One would think, given
the human-centric focus of most nonprofit organizations, they would be great
examples of post-industrial leadership styles. Rather than a top-down
management style they would exhibit the best traits of current, collaborative
leadership. Unfortunately, that is not often the case.
There may be a couple of reasons why this is so:
One suggestion is, nonprofit organizations tend to be more collegial, have flatter management structures, and have a kind hearted approach to their employees. Therefore, leaders in these organizations are reluctant to burden staff and volunteers with delegated work.
says, the type of personality, drive and ability it takes to become a nonprofit
leader often adds up to “control freak” (I can relate).
However, the inability
or unwillingness to delegate is one of the biggest problems managers face. Delegation is one of the most important management
skills for managers and leaders. The benefits are substantial, both for the
leader, for staff, and for the organization.
- Saves time for
the manager to focus on things only they can do.
- Ensures tasks
are assigned to staff with skills to do the job.
- Gives staff
opportunity to develop.
- Motivates and
So, how do we delegate effectively?
- Plan – know what
needs to be done, and be able to explain it clearly to the one receiving the
task. Understand the skills required to complete the task, the outcomes
expected, etc. Nothing is worse than setting-up someone for failure by giving
them a job that is not clearly defined, and not matched to their skill-set.
- Define – Ensure the
person receiving the task understands what is to be
achieved with specific and measurable results; how they are responsible for
producing the required outcomes; the deadline for completing task/project; what
their level of decision-making authority is.
- Monitor – don’t micro-manage, but provide enough oversight to enable
the job to be completed: schedule regular progress meetings; make yourself
available to provide clarification; communicate effectively.
- Be patient – If delegating is not currently an active part of
your management toolbox, it’s going to take time for it to work fully. The
first time you delegate a task, staff may lack confidence in the process, and
come to you more frequently, or proceed carefully, taking more time that might
be necessary. Stick to it, be consistent. The more you staff gets comfortable
with the process and results, the more confident and efficient they will be
come. Don’t dismiss delegation at the first hiccup, but support the process to
see more effective results.
When you invest the time
and energy to delegate, you increase personal and organizational
effectiveness. You improve
communication, build skills and competency, and strengthen employee engagement.
Effective delegation makes others better and ensures that even when you are
absent your leadership impact is still present.
Volunteers play a critical role in the operations of
non-profit organizations and NGOs. For many organizations, volunteers can make
the difference between successfully delivering services or program or falling
short of their goals.
However, it is becoming more difficult to recruit volunteers.
More people are expressing a lack of time are a reason they don’t volunteer.
Additionally, more organizations are in the market for volunteers.
What kinds of things can your NGO/non-profit organization do
to maximize your recruiting efforts? Here are six steps for recruiting volunteers.
Write a job description and post on:
- Volunteer Websites
- Your organization’s website, or social media pages
such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
- Include it in your regular newsletter, whether
electronic or paper.
- Ask current committee members to circulate the
posting or suggest potential names.
2. Find out what attracts a new volunteer
What sorts of things motivate people to volunteer? Understanding
their needs will help you better match them to the volunteer opportunities you
have. Perhaps they have a:
- need to network with peers
- desire to better understand local markets
- need to give back to the profession
- wish to enhance their career
- need for appreciation and recognition
- need to belong
Interview them like you would a prospective employee. The
interview is an important component to the comprehensive volunteer screening
process and allow both the organization and the potential volunteer to make
informed decisions about participation.
The selection process should also include reference checks
and any background checks that would be considered standard for the services
your organization provides. E.g., a vulnerable sector check if you service
4. Orient and train your volunteer
In order to be effective, volunteers need to receive
adequate orientation and training. Orientation familiarizes volunteers with
your organization’s policies and procedures and will help them to act in
alignment with your organization’s mission and values. Training helps ensure
that volunteers can perform their roles effectively and minimizes potential
risks posed to themselves and others.
A volunteer’s schedule will look different from that of
staff. Generally, they are giving of their spare time. Manage the expectations
up-front. Create a schedule that is mutually beneficial to the organization and
to the volunteer.
6. Recognize and reward
Volunteers are motivated by much the same things that
motivate all of us: praise, affiliation,
accomplishment, power and influence. Remember to say thank you to your
volunteers. Say it often. Say it publicly. Say it with sincerity. And, hold formal
events that recognize the hard work and contributions of your volunteers. Take
time to focus on them.
There are challenges that make it difficult to recruit and retain
the active volunteers needed to serve the community’s needs. But with determination,
focus and strategy, volunteer-run organizations can find those individuals willing
to influence their cause.
Success in public speaking can open a world of opportunity for you. It can broaden your horizons through personal development, influence, and advances in your profession.
Public Speaking Influences Your Personal Development
In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, self-worth ranks highest. Giving speeches helps us realize self-worth through the satisfaction experienced when a good speech is given. We become more confident, especially when the audience responds positively. It also reduces anxiety when asked by an authority to speak in front of people.
There was a student who dropped a course five times because he hated speaking in front of the class. After some self-study on building confidence, he decided to give public speaking a try and was successful. He came to enjoy the experience and even volunteered to give more speeches.
Using public speaking tools such as research, conceptualization, and organization, you have a systematic and effective way of presenting your ideas. With this experience, you will be better able to express yourself. You will also become more open to other people.
