Leadership growth is crucial to nonprofit leadership success. The sad reality is that most nonprofit leaders do not see leadership growth as a priority. Growing in leadership ability is not nearly as difficult as most leaders might think. The following are a few suggestions on developing and growing as a nonprofit leader.
1. Find a mentor
One of the best ways to grow is to find a mentor. This may sound like it is difficult but it is easier than most leaders think. Mentoring is simply teaching another person from personal or learned experience. Finding a mentor means to find someone who knows something about leadership that could apply to the nonprofit setting. There are a couple of ways to accomplish mentoring.
Find a colleague
The first task is to begin asking questions to people who are in a similar area of expertise. Find someone who has worked longer or harder and start finding something from them to learn.
Find a long distance mentor
The second way to find a mentor is to listen to audio tapes or watch video tapes.
Find a leader with a different background
The third way to find a mentor is to look outside the realm of expertise for people. There are a variety of individuals who are leaders outside of the business community. These people are leaders and they have something unique to share.
2. Find resources for the long haul
Growth is short lived without some form of resources to continue the work and the process of growth. The understanding that leadership growth does not happen in a moment tends to support this theory. Leadership growth happens over time. There are a number of ways that nonprofit leaders can create a potential growth environment for themselves.
There are a wide variety of video and audio training materials that can be found on the topic of leadership. The issue is not finding the material but deciding what material works best for the leader and for the organization. The reality is that growing leaders often have more successful organizations.
Books and audiobooks
Using items such as books, audio books and such can become a major tool in equipping individuals in leadership. Even if financial resources are not available, use the local library to discover leadership materials. The reality is that there is no excuse to not find something to read or listen to. Remember leadership growth is a choice.
Attend conferences and seminars
The annual growth events such as conferences and seminars are excellent ways to get the leadership growth started but the work cannot end there. The event is not the end of the leadership growth but instead is the beginning. The event becomes the watershed for continued leadership growth and development for the future. The conference is merely a catalyst for continuing growth.
There are many different ways to grow as a nonprofit leader. These are some of the easiest and most accessible means for determining personal and leadership growth. Take some time to explore the various options in finding people to learn from and resources that can provide additional perspectives in leadership. Growth is a choice and every leader must make it. Now is the time to decide and take up the challenge of leadership growth.