the Performance Management Cycle: setting expectations and goals, monitoring efforts and results, coaching and reviewing performance
The First Step in Coaching an Employee
The first step in any effort to improve employee performance is counseling or coaching. Counseling or coaching is part of the day-to-day interaction between a manager and an employee who reports to them, or an HR professional and the line managers in the HR staff person’s organization. Coaching often provides positive feedback about the employee’s contributions. Employees need to know when they are effective contributors. By providing this positive feedback, you are also letting the employee know the actions and contributions that you’d like to reinforce so that you see more of them.
Coaching When Performance Issues Exist
At the same time, regular coaching brings performance issues to an employee’s attention when they are minor. Your coaching feedback assists the employee to correct these issues before they become significant detractions from their performance. The goal of performance coaching is not to make the employee feel bad, nor is it provided to show how much the HR professional or manager knows. The goal of coaching is to work with the employee to solve performance problems and to improve the work of the employee, the team, and the department.
Employees who respond positively to coaching and improve their performance can become valued contributors to the success of the business. Employees who fail to improve will find themselves placed on a formal performance improvement plan, known as a PIP. This sets up a formal process wherein the manager meets regularly with the underperforming employee to provide coaching and feedback.
At the meetings, they also evaluate how well the employee is performing in achieving the performance goals that were enumerated in the PIP. Generally, by the time an employee has received a PIP, Human Resources staff are significantly involved in both the meetings and in the review of the employee’s progress and performance. The HR staff is also significantly involved in ensuring that the manager’s documentation of the employee’s performance and the meetings is appropriate. Employees who fail to improve when on the PIP are likely to find their employment terminated.
Second Example of Performance Coaching
In a second example of the use of performance coaching, managers can use performance coaching to help employees who are effective contributors improve and become even more effective contributors. Done well, coaching can help an employee continuously improve their skills, experience, and ability to contribute. The time managers spend in performance coaching with their best, most contributing employees is time well spent. It is more likely to produce increased results for the organization and for the manager’s department and priorities.
It is ironic that many managers find that they spend the majority of their time with their troubled, or underperforming employees. This is despite the fact that the most significant value from their time and energy investment most often comes from the opposite priority.
Coaching is an effective tool for managers to deploy in their efforts to help employees succeed, and especially help employees increase their skills and their potential opportunities for promotion or lateral moves to more interesting positions.
Part 1, Month 9 – Culture of Engagement
This course helps leaders understand the impact they have on employee engagement and introduces them to several strategies to create a culture of engagement. Course participants will have an opportunity to share knowledge and best practices.
Having a successful organization that demonstrates mission delivery is every executive’s dream, which is why businesses emphasize employee engagement. With an engaged staff, you lower your risk of turnover, boost customer satisfaction, and increase your company’s overall chance of success. I’ve learned that neither you nor your employees can force workplace engagement. It has to be ingrained in your business and within each individual employee.
Employee engagement is the level of commitment, passion, and loyalty a worker has toward their work and company. The more engaged an employee is, the more work they’ll put forth. Only 32% of employees in the United States are engaged, according to a Gallup poll. That means over two-thirds of employees nationwide are disengaged with their work.
You want hard-working employees who are actively engaged with the work they do. You can create a culture of organizational engagement by doing the following. One way to make your organization irresistible is to create a culture of engagement. This type of work environment enables the three core elements of work engagement: vigor, dedication, and absorption.
• Vigor is the experience of having high levels of energy for our work and the willingness to persist despite challenges.
• Dedication is the experience of finding work meaningful and challenging.
• Absorption is similar to the experience of “flow” where we are so focused on our work that we lose track of time.
These three dimensions of engagement are directly linked to job performance, profitability, and retention. There are several science-backed ways to increase engagement by amplifying meaning, challenge, and cultivating a greater sense of ownership over work, for everyone in your organization.
Push them out of their comfort zone. – Work that requires us to fully utilize our skills and abilities to achieve something that seemed just beyond our capabilities gives us a sense of growth and accomplishment. Provide team members with opportunities to push what they are capable of in an area that they are interested in or that will help them develop. This requires sharing goals and offering coaching to guide them towards taking more calculated risks. These efforts will be rewarded with increased engagement through dedication and vigor.
Develop them into masters of their craft. – The best way to become an expert is through deliberate practice, which requires a cycle of application, feedback, and elevation. People are more engaged and satisfied when they feel that they’re developing mastery. The best way to become an expert is through deliberate practice, which requires a cycle of application, feedback, and elevation. Leaders can support their team members’ mastery by providing opportunities to apply their skills, providing feedback, and continually increasing the level of challenge as they improve. Not only will this approach make your team more absorbed in their work, but also give you a deep bench of expertise to draw upon in your organization.
Show them their positive impact. – Make informal (i.e. spontaneous and genuine) recognition and appreciation a cultural norm to develop dedication. Work is more meaningful and motivating when we know we are having a positive impact. One way to make work more engaging is to show people the impact they have on others, whether it’s customers, clients, or others in your organization. This can be done by passing along testimonials or maintaining an open line of communication between team members and those who they help through their work. Creating a culture of gratitude is another way to engage people by showing them their impact.
Help employees build a career plan. – Talking about a future career trajectory can be difficult because you don’t want leaders to over-promise or overcommit. But, discussing career goals and making an effort to help team members achieve their goals shows they are valued and helps them see themselves at your organization for the long-term. Although a lot of job movement is expected in the coming year, millennials will stick around when they see stability and a positive career trajectory. Providing career development supports engagement through vigor as we become more invested in our work when we take the long-view.
Increase autonomy. – When you offer choices and involve individuals in decision-making, you provide a sense of greater control. Whenever possible, it’s important to allow people to control their own work, whether it’s owning a project, collaborating on strategy, or having a more flexible work schedule. When you offer choices and involve individuals in decision-making, you provide a sense of greater control and express that you trust their judgment and abilities. Imposing too many restraints on people without their input can result in individuals being passive and disengaged. On the flip side, providing autonomy encourages all three elements of engagement, making it invaluable to our organizational culture.
Say what you’ll do and do what you say. – Transparency and honesty are about building trust. When leaders keep too many secrets, they invite speculation and create an environment of insecurity. But when you share the logic behind decisions and follow through on your words, team members will feel they can trust you and in turn, be more dedicated to your organization and their work. As competition for high-performing individuals has grown, culture has become a significant competitive advantage for attracting and retaining talent. Although changing organizational culture takes a lot of time and effort, taking steps to integrate these principles into your workplace will create a culture of engagement and pay dividends in the long-term.
