Live Oak

[Note: A version of this article appeared in Philanthropy Daily on December 21, 2017.] I’m fascinated by what makes someone an effective nonprofit leader. Yes, leaders should be inspiring and visionary, setting and articulating a vision for the organization. And, of...

Lonely At the Top

{Note: This post has been co-published by the Maine Association of Nonprofits.} It’s not easy being a nonprofit CEO. People expect the CEO to have all the answers. The ideal CEO is inspiring, strong, visionary, articulate, persuasive, down to earth, and, of course,...

Anticipating the Worst

People make dumb decisions. Sometimes the decision isn’t really a decision at all, but simply a momentary loss of focus, like locking yourself out of the house when you take the dog for a walk. Sometimes what happens is more of an actual decision, but it’s impulsive,...

Foundering

“So what’s your boss like?” I asked a friend, who had recently taken a position at a nonprofit. “Well, you know. He’s a founder.” My friend then listed the adjectives describing his boss: “Creative. Dynamic. Charismatic. Visionary. Brilliant. Funny. Inspiring.” Also,...

Searching for Mr. or Ms. Right

I have a friend who works as the second-in-command at a very small nonprofit. Her longtime and very effective executive director is retiring, and the board is searching for a replacement. I asked my friend if she was nervous about the transition, and she expressed not...