Public speaking satisfies your sense of achievement when the audience accepts you warmly. This reflects your level of communication skills and acumen. All these contribute to your self-esteem.
Public Speaking Influences Your Society
It is not only you who can benefit from the art of public speaking, but society as well. Governments and local organizations listen to the voice of their members. With proper communication skills, you can represent the public in voicing your rights and opinions.
An example of this would be community discussion. When a neighborhood holds regular meetings, it discusses issues or courses of action. In the discussion, opinions are expressed. Those with strong speaking skills have an advantage in communicating their opinion.
People from all walks of life need to speak in public, whether formally or otherwise: students reciting in school; folks in a town meeting; citizens voicing national issues. There is no easy way to avoid public speaking.
Public Speaking Influences Your Professional Development
Public speaking can help in your career. We tend to think of success as measured by how long you have been in your job or educational qualifications. However, research shows, one of the best indicator of success in any profession is how often a person is asked to give speeches. Those who give more speeches tend to have higher salaries than those who give less or no speeches.
Take this average engineer. She enrolls in a public speaking seminar that teaches two hours a week for six weeks. After two months, she is promoted to senior engineer. Her boss has been noticing her superb presentations.
The longer you work for an organization and the higher you climb the organizational ladder, the more your boss will ask you to preside over meetings and to give talks to the staff and subordinates or the clients. The higher your position, the more your responsibilities in leading people under you; and the more you must speak effectively.
A manager once said, “From the chairman of the board to the assistant manager of the most obscure department, nearly everyone in business speaks in public or makes a speech at some time or the other.”
It ’s not just big organizations and companies, small organizations and businesses also need staff who are good public speakers. If the high school is not persuasive enough to tell the school board that new gym equipment is needed, the athletes might have to make do with the old equipment. If salespeople cannot explain their products with a convincing sales pitch, fewer people will buy the products. This is true for nurses, doctors, firemen, police personnel and other professions.
Whatever you do, your capacity and capabilities can be improved through effective public speaking skills.
What is a leader?
A leader is a person who guides others toward a common goal, showing the way by example, creating an environment in which other team members feel actively involved in the entire process. A leader is not the boss of the team, but the person that is committed to carrying out the mission of the venture.
Leaders exist to get things done. Leadership is needed beyond the bounds of politics and business. Leadership is needed in families; schools and universities need leadership; charitable organizations need leadership. In fact, whenever there is an opportunity for two or more people to collaborate to get something done, leadership is a key ingredient.
Here are 7 tips on the subject of leadership from those who have demonstrated themselves to be leaders:
1. “Leadership can be thought of as a capacity to define oneself to others in a way that clarifies and expands a vision of the future.” Edwin H. Friedman – Leaders have vision. They share a dream and direction that other people want to share and follow. The leadership vision goes beyond your mission and vision statements. A leader’s vision permeates the workplace and is manifested in their actions, beliefs, values and goals.
2. “Most important, leaders can conceive and articulate goals that lift people out of their petty preoccupations and unite them in pursuit of objectives worthy of their best efforts.” John Gardner – Leadership is proactive rather than reactive. Leaders are good in crises – but they don’t sit around letting crises develop. Leaders identify potential problems and solve them before they reach crisis proportions. Leaders have an ability to identify and reap potential windfalls. Good leaders analyze and plan, then adapt their plans to changing circumstances and opportunities.
3. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader” John Quincy Adams – Actions still speak louder than words, particularly when your philosophies and behavior motivate people to do their best work. Nothing builds and sustains credibility like someone who leads by example.
4. “The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on.” Walter Lipmann – John Maxwell calls it The Law of Legacy – A leader’s lasting value is measured by succession. Leaders develop and grow people, people who will help to build and lead the future of the enterprise.
5. “The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say ‘I’. And that’s not because they have trained themselves not to say ‘I’. They don’t think ‘I’. They think ‘we’; they think ‘team’. They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don’t sidestep it, but ‘we’ gets the credit…. This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done.” Peter F. Drucker – Developing the confidence and capability of your people will raise their self-belief. Show them you believe in their potential. Encourage them to take risks. Help them to learn when things go wrong . A leader who boosts the self-esteem of people will always be more successful in retaining people.
6. “Leaders are more powerful role models when they learn than when they teach.” Rosabeth Moss Kantor – Great leaders have the ability to gain knowledge, acquire skills and adapt behaviours to achieve their goals. They always improve their skills and learn. They study people and learn how to effectively interact with them. They understand the importance of continuous learning. Leaders have the ability to ‘unlearn’ old behaviours and develop new ones.
7. “Whatever happens, take responsibility.” Anthony Robbins – It’s easy take credit when things go right, and shift the blame when things go wrong. It’s particularly tempting for a leader. A leader is positioned to blame just about anyone and anything when things go wrong. However, as a leader, you must take responsibility. When things go wrong, if your first instinct is to look for someone to blame, stop. Ask instead, “what can I do to help fix this?” You’ll only get better at what’s under your control.
In summary, a leader:
- Has a vision
- Has a plan
- Leads by example
- Develops people
- Builds confidence in people
- Keeps learning
- Takes responsibility
Look at this list above and ask, how well do I stack up against these seven points? What ONE thing could I start doing that will enhance my skills as a leader?