Part 1, Month 10 – Change Management
This course explores the dynamics of change, resistance to change and how leaders can better help themselves and others navigate through change as effectively and efficiently as possible. A key focus of this course is teaching participants how to coach others who are struggling with change situations in the workplace. Course participants are introduced to the rational and emotional aspects of change and why change is necessary for a business to thrive. This course covers the predictable reactions of employees who may be struggling to move forward and how leaders can provide support and advance acceptance.
Successful organizational change depends on leaders – managers and bosses who have direct authority with people going through the change – to support and execute change in their span of influence. Effective leaders acknowledge that their support is crucial to success and commit to doing their part. The following are some of the roles leaders may play as they drive change in your organization.
Sponsor – Leaders act as advocates for the change at their level in the organization. They are representatives who keep the change in front of their peers, the “higher-ups.” A Sponsor is the person who won’t let the change initiative die from lack of attention, and is willing to use their political capital to make the change happen. As sponsor, the leader is the champion.
Role Model – Leaders of change must be willing to go first. They demonstrate the behaviors and attitudes that are expected of everyone else. Employees watch leaders for consistency between words and actions to see if they should believe the change is really going to happen. Leaders are self-aware and deliberate.
Make Decisions – As managers, leaders usually control resources such as people, budgets, and equipment, and thus have the authority to make decisions that affect the initiative. They have the ability to say “yes” or “no” to the project moving forward within the span of their control. During change, leaders must leverage their decision-making authority and choose the options that will support the initiative. Leaders are decisive and set priorities that support change.
Communicate – Leaders are the face and the voice of change. They communicate often to share information, keep people updated and offer encouragement. When employees hear multiple messages in the organization, the one they listen to the most is their immediate boss. Leaders interpret the change message to be relevant for their reports, while still matching the overall message. Leaders are transparent and consistent. Engage. Leaders provide the motivation to change and get people involved. They create a sense of urgency and importance about the change, and show commitment and passion about getting things done. They offer recognition to those who are participating and doing well. Leaders realize that change can be difficult, and understand the need for people to be motivated to step out of their comfort zone. The Leaders are energetic and empathetic.
Hold Accountable – With their authority, leaders hold people in the organization accountable for the change. They uphold agreements and make sure others do the same. They don’t let people get away with not changing, and work to understand the underlying reasons so they can remove obstacles. Leaders follow through on delivering consequences when people don’t do their part. Leaders are exacting and fair.
Effective leaders recognize that change cannot happen unless they fulfill the roles that only those in authority can. Enlist their support and clarify the roles you need them to fill in their areas and in different situations. Help leaders in your organization see the importance of the unique part they play in change, and help them fulfill it.
Part 1, Month 11 – Leading By Example
This course allows participants to synthesize their leadership development experiences over the past year and measure their growth as a leader. Participants will have the opportunity to reflect past 10 months and participation in the nonprofit leadership development course. The course includes a variety of activities designed to maximize review of content, reinforcement of skills and application of material to real-life challenges.
There’s hardly anything worse for company morale than leaders who practice the “Do as I say, not as I do” philosophy. When this happens, you can almost see the loss of enthusiasm and goodwill among the staff, and cynicism and disappointment usually take its place. No matter what the situation is, double standards – witnessing people say one thing, and then doing another – always feel like a betrayal. They can be very destructive. If this ever happened to you, you can probably remember that sense of disappointment and letdown.
If you’re in a leadership position, then you know that you have a responsibility to your team. They look to you for guidance and strength; that’s part of what being a leader is. And a big part of your responsibility is to lead them with your own actions.
There’s an old saying about the difference between a manager and a leader, “Managers do things right. Leaders do the right things.” (It’s best to be both a manager and a leader – they’re just different processes.) As a leader, part of your job is to inspire the people around you to push them – and, in turn, the organization – to greatness. To do this, you must show them the way by doing it yourself.
I’ve seen just how powerful it can be to lead by example. But what happens when you don’t follow this rule? How does your team feel when you tell them to do one thing, and then you do the exact opposite? When leaders don’t “practice what they preach,” it can be almost impossible for a team to work together successfully. How can anyone trust a leader who talks about one thing, but does another?
And so it is with your team. If you say one thing and do another, they likely won’t follow you enthusiastically. Why should they? Everything you tell them after that may meet with suspicion and doubt. They may not trust that you’re doing the right thing, or that you know what you’re talking about. They may no longer believe in you.
Good leaders push their people forward with excitement, inspiration, trust, and vision. If you lead a team that doesn’t trust you, productivity will drop. Enthusiasm may disappear. The vision you’re trying so hard to make happen may lose its appeal, all because your team doesn’t trust you anymore.
Good leadership takes strength of character and a firm commitment to do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason. This means doing what you say, when you say it. If your team can’t trust you, you’ll probably never lead them to greatness.
Leading – and living – by example isn’t as hard as it might sound. It’s really the easiest path. If your team knows that you’ll also do whatever you expect from them, they’ll likely work hard to help you achieve your goal.
If you ask a co-worker to do something, make sure you’d be willing to do it yourself.
If you implement new rules for the office, then follow those rules just as closely as you expect everyone else to follow them. For example, if the new rule is “no personal calls at work,” then don’t talk to your spouse at work. You’ll be seen as dishonest, and your staff may become angry and start disobeying you.
Look closely at your own behavior. If you criticize people for interrupting, but you constantly do it yourself, you need to fix this. Yes, you want people to pay attention to one another and listen to all viewpoints, so demonstrate this yourself.
Part 1, Month 12 – Nonprofit Leadership Core Competencies
Because every nonprofit organization is different, a single set of competencies is difficult to articulate. However, there are several key leadership skills that nonprofit executives should seek to build throughout their careers. This course will explore specific skills that are needed to be a successful leader, regardless of the size of the nonprofit organization they work for.
Financial Management: Non-profit organizations, by nature of their work, have extremely narrow profit margins and are entrusted, in many cases, with public funds and private philanthropy. Guaranteeing to a diverse group of stakeholders that the nonprofit is in good hands with a basic understanding of balancing financial realities with social need is key.
Building Non-profit Equity: A successful leader may not like fundraising but each knows he or she must have a demonstrated competency in order to attract givers and their giving over a sustainable period of time.
Human Resourcing: Money doesn’t change the world, people do. The nonprofit leader must know how to assign people to tasks and manage those tasks and workers with a sense of fair accountability. The leader is also especially attuned to the diversity of the community and demonstrates a cultural competency that brings out the best in diverse people to work together to do great things. With limited resources, nonprofit organizations are constantly having to change their designs, teams, and ways of doing business. A sense of working with people and understanding accountable people structures is key as non-profits are the only sector in the economy that includes volunteered human resources as part of their human resource equation.
