Advancing Nonprofit Capacity

Are you “tough as nails” or “soft as cotton?”

Today’s guest post is by: Michelle Jimenez, Senior Consultant HUB Philanthropic Solutions.

As a CEO, or Executive Director, how would others describe you? Charismatic…pushy…a visionary?

What would your donors and staff say about you?

I’ve worked with many nonprofit leaders. A few have fallen into one of two distinct camps: Tough as nails or soft as cotton.

So which is best?

The soft as cotton leader was magnetic, warm, and a great listener.  He ruled with his heart and hired individuals he knew and trusted to run the organization he founded. Some of the staff members were friends who lacked a nonprofit background.  But he was confident they would find a way to reach the organization’s goals.   He was a consensus builder and attracted donors that inherently trusted him to make the right decisions for the organization.

On the other hand, the tough as nails leader didn’t always entertain the opinions of everyone around the table.  She would not be described as a consensus builder, but was intelligent and made swift decisions.  People might call her firm, but fair. She too, put the mission of the organization first.

These two people are opposites in my mind, but it takes all kinds of leaders to make the world go round right? So which ED would you trust to use your hard eared, donations wisely? Who would seek to guide your organization into the future?

You see, the warm, magnetic leader didn’t put the right people into the right positions to lead the organization. He ruled too much with his heart and not enough with his head.  This jeopardized the mission.

The tough as nails leader earned my dollar, my respect, my time.

I trusted this leader to sidestep emotions that might develop during tough decision and keep the mission of the organization first. As an individual, her magnetism was easily rivaled, but as a leader, she was solid, believable, and trustworthy.

Each of us has an impact on the level of trust that donors have in our organizations. Find the style that works best for you.  Most importantly be the type of leader you would follow.

 

Similar posts
  • The One Leadership Trait That Will He... Today’s blog is by JWS Associate Micki Vandeloo, GPC. Think about the grant writing process for a minute.  Once your organization identifies an opportunity to get grant funding, what happens?  In all likelihood, someone (the development director or grant writer) reviews it to make sure it with a current or future program.  If this is [...]
  • Seasoned and Green Thanks to Susan Bottum Matejka, Vice President, HUB Philanthropic Solutions for today’s blog. Is your current Board comprised of established members – constituents who have been a part of your organization for a decade or longer?  Over the past few weeks, I have found myself in conversation with several non-profit leaders where this topic has been [...]
  • Making an Impact We are sharing some valuable resources regarding advocacy and nonprofits that we thought might be of interest to most organizations today. If you are looking for information on how to do thinks differently to create more social change for those you serve, take a look at the following e-book and online course. Laurel O’Sullivan, The Advocacy Collaborative, wrote [...]
  • The Realities of Virtual Teams   We don’t share an actual water cooler at JustWrite Solutions, but we still find ways to connect with our colleagues; we’re just a little more creative. And it appears we’re not alone. According to a 2012 study by the Society for Human Resource Management, almost half of the organizations polled used virtual teams. Thanks [...]
  • Term Limits for Nonprofit Boards: Bes... A special thanks to Molly Galo, Senior Consultant, HUB Philanthropic Solutions, for today’s blog. Nonprofit boards often ask us about “best practice” regarding term limits. Some wonder whether they’re required by law to institute them. Others simply want to know what policy is considered the gold standard. Truth be told, there is no law, nor [...]

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Blog

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events.