Sunday, February 8, 2009

Highlights from the Next Gen ED Panel

On January 28th, YNPN San Diego launched its professional development series designed for emerging leaders by emerging leaders. The Next Gen ED Panel was a fantastic success!!! We were truly honored to have such an amazing panel of speakers and fantastic sponsors.

Below you will find highlights from the evening. Here is the link to the pictures from the event as well which you can also find on the side bar.

A special congrats goes out to YNPN San Diego member, Rafael Hoffman, who received the gift certificate to a Nonprofit Management Solutions’ workshop through the YNPN San Diego gift give away. The gift give away is something we do at every YNPN event for individuals who make a donation of any size to YNPN San Diego - every dollar counts!!!

Thank you to our speakers, John Bolthouse (La Jolla Historical Society), Michelle Ahearne (Sundt Memorial Foundation), Sue Carter (Volunteer San Diego), and Jessica Chang (AAJA & Channel 4 News) for their fantastic wisdom and support! We could not have done this without in kind support from the NTC Foundation and Phil Collum Photography. Be sure to check out the side bar for pictures from the evening.

Thoughts on being a leader…

  • Be confident yet humble
  • Engage in networking through organizations such as Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and YNPN San Diego
  • Take time to reflect on your expectations and accomplishments

Find a mentor…

  • Mentors should provide space and support
  • Mentors change as you move through your career
  • Fieldstone Foundation has a good focus on leadership and coaching
  • Look for mentors through Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and your board

What is your greatest leadership lesson?

(John Bolthouse):

  • Don’t underestimate the power of office politics – it makes leadership positions that much more sensitive and powerful.
  • Be true to yourself and be sure to make the right decisions for yourself. If you are true to your principles you will sleep better at night.
  • People will not always see things the same way as you.
  • Be yourself and don’t act for someone else
  • Address your weakness ad try to build on it – learn new skills
  • Be a leader and mentor to others

(Sue Carter)

  • Know that you don’t have all the answers and ask for help.
  • Provide leadership opportunities for others so they can step up – Pay it forward
  • Remember that the world will not fall apart around you if you take a break
  • When establishing authority, don’t dictate, but inspire confidence
  • Give yourself and staff time to focus on the work –life balance
  • Allow people to make mistakes, learn from them, and them coach through.

(Michelle Ahearne)

  • Bring your authentic self – this is what makes the sector special.
  • Let go of perfection.
  • There is a balance between leadership and management - migrate from management to leadership.

The difference between leadership and management

(Michelle Ahearne)

  • Do what’s in service of the organization and the mission versus what it takes to get things done day by day.
  • Look at uncomfortable situations as opportunities for creative solutions; there can be movement that comes from that.

(John Bolthouse)

  • Management dictates and leadership and inspires.
  • The way that your peers see you determines whether or not you are a leader.
  • Autonomy, authority, accountability
  • Let people do their jobs by giving them the authority to get their jobs done and hold them accountable – get out of the way.
  • Don’t micromanage people.
  • You’ll get better at recognizing personalities and skill sets
  • Have confidence in the people who are going to make you look good and you want to make sure they look good in return.

What was one of your biggest mistakes/challenges?

(Sue Carter)

  • Not delegating quickly enough. Got good at doing things, but did not help people learn how to do things.
  • Everyone has too much to do, so there is an important time management element
  • Be honest as soon as possible when you know a staff member is not a good fit. Take care of your best employees because other wise you will lose them.
  • When you have to let someone go be honest, but as respectful as possible.

(Michelle Ahearne)

  • Dealing with confrontation and conflict – it’s important to remember to be in service of the mission and the organization
  • Frame issues in a way that gets results
  • Move from a founder-led organization to a shared ownership model.
  • Work collaboratively.

(John Bolthouse)

  • If you are working up the ranks within a org you are going to have more politicking and cajoling.
  • It’s an opportunity – take all the gripes and recs and incorporate.
  • Help bring other people and ideas along.
  • It’s your job to convey why certain things won’t work to the entire staff.
  • Don’t give too much respect to others who were older and assume that they know everything. They may not have gotten where they are the same way you would.
  • Delegate and be patient to allow people to do their work.

What do you do to continue to strive for excellence? What inspires you?

(Michelle Ahearne)

  • The Executive Director program at Fieldstone Foundation
  • Step into a board position at another nonprofit
  • Access informal networks

(Sue Carter)

  • Joining a board will help you see a new perspective.
  • Work with people who are like-minded; who you can get some reflection with; who fills your well back up and inspires you.

(John Bolthouse)

  • Sit on in discussions
  • Don’t lose track of your mentors and connections
  • One of the greatest gifts you can give is professional development to your emerging leaders.

How much space does being an ED take from your personal life?

(Sue Carter)

  • There is a big difference between “have to” and “want to.” It’s more of a choice than anything else. VSD is the best job she has ever had and feels like it’s a calling more than job. It is sill stressful and needs to take breaks.

(John Bolthouse)

  • You can still have passion while having balance.
  • If you dedicate too much then it will catch up on you…it can reflect on your ability to manage yourself and personal life.
  • If you are working 60 – 70 hours a week there is something might be wrong with your time management and the organization; you need to take this to the board.
  • If the board is driving you to do that amount of work then they need to look at themselves. You have a responsibility to inform people about the realities.

(Michelle Ahearne)

  • Work has to be life-giving; it has to fill the well. Ask yourself, “What else in my life fills that well?”
Your Turn...

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