Program Knowledge: Helping feed the hungry requires some knowledge about the extent of hunger in a community, how hunger impacts a community, and successful programs that have had significant impact. Every nonprofit is seeking to make a difference in a particular area. It is incumbent on the nonprofit leader to have working knowledge of that area.
Governance: Every nonprofit organization must, according to the Internal Revenue Service, have a board of directors. Many problems exist in non-profits because their leaders have not received formal training on the roles and responsibilities of nonprofit boards.
Planning: Virtually every contributor to a nonprofit wants to know its plan for helping people in efficient and effective ways. They also want to know that the organization is evolving with the community that it serves and is astute about the political, economic and social factors weighing on its future. Every nonprofit must have a realistic plan.
Community Relations and Communication: The most effective nonprofit is “in touch” with the community it serves. Non-profit leaders cannot be afraid to make speeches, meet and greet, network, and be visible in and to the community. Non-profits by and large are community-based organizations, which means each was started by someone in the community to be of benefit to the rest of the community. A nonprofit leader isn’t going to get very far if he or she isn’t interacting with, communicating with, and advocating the mission to the community.
The first step in the development of the nonprofit leadership program is to define the “what” and “why”. Key nonprofit organization stakeholders have the influence and authority to determine whether a program is needed in their organization, and if they sign on, that their team will be successful.
I used this initial conversation to get aligned, define goals, and determine the value of the program. In this part of the program planning process, I discussed needs, expectations, and establish baselines for the nonprofit leadership program scope and timeline. This created a solid base for the program work plan.
According to both corporate and nonprofit business leaders, a lack of clear goals accounts for 37% of program failure. Without clear goals, requirements, tasks, and deadlines set for the program work plan have nothing anchoring them. Once I had a list of key stakeholder needs and buy-in, I began to assign program goals and objectives.
I compiled program goals and connected them to the stakeholder requirements they addressed. From there, I built out the structure, milestones, and tasks it takes to reach those goals. Milestones define check-in points throughout the program so that everyone is clear about what progress looks like, what the expectations are, and when they’ll be measured.
The first step is to understand what problem it is that I wanted to solve – in this case, a lack of leadership training in nonprofit organizations. I began this process with a needs assessment, where I conducted a survey, interviews, focus groups and meetings with former clients to find out what problems they are facing, the size of the problem, and how important they think the problem is.
Once I identified the problem, I used a matrix to look further at the causes and effects of a lack of leadership training. I started by addressing the core problem. I then asked: What is the cause of this problem? And what is the cause of that cause? I kept listing causes down the page, until I thought I’d reached the very bottom root cause. Then, I went back to the core problem and asked: What are the effects of this problem? And what are the effects of those effects? I then listed these problems up the page.
When I conducted this analysis, I involve all the members of the nonprofit organization’s management team. I often find that people can have very different opinions about the causes and effects of a particular problem. It was also very important to verify that the problems in the analysis actually exist. This was done through an online survey.
No program operates in a vacuum. So, it was essential that as part of the design process that I identified all the other stakeholders who might be involved or doing “like” work. I started by brainstorming all the stakeholders who might be related to this nonprofit leadership program. This included government, community partners, other non-profits in the market, and even key donors in the target communities. I met with stakeholders, either together or separately. By the end of these meetings, I was able to answer the following questions about each stakeholder:
• Problem: What are the key problems they are facing?
• Motivation: What motivates them? What are they interested in?
• Potential: How could they contribute to solving the problems identified?
• Interaction: How can non-profits best interact with them? (e.g. through meetings, reports, phone calls, etc.)
As part of the program design process I also considered what the nonprofit client and their management team are capable of doing. What resources do they have available? What leadership skills do their team currently have? This information helped determine the content of the nonprofit leadership program that I’m actually able to implement. I often used a SWOT analysis to perform this work, as well as using any existing Theory of Change models.
Once I knew what the problem is, who the stakeholders were, what skills and resources the nonprofit organization has available, and what people have already tried previously, it was possible to decide what the goal of the nonprofit leadership program should be.
I started by identifying all the different goals and objectives a nonprofit leadership program could have, and then chose which ones are most relevant and achievable, given the available evidence and resources in prospective nonprofit clients. I then decided how I will measure progress towards the goal and objectives.
Once the goals and objectives of the program are defined, the next question was which activities are actually going to lead to the goal? I used the following activities: a logical framework (describes how program activities lead to outputs, and how these lead to objectives/outcomes and program goal), and a monitoring and evaluation framework (describes the indicators that are used to measure whether the program is a success).
If nonprofit executives don’t understand the need for a leadership program, they won’t be able to explain it to their boards, and hence, potentially not have the program approved in their budget cycle. I scheduled meetings with board chairs and key nonprofit managers to discuss the specifics of the leadership program and how it will benefit their teams. Initially, some executives were not enthusiastic about the leadership program. (After all, this program will take a year to complete!) If dissension or reluctance was noted, I made a point to have a one on one conversation with them to explain how leadership programs benefited me as a nonprofit executive.
During the first few months of the leadership program, I will address common questions that arise and share stories about the way senior managers have successfully used the program. I will focus on the ways the program will benefit employees during these meetings, whether professionally or personally.
With Appleton Greene support, the nonprofit leadership program will be tested over the course of a year with select non-profits in a five-city area. This “beta test” allows me to correct any problems before the official program roll out. Once the program is live, I ask for regular feedback from program participants about their experiences with the program, emphasizing that I want to hear both positive and negative experiences. I would use these comments to make adjustments. I would respond to problems promptly and let participants know that I have listened to their concerns and made changes that will improve the program moving forward.
I start by identifying what I need to learn in the short and long term about the nonprofit leadership program. I think specifically about the decisions I am facing and when decisions have to be made. Key issues include:
• What am I hoping to learn from the evaluation?
• What decisions do I expect to make as a result of the evaluation?
• When do I hope to make those decisions?
To properly evaluate my efforts, I would develop specific criteria for success. What would count as success in reaching my audience? What would I consider a successful process? What would I consider a successful result? How would I determine whether a nonprofit leadership program participant had used my information?
The credibility of my evaluation with various stakeholders will depend in part on whether I have defined success in a way that resonates with them, as they may have different points of view about the most important criteria for success.
I will be collecting evaluation data from both individual participants, as well as from the organizations that employ them. When collecting evaluation data from participants, I will focus on their knowledge, attitudes/beliefs/preferences, experiences/responses, behavioral intentions (what they intend to do in the future, and actual behaviors. When I am collecting data about groups or organizations, I may also collect data on their future plans, policies and new initiatives.
I will likely be using a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods in my evaluation as well as tapping into existing data. I will be using surveys to ask a series of questions that will be closed-ended (quantifiable) and open-ended. Depending on the program participants’ preference, surveys may be administered by mail, by telephone, in person, or over the Web.
Last, the evaluation findings will be shared with Appleton Greene leadership. The evaluation findings will be used to further enhance the nonprofit leadership program and to promote my efforts.
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From the late 1800s up until 1920, the U.S. entered the Progressive Era, a time of increased social activism and political reform. During this time, policies such as child labor laws, suffrage for women and prohibition came into being. This was also a decade of prosperity and success for many in the nation towards the turn of the century. With an increase in wealth came an increase in giving back. The release of Andrew Carnegie’s Gospel of Wealth in 1889 promoted the idea of owing a duty to society and encouraged donating to causes.
A cause many found to be worthwhile was the YMCA. Though the organization had been around for years, the U.S.’s first significant fundraising campaign came in the early 1900’s. This effort became known as the “YMCA School” of fundraising. This took the organization from a private franchise focused on local chapters to one the entire nation and large philanthropists could get behind.
With the onset of World War II, and the fear that it would come to the states, Americans took it upon themselves to help out with the effort from home. For the first time in the nation’s history, people came together to fundraise on a global scale. They started to conserve resources, send supplies to troops overseas and develop both civilian and refugee relief programs. Many times, fundraising and volunteering took on the form of a collaborative effort. Service organizations like the YMCA, the Salvation Army and the National Jewish Welfare Board came together to create the United Service Organization for National Defense (USO). The American Red Cross also launched an unrivaled campaign to raise millions of dollars, recruit over 100,000 nurses and start the nation’s first-ever war-related blood donation program.
Following the shift brought on by the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. and the cultural resistance to the Vietnam War, Americans began to organize and work together to tackle specific issues. The government also became much more involved in social and cultural welfare programs. In 1969, the Tax Reform Act resulted in Section 501(c) 3 in the Internal Revenue Service Code, which said that every charity in the U.S. that fits certain requirements is a “private foundation,” meaning they have a principal fund managed by their own trustees or directors.
When organizations found that they could legally have status as a charitable organization and offer tax exemptions to their donors, there was a surge in applications for 501(c) 3 status. In 1976, Congress passed a bill, supported by the Coalition of Concerned Charities that allowed non-profits to legally spend up to $1 million per year on lobbying efforts. This gave them greater voice in the government. By 1980, the nonprofit sector was being referred to as the “third sector,” and it was influencing the business world.
In 1991, the World Wide Web became available for public use. For the nonprofit world, it became yet another avenue to educate their supporters and solicit funds. Online giving generated $2.1 billion in donations for non-profits in 2012 and has only been growing since. In 2006, the advent of social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook and their subsequent large followings gave non-profits another avenue for promotional and philanthropic use.
There are more than 10 million non-profits and non-governmental organizations worldwide. There are 1.6 million tax-exempt organizations in the United States – this includes all 501(c) designations from churches and cultural centers to food banks and disaster relief organizations.
The American nonprofit sector employs approximately 11.9 million people (one out of every 10 working Americans), making it the third largest employment industry in the country, behind only retail and manufacturing. Americans are generous. Total charitable giving in the U.S. in 2016 was about $390 billion, a 2.7 percent increase from 2015.
Approximately 63 million Americans — 25 percent of the adult population — volunteer their time, talents, and energy to making a difference. The 2020 national value of volunteer time is $27.20 per hour.
Contrary to popular belief, most non-profits are not supported primarily by donations, as 48% of revenue for public charities comes from fees for programs, goods and services, 33 % comes from government, 13% comes from philanthropic donations, 6% comes from investments and other sources.
In 2019, approximately 175 million people donated to charities in the United States. If non-profits were a country, they would have the 5th largest economy in the world.
In spite of these numbers, running an effective nonprofit has never been more difficult. Growing demand, shrinking resources, fierce competition, broken trust, and the “starvation cycle” are making it hard for many non-profits to sustain themselves and holding most organizations back from doing all they could to advance their missions.
Common concerns continue to manifest in three areas: consolidation of funding, falling behind with technology, and keeping up with the changing demographics of the nation.
Funding equity. There are constant concerns about money flowing to larger non-profits – entities with the resources, systems, and language to compete for larger dollars. The concerns of smaller nonprofit staffers mirror what non-social sector entrepreneurs’ share about larger, more established companies getting the bulk of resources. The consolidated flow of capital to non-profits happens not only with private dollars but also with government, and the larger the nonprofit, the easier it is for the diversification of funding to sustain when an appropriation falls through or government program and related funding ends.
Investment in tech and talent. Non-profits large and small are challenged by rapid changes in technology. Funders have been unwilling to make significant investments in helping the sector invest in new hardware, software, and tools to allow non-profits to stay current. The inability to efficiently track the people served inhibits a non-profits ability to report results, make improvements on programs, and tell its story. And, beyond the tech itself, the sector doesn’t have the talent available to take advantage of the data produced by technology, on behalf of strengthening programs and creating financial stability.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion. Like in corporate America, there was a real concern that the field is not keeping up with diversity, equity, and inclusion. As the population becomes increasingly diverse, the sector is not keeping up. As of today, 30 percent of the U.S. population is Black and/or Latino. Yet, Black or Latino individuals lead only 10 percent of non-profits. The funding patterns paint a worse picture. A recent study highlighted that only 4 percent of all philanthropy goes to organizations led by persons of color.
Top trends for charitable non-profits will continue to be: limited resources, increased demands on non-profits stemming from increased needs in communities and the growing awareness that every nonprofit and board member needs to be an active, vocal advocate for her/his nonprofit’s mission to affect policies in the community, and at a national level.
Growth and Awareness. Non-profit leaders have to consistently tailor key messages to continue to remain relevant to current and future stakeholders.
New Digital Opportunities. Technology will change how non-profits reach their audience, providing new opportunities to work together and increased efficiencies. Also, connectivity will link non-profits and their stakeholders more closely together, potentially helping non-profits more quickly reach those in need of what they offer.
Data Analytics and Machine Learning. With data analytics and machine learning, non-profits will be able to forecast their futures. This is true for program services, as well as for funders. Data analytics will help nonprofit leaders understand how people operate and patterns of behaviors. Hence, they can adjust the services they provide based on this learning. Similarly, leaders will know how funders operate and how much and when to ask for funding.
Donor Demographics. Non-profits core supporter bases are getting older. Non-profit leaders must appeal to younger demographics by continuing to bring event and traditional-giving campaigns online and improve accessibility. As technology evolves, they must be nimble and make giving convenient, personal and transparent. Additionally, they must move to transformational relationships with partners.
Voice-Powered Virtual Assistants. Artificial intelligence, online banking, giving and commerce will make soliciting and receiving gifts as simple as telling Siri and Alexa what to do. Non-profit leaders want to create appeals, which make it easy for mobile philanthropists to easily support a cause, charity or mission.
Staffing and Succession Planning. To hire top talent and remain viable, non-profits must compete with for-profits that offer work-life balance and non-traditional benefits. Non-profits looking to the future must also consider succession planning by focusing on age, gender and ethnic diversity across the board and staff.
Inclusion and Access. Developing a culture of diversity, inclusion and equitable access to opportunities is a primary focus, as non-profits address the needs of training current staff and integrating the newest technology into daily practices.
Big Data. Big data and technology are key factors that are likely to bring change to the way nonprofit organizations functions today versus 2025. Many nonprofit organizations still do not have technology integrated effectively, and others do not have big data to show if logic models are working efficiently.
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Almost everyone associates the establishment and boom of San Francisco with The Gold Rush. In the year after gold was found, the population of San Francisco grew significantly. With it came an influx of people and commercial growth. In some ways the Gold Rush laid the groundwork for a city that would continue to thrive through creativity and the desire to grow and seek more. Workers from China played a pivotal role in constructing the railroad and added to a robust and diverse culture. The establishment of Chinatown became the largest Chinese settlement outside of Asia. In addition to railroad construction, San Francisco’s agricultural community was thriving and saw an increase in labor from around the world. With more than 100 languages spoken, San Francisco has a reputation as being a city of diversity, inclusiveness, and activism.
The city has seen numerous challenges over the years including historic fires, earthquakes, and other devastating natural disasters but continues to push through and recover coming back as a resilient and strong urban icon. In the early 1900s cable cars were established providing early transportation. The 1930s brought construction of the iconic Golden Great Bridge and the San Francisco Bay Bridge. The port in San Francisco served as a leader on the West Coast.
In the 1990s the Bay area saw experienced a surge of growth in the tech industry. Most of this growth happened in the areas surrounding San Francisco, as people were moving out of the city and into more suburban areas.
Since that time, San Francisco has seen significant growth being brought back to downtown with the emergence of several large corporations choosing to be headquartered downtown. As business is brought back to the city, it has also brought back people wishing to work, live, and play in the space.
San Francisco’s current commercial position is charged by local Universities attracting talent from all over the world, complex and innovative tech industry, and venture capitalist funding to support the cycle of growth.
San Francisco continues to be identified as the hub for entrepreneurs, skilled workers, and venture capitalists. These factors have contributed greatly to San Francisco’s commercial landscape and establishing San Francisco as a powerful force in global commerce. A headline in US News in February of 2020 read “San Francisco’s Economy is Roaring.” At the time, the city was ranked as the strongest economy in the United States. The city earned accolades for its innovation, abundant venture capital, and supportive entrepreneurial culture. The continued emergence of the tech and biotech fields also were credited with contributing to the ranking. The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce has identified 5 sectors that are driving San Francisco’s long-term strategic growth plan. These include Biotech & Life Science, Social & Digital Media, IT & Software, Environment & Cleantech. The growth in social & digital media has been widely publicized along with IT and software companies.
The Biotech & Life Science sector is fueled by research programs at four local universities including UC Berkeley, Stanford, US San Francisco, and University of San Francisco. In addition to collaboration through research, the schools continue to attract global talent contributing to the well-educated and talented work force.
San Francisco’s prime location has positioned it as the largest US exporting region to Asia leading to a number of foreign trade offices located in San Francisco and the boom of international business.
San Francisco has the infrastructure, business friendly climate, human capital, investors, and a diverse and thriving culture that makes it attractive to so many.
This year has brought change and unprecedented circumstances to all cities including San Francisco. The city has experienced massive job loss over the past year and continues to battle a housing crisis with a lack of affordable housing for many who live and work in the city.
Recent headlines warning that tech giants are fleeing the city are becoming more common especially as cities like Austin, San Jose, Seattle, and Chicago see increased growth within the tech sector. With the pandemic forcing many people to work from home, it also found people evaluating aspects of their life including housing, access to outdoor recreational activities, and general things that improve quality of life. As a result, San Francisco is seeing several members of the tech community move elsewhere. Rent in the Bay area has declined over the past several months, but it isn’t enough to provide support to most residents in need of affordable housing. Additionally, as with many cities around the country, the pandemic has hit low-income individuals and families the hardest. It continues to highlight areas within the city where significant inequalities exist.
However, despite the challenges of the housing crisis, when looking at the industries that are continuing to grow amid Covid-19, many of them are in San Francisco and neighboring communities. Likewise, science and research continue to thrive in San Francisco and have played critical roles in the pandemic.
San Francisco has the capacity to continue to thrive but must address the impending housing crisis that is impacting so many.
Seattle has a history of innovation, perseverance, and entrepreneurial spirit, which has allowed the city to endure a changing landscape of industry and economic vitality over the years. Seattle’s commercial landscape embraces natural resources, technology, and innovation.
Anyone who has travelled through western Washington can’t help but notice the lush and plentiful forests. For years, these forests have provided a resource to empower growth and opportunity for Seattle and surrounding communities. In the late 1800s, settlers began establishing lumber mills and saw the demand for lumber increase with the California Gold Rush. This created jobs, opened trade routes, and solidified the important role lumber had on Seattle commerce. Growth continued with the Seattle connection of the Northern Pacific Railroad, which created efficiencies for shipping and passenger travel paving the way for new industry development. Seattle began welcoming people from all over the world and establishing itself as a diverse and thriving metropolis.
During World War I and World War II, Seattle played an important role with shipbuilding and aircraft. During this period, Seattle workers facilitated what came to be known as The Great Strike to demand wages maintained consistent after the war ended. This put Seattle on the map throughout the world as being a place of activism and voices to fight for change.
The spirit of innovation that started the lumber, shipbuilding, and aircraft industries continued to spread throughout Seattle. In recent years, innovative companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Starbucks have chosen to call Seattle home. This has contributed to the vibrant, diverse, and unique landscape of Seattle.
As the world continues to face uncertain times with the challenges of the political climate and the economy, it will be more important than ever that Seattle embraces it’s long tradition of facing adversity and creating a space that invites innovation and problem solvers while utilizing resources within its reach to fuel commercial growth.
Seattle, like other cities throughout the world right now, is facing unprecedented times in all aspects of commercial activities. Seattle was the first place seriously impacted by the pandemic in the United States and is experiencing significant economic turmoil as a result. Industries such as travel, tourism, and hospitality that have been a viable part of the Seattle’s commercial landscape face long-term implications. In addition to the pandemic hitting the city hard, the riots of 2020 also created lasting impact. For a city that has been noted as progressive and inclusive, the damages from the destruction and instability creates a notable challenge.
However, while the critical impacts of Covid-19 cannot be dismissed, many Seattle businesses are continuing to report growth, retain talent, and contribute to the ongoing health and vitality of Seattle.
It was just reported in January that Seattle became the 10th largest regional economy in the United States. The data was based on pre pandemic statistics, but still provides a hopeful programion of Seattle’s strengths and ability to support growth. Contributing to this growth are well known corporate giants such as Microsoft and Amazon that call Seattle home. However, Seattle has also seen significant boom from tech companies focused on software, logistics, and big data. These companies are attracting skilled workers and retaining them. In this same report, it was noted Seattle gained 2.2 employees for every one worker that left. During a time when many cities around the country are struggling with retaining talent, this is encouraging.
Seattle continues to boast a culture that embraces the arts, culinary experiences, sports, and music while providing a downtown experience with parks and green space attractive to its young and energetic workforce.
Venture capital investments are continuing to rise in the Seattle area as well, indicating promising growth in technology, biotech, and the pharmaceutical sector. There is no doubt that the pandemic has forced all of us to examine the ways in which we do business and has pushed us in the direction of technology. Seattle has a history of embracing innovation and is on the path towards adapting well to these demands.
While this is all good news for Seattle, there are ongoing challenges that coincide with this growth. The housing market in Seattle saw significant increases in home prices in 2020. As with many cities around the country, the demand for housing continues to drive prices and create challenges for millennial buyers. With persistence, this will threaten workforce stability.
The challenges of Covid-19, a year of protests, and political unrest provides an opportunity for Seattle to address current challenges and rebuild in a strong and powerful way. The common thread of persistence and innovation throughout Seattle’s history will be pivotal in moving the economy forward.
Seattle must address its current housing crisis. As more wealth continues to grow in Seattle because of the demand for highly skilled workers, the housing costs are continuing to rise. This is also driving up the cost for rentals. Seattle continues to have a significant portion of low-income residents that are finding it incredibly difficult to secure affordable housing.
In addition to the housing crisis, the pandemic is exploiting the extreme disparities that exist within the Seattle community. In July of 2020, the Seattle City Council passed a new tax to generate revenue for affordable housing and pandemic relief. This new tax creates revenue from payroll taxes, which has created some concern as to the level of pushback that will be received. The tax comes at a time that many businesses are struggling. In March of 2021, the city also proposed two new policy actions to further assist the housing crisis.
Seattle continues to have one of the highest minimum wages in the country as yet another way of trying to address the significant increased cost of living and challenges in presents for many low-income families.
Moving forward, Seattle has the innovative minds, entrepreneurial spirit, and voices that can bring about the necessary changes to help Seattle maintain its position as a city full of opportunity and growth.
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City was founded in the mid-1800s by a group of pioneers seeking a place to practice their religious freedoms free from persecution. The Gold Rush impacted Salt Lake City as it did many areas of the American West. This influx of new people brought trade and diversification of goods and services in the area. The railroad also played an important role in connecting Utah to the east and west regions of the nation. During this time more settlers were landing in Salt Lake and many gold, silver, and lead mines provided opportunities for work. This activity led to the construction of more buildings and lavish homes. As more settlers came to the region from Europe and other areas, they brought with them their culture and languages helping to establish Salt Lake City into a multicultural environment.
Over the coming years, Salt Lake City’s downtown grew with larger buildings being constructed and a transit system to link suburban neighborhoods downtown. With the growth of suburban neighborhoods, a focus came in the 1960s to reinvest in downtown to ensure it was inviting, robust, and would be sustainable for future generations.
Salt Lake City hosted the Olympic Winter Games in 2002 and that brought an expansion of the Convention Center, hotel rooms, and other venues throughout the city. This large event put Salt Lake City on a world stage and highlighted much that the city has to offer from urban experiences to its beautiful and scenic landscape offering endless recreational opportunities.
Utah’s state symbol is the beehive and it comes from the name it held during the time it was part of Mexico. The name at the time was State of Deseret with Deseret meaning honeybee, a symbol of industriousness. Over the years, this name rings true to the landscape of the Sat Lake City region, as citizens are hardworking, dedicated, and striving towards prosperity.
Salt Lake City continues its culture of industrious spirit today with a robust and healthy business environment. Salt Lake City has been consistently recognized with several rankings positioning it as an up and coming powerhouse for economic growth. The city has been ranked as one of the best places to start a business, one of the top cities competing with Silicon Valley for tech entrepreneurs, best job market for college grads, and one of the best overall places to live.
Several factors contribute to making Salt Lake City an attractive place to start a business including its physical location. The city has an International Airport with a major Delta hub with direct connection to several international business centers around the world including London, Toronto, and Paris. Salt Lake is also labeled the “Crossroads of the West” with easy interstate and railroad connection throughout the country.
Today the commercial landscape of Salt Lake City consists of 5 key sectors including the financial service industry, information technology, manufacturing, life sciences, and outdoor products and recreation. Within these sectors, several large corporations have decided to make Salt Lake City home. The city is successfully recruiting and maintaining skilled workers and continues to boast one of the youngest populations in the country.
Salt Lake City has diverse neighborhoods each with their own culture and unique experiences. This contributes to a vibe that is fun, welcoming, and fulfills the need for a variety of foods, music, and artistic experiences. Salt Lake City’s recreational opportunities are endless with easy access to national parks, skiing, and hiking. Additionally, the city has prioritized public transportation with light rails and commuters connecting the various neighborhoods with downtown and the airport. All of these factors contribute to making Salt Lake City a desirable place for young skilled workers helping to maintain its position as location for continued economic growth and development.
Salt Lake City may have been once seen as a pocket of urban experiences among a primarily rural surrounding. However, with the rapid growth the area has experienced, that picture is changing. Salt Lake City is experiencing growing pains that come along with larger urban areas and will be pushed to address these needs to ensure a long-term sustainable growth strategy.
Housing is one area the city is experiencing challenges. In 2017, the city was ranked as the #1 city for millennial homebuyers. Recently the influx of people to the area and homes being purchased has created shortages. Housing prices have continued to rise as well. The city has seen new construction and high-rise rentals increase but the demand continues to exceed the supply.
One way Salt Lake City has been proactive in addressing housing challenges is by ensuring public transportation is available and accessible to those making the commute downtown. Likewise, Salt Lake City is planning for higher density housing to make best use of available space. This planning and foresight will help Salt Lake City maintain its vibrant downtown growth.
Salt Lake City is also experiencing the impacts of job loss from Covid-19 and will be faced with addressing long term impacts and changes the pandemic has placed on businesses throughout its community. Prior to Covid-19, Salt Lake City was experiencing low unemployment and increased job growth. At this time, employers stated their biggest concerns were recruiting and retaining skilled workers. There is uncertainty as to the long-term impacts of the pandemic on the job market however Salt Lake City Economic Development released a study recently that estimates 33,400 jobs are at 98-99% risk of being automated. This brings about a series of new challenges for the job market that must be addressed.
Salt Lake City is also faced with growing pains from rapid growth that is benefiting some populations while leaving others behind. As housing costs and costs of living increases in the area, many residents were working multiple jobs to make ends meet. As Salt Lake continues to honor its industrious spirit, these factors will need to be addressed to ensure ongoing rapid growth is manageable and beneficial to the long-term sustainability of the city.
Denver has a rich history of dedicated individuals fighting to keep the city alive and vibrant. The resilience and perseverance of these individuals not only shaped the history of Denver but also contributed greatly to its current success. The city of Denver was founded as a mining town during the Gold Rush. During this time, ranching and the mining of gold and silver were the primary economic drivers. During the late 1800s, a significant fire followed by flooding devastated Denver. When the railroad expansion bypassed Colorado, citizens raised money to build their own railroad connecting to Cheyenne, Wyoming. This piece of history is relevant because it gives a glimpse into the heart of Denver. It is a city of resilience, strength, and determination.
As time went on Denver’s economy diversified with the introduction of the telecom industry and the building of what is now the Denver Technological Center. This has housed industry leaders in the communication, data processing, and computer sectors. Additionally, the energy market has proven to be essential to Denver’s economy for more than 80 years. Recent years have seen a spike in tech related industries calling Denver home and siting the high concentration of Internet and telecommunication industries as a primary driver. The center of Denver has attributed its economic success to this diversification.
Denver’s current economy is driven by nine key sectors including Aerospace, Aviation, Bioscience, Broadband & Digital Communications, Energy & National Resources, Financial Services, Food & Beverage Production, Healthcare and Wellness Industry, and IT-Software. These industries are driving revenue, creating viable job opportunities, and further securing Denver’s claim as a successfully diversified economy. Scanning the Denver Economic Development Council news shows consistent influx of large international companies choosing to be headquartered in Denver. Denver’s low corporate tax rates, skilled workers, regional location, available resources, and forward-thinking planning have assisted in making the city a business-friendly community. Prior to the Coronavirus Pandemic, the unemployment rate in Denver remained low and opportunities for career growth another appealing factory for businesses and individuals.
In January of this year, Denver was ranked as number 6 in the nation for future development prospects. It was recognized as a viable source for growth in retail, multifamily housing, industrial, and office space development. The report sites consistent years of employment and population growth as key indicators for determining the ranking. The city continues to be attractive to investors as the economy has been on a consistent boom over the past decade.
While Denver isn’t technically a mountain town, its easy access to the mountains and the abundance of outdoor recreation activities that presents, makes Denver a hotspot for those seeking adventure and a balanced quality of life. Denver boasts a vibrant music, sports, and art scene. Denver is home to a number of breweries and ranks first in the nation for employment within the Food and Beverage Industry.
As Denver continues to grow, it will experience challenges along the way. Denver’s population is spread out among several neighborhoods outside of the city, relying heavily on car transportation. As traffic flow increases this will pose ongoing challenges. Like many other cities around the country Denver is also facing affordable housing concerns as limited supply is available and housing prices continue to rise. Rent is also a concern in Denver as prices have consistently gone up in recent years.
Denver’s future like so many other cities around the country will rely heavily on its ability to successfully adapt and pivot from the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic.
A 2020 report predicts Denver will see job growth this year but not make up for the jobs that were lost. Denver’s hospitality and utilities industries were hit especially hard during the pandemic. However, these sectors are expected to experience growth in 2021. As working from home continues to become the norm, it will have impact on sectors of the economy including retail and transportation. Denver’s population is anticipated to be the slowest it has been since 2003.
As of 2020 the Denver housing market was the 2nd most competitive in the country with housing shortages reaching an all time low. As cost of living increases, it will continue to create challenges for the city and the dynamic work force it has attracted to date. Denver will need to get creative about housing and perhaps boost its public transportation to make neighboring communities more appealing to homebuyers. Denver’s current public transportation doesn’t extend to many neighboring communities creating long commutes and making citizens reliant on automobile travel.
The resilience and determination of the city of Denver to endure the ups and downs of its early start to become the sought-after city it is today is encouraging. There is opportunity to address these challenges and ensure Denver holds its spot as one of the most desirable cities to live in the US.
In comparison to several US cities, Phoenix is young and that has impacted its development and commercial landscape. Agriculture played an important role in the commerce activities of early Phoenix with the railroad being a valuable component for transporting goods. Tourism started during this time but was mostly limited to the wealthy and didn’t greatly impact the overall Phoenix economy. During World War II the Federal Government assisted the growth of Phoenix by establishing two air force bases. This brought servicemen to the area along with the introduction of the manufacturing and aerospace industries.
In the 1970s Phoenix started experiencing significant growth. During this time, residents were building small single-family houses further away from downtown establishing far-reaching extensions of the Phoenix metropolitan area. Car travel was a necessity. In the 1980s a shift occurred in Phoenix with a focus back on downtown. Planning and efforts were made to draw people back to the city and encouraged the creation of new businesses that would shape the culture of the city.
With these changes also came the development of a public transportation system that connected Phoenix with neighboring Tempe and Mesa communities. Arizona State and University of Arizona also located some of their campuses within the downtown community. These new changes brought life back to the city and encouraged ongoing growth. The housing market was thriving, and Phoenix was welcoming young and talented professionals to the area.
Phoenix is becoming increasingly appealing to many because of the city’s low cost of living, ample supply of jobs, and the growing cultural and entertainment scene. In 2019, Phoenix was ranked by millennials as the 4th most desirable city in the country to live.
Phoenix is experiencing growth within the high technology, manufacturing, bioscience research, and advanced business services sectors. Within each of these industries, large companies exist that have chosen to make Phoenix home. Phoenix portrays a collaborative environment boasting partnerships with local community colleges to gather insights regarding current workforce needs, business trends, and certification and training programs. Grant funding and no-cost assistance with hiring can provide a support system for businesses choosing to operate in Phoenix. Likewise, the University of Arizona and Arizona State University turn out local talent that is helping to fuel growth within these industries.
Additionally, Phoenix has several large incubators and venture capitalists interested in supporting new ideas and facilitating a business environment that fosters innovation and entrepreneurship.
As a result of this recent growth, Phoenix’s demand within its housing market also continues to grow. Unlike several cities around the country, Phoenix isn’t facing a housing crisis yet and continues to be much more affordable than other cities in the US.
In addition to a collaborative business environment, plentiful resources, low cost of living, and affordable housing, Phoenix is also making a priority to invest in public schools. As competition continues to increase among other cities such as Austin, San Jose, and Houston, this may prove to be a strong differentiating factor for Phoenix if it continues to communicate that message. Phoenix has positioned itself well for the current growth its experiencing while also proactively looking to the future for viable and sustainable ways to maintain it.
As many countries around the nation face significant fallback from the Coronavirus pandemic, Phoenix could possibly recover more quickly than others. While there is still so much uncertainty regarding the federal and state economic landscape during this time, there are a few good indicators as to Phoenix’s future.
Currently, 60 percent of Phoenix’s private sector works in advanced industry sectors including technology, bioscience, and aerospace. These jobs have been retained during the Coronavirus pandemic and have continued to see job growth over the past year. This marks a significant shift in the economy of Phoenix. During the last recession in 2008, more than half of the private sector of Phoenix worked in consumption jobs. Jobs in the construction, retail, and real estate industries were in jeopardy and impacted the Phoenix economy as a result.
Additionally, the state has put an emphasis on tax credits and recruitment packages with Phoenix also focuses on creating an export economy and has seen growth over the past few years in this area.
The service, travel, and hospitality industries within Phoenix have been certainly been impacted by Covid-19, but once travels and more normal daily patterns resume, those sectors should be quick to recover.
- Nurture leaders
- Risk management
- Corporate culture
- Manage change
- Influence people
- Clarify vision
- Empower success
- Decision Making
- Increased profits
- Company structure
- Employee engagement
- Reduced turnover
- Program leadership
- Managerial skills
- Effective teams
- Self confidence
- Learning experience
- Problem solving
- Work productivity
- Develop leaders
- Increase productivity
- Improve career
- Empower success
- Boost confidence
- New skills
- Better communication
- Emotional intelligence
- Leadership style
- Encourage introspection
- Embrace mistakes
Teton Adaptive Sports
My work with this adaptive sports center over the past four years has focused on shifting from a founder-driven entity to one governed by non-profit best practices. Each year, my contract has focused on a different segment of their business: executive director coaching, revenue scaling, strategic planning and board education. I have worked with the executive director to clarify roles and responsibilities, time management and how to build large philanthropic relationships. I have created multi-year fund development plans that ensure cash flow throughout the year. I have conducted strategic planning exercises with the entire organization, and serve as their accountability partner to move the plan forward. I work with the board to ensure that board meetings are actionable and board committee meetings focus on strategic planning priorities. The organization is stronger now due to both board and staff succession plans, diversified streams of funding, a refined vision, mission and core values, and board members who understand both their role as a group, as well as their individual roles as board members.
Community Safety Network
My work with this domestic violence assistance organization focused on executive director coaching, transition management, board education and strategic planning. I was retained to assist during a transition between a long-time executive director and board chair, to a new executive director (with no non-profit experience) and a new board of directors. I worked with the new executive to identify priorities, assess staff, train board members, and create time management parameters. I also facilitated the organization’s first staff and board retreat, as well as identified new strategic priorities for the organization to pursue. The organization now has new senior leaders in place whom report to the executive director, the board has active committee participation, and the group is clear as to decision-making authority.
Wenatchee Downtown Association
My work with this historic downtown preservation association focused on board training, change management and succession planning. When I was retained to work with this entity, the board had abdicated much of their responsibilities to the non-profit’s executive director. While the executive was capable, the work was too much, and the board was not fulfilling their roles as risk managers and fiduciaries. I assisted the organization in creating best practices work structure for the board, board members and the executive director. I worked with the executive on time management and delegation practices, as well as staff coaching exercises. We conducted a board retreat to create succession plans for both the board, and the executive director. The organization now has clarity in terms of work roles and transition plans.
Sheridan Community Hospital Foundation
My work with this community hospital foundation has focused on board development, fundraising campaign support, and communication strategies. I was initially retained to conduct a community assessment regarding the foundation’s communication with their supporters and the community at large. The foundation staff wanted feedback from the community as to perceptions of the foundation’s effectiveness prior to launching a large fundraising campaign for the hospital the foundation supports. Based on feedback from the community assessment, my work continued with the foundation in a training capacity for the foundation board of directors. I worked with them to provide clarity as to their role in fundraising for the organization, as well as giving them tools and training to actively participate in large-scale philanthropy associated with the fundraising campaign. They are on track to reach their fundraising goal of $4.4M by June 30, 2021.
Northwest Children’s Home
My work with this social services organization has centered on staff development and executive director coaching. I was originally retained to facilitate a staff retreat two years ago at a pivotal time in the organization. There had been an increase in staffing, and there was some tension around roles in the business, as well as communication flow between the executive director, the management team and the staff. During the staff retreat, we sorted out the primary issues that staff felt needed to be addressed and tasked them with finding solutions to the problems they brought to bear. In the year since that time, several staff have received promotions, the entire team uses communication as a positive tool in their departments, and they feel that the organization is transparent in their decision-making process. I have also worked with the executive director to strengthen his leadership position. He had identified time management and delegation as two areas that he needed to learn more about and refine in his daily work. He now has more time to truly lead the organization, as he has built in blocks of time to be present with his staff. He has also used delegation as a tool to coach up key staff members, allowing them to take on challenging programs while freeing him up to work on specific organizational initiatives.
More detailed achievements, references and testimonials are confidentially available to clients upon request.