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Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN
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Nonprofit Leader Partnerships: How to Achieve the Right Balance

Nonprofit Leader Partnerships: How to Achieve the Right Balance | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

"Like a well-played symphony, when nonprofit leaders partner well with their staff and volunteers, magic happens.  Leadership & Partnership in the nonprofit sector:"

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Shared leadership can catch new leaders off guard. 

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In this Part Two post from  “Seven Ways New Non-Profit Leaders Succeed The First Year on the Job," – co-authored with Jolene Knapp and Alan Davis, another Ideas for Action, LLC colleague, we offer solutions for nurturing a successful partnership.  Part One of the series recommended first steps of CEO listening and communicating with the specific titles of:


  1. Listen to learn
  2. Communicate, and communicate again

Below, we share details and links to resources on setting the leadership agenda as well as finding your rhythm with a new board chair or council president, as well as educating and encouraging volunteers.
 

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Co-creation is a powerful way to establish partnership.
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3. Set a Leadership Agenda

When things go wrong between CEOs and their boards, it’s often the result of a failure to reach a common understanding of what constitutes success. Co-create the new leadership agenda. One of the best tools we’ve seen is a simple but powerful template for articulating priorities and goals for the next 18 months, including the respective roles of the new leader, board, and senior staff in achieving them.   (See the Sample Leadership Agenda in this article from the Bridgespan Group.)


Do not overcommit yourself or your staff. Leaders, members, and other stakeholders are excited about a new CEO; they want projects or tasks implemented that may have been pending for a while or they have new ideas.


Establish a pattern of having strategic conversations with the board that set clear expectations about goals, roles, and ways to assess progress. In addition, it is important to assure that the chair/president is passing along information to the rest of the board.
 

4.  Establish a Rhythm for Building Shared Leadership with the Board Chair

In the complex world of governance, it’s important to find a communication pattern that builds solid leadership connection in your organization. One CEO we consulted said that in preparation for each new governance year, she facilitated an off-site leadership transition retreat with the incoming president, immediate past president, and new president-elect. (This will vary with the size and culture of your board.) In a private and relaxed setting, the goal was to orient the president-elect to current challenges, provide deep background on strategic priorities, and co-create a shared leadership vision for the year.


Related posts by Deb on Non-Profit Leadership in this series:

    

Courage for New Leaders To Listen & Learn in the New Year

  


Related posts by Deb on Strategy and Change:

   

    

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Shared leadership can catch new leaders off guard. In fact, it’s a challenge not only for brand new CEOs, but for seasoned CEOs whenever newly elected leaders take office.  


In working with my friend and colleague Jolene Knapp, for example, I learned about how she needed to become acquainted with a new board president EVERY YEAR, in her role as an Executive Director.  This added pressure to her role, and it also developed her agility in building new leader partnerships. It is from this perspective we share our insights in this blog series for nonprofit leaders.


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Manish Puranik's curator insight, January 11, 11:55 PM

'Listen to Learn' and 'Communicate, and communicate again' would prove the simplest mantra of this age, if used appropriately! 

Jaro Berce's curator insight, March 2, 6:07 AM

Shared leadership can catch new leaders off guard. In fact, it’s a challenge not only for brand new CEOs, but for seasoned CEOs whenever newly elected leaders take office.  


In working with my friend and colleague Jolene Knapp, for example, I learned about how she needed to become acquainted with a new board president EVERY YEAR, in her role as an Executive Director.  This added pressure to her role, and it also developed her agility in building new leader partnerships. It is from this perspective we share our insights in this blog series for nonprofit leaders.


Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN
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Female muscle, the Changing Politics & Economy of Gender, Women in Leadership

Female muscle, the Changing Politics & Economy of Gender, Women in Leadership | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

"Insights into Leadership & the Politics of Gender via the book, The End of Men: And the Rise of Women by Hanna Rosin to be published in Britain in October"


At the local Women's Exchange of Washtenaw Forum 2012, one of our Open Space group discussions was on the Politics of Gender.  This intriguing book brings up good points about the shifts & changes in our disruptive, social media charged, globally connected world.    

   

The photo set, including several public photos, is here:  Women, Empowerment at WXW Open Space Exchange Forum2012   ~  Deb

  

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“All the things we need to be good at to thrive in the world…are things that my female friends and competitors are better at than me.”

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Excerpted - from the Economist, Sept. 2012:

   

Women dominate university attendance around the world.

   

  • In South Korea more women than men pass the foreign-service exam, which has sparked the foreign ministry to implement a minimum quota for men. 
   
  • In Brazil nearly a third of women earn more than their husbands, a phenomenon that has caused men to form church support-groups calling themselves “Men of Tears”.
   
Ms Rosin, an editor at Atlantic, whose book grew out of an article she wrote for the magazine in 2010, highlights how women today are excelling, while men founder.
   
As part of her research, she travelled to many corners of America, including Auburn-Opelika, Alabama, where women’s median income is 40% higher than men’s.
    

The financial crisis has been especially unkind to men: three-quarters of the 7.5m American jobs lost in the recession belonged to men and were in traditionally masculine industries, such as construction, manufacturing and finance.

   

  • “Probably no one has had their wife move up the ladder as far as I’ve moved down,” says one man.
   
  • Another, who is annoyed that his girlfriend earns more than he does, complains, “All the things we need to be good at to thrive in the world…are things that my female friends and competitors are better at than me.”

  

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The new service-based economy rewards communication and adaptation, qualities that women are more likely to have.

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Ms Rosin highlights the deterioration of the male-in-the-workplace condition.

    

  • The new service-based economy rewards communication and adaptation, qualities that women are more likely to have. 
    
  • Only about 3% of men have taken over raising children full-time while their wives support their families. 
    
  • Instead, many men, especially young ones, have retreated into a world of video games, drinking and prolonged adolescence—a phenomenon identified in “Guyland”, a 2008 book by an American sociologist, Michael Kimmel.

 

Read the full post here.

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Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN
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Courage for New Leaders To Listen & Learn in the New Year

Courage for New Leaders To Listen & Learn in the New Year | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

It takes courage to listen. Whether it’s a first or fifth transition to a new leader role, these non-profit leadership lessons learned are timeless. Pause, reflect. choose, (from horse-guided leadership & learning.) In the first months, resist the urgent and not important to follow these practical steps to ensure your success.  

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It takes courage to listen & learn, as a new leader.
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What I learned at the University of Michigan early on was the power of the conversation. Listening builds relationship. Listening well has impact as a leader with groups of new direct reports, with peers and colleagues, ALL of them await a new leader’s first steps and actions. Each. Encounter. Equals. Opportunity. To. Connect.

John Taylor, CEO of the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) had this to say about the series:
 

“As a new CEO, the article’s main points to invest time in learning, building relationships, and establishing priorities have been key during my first six months on the job.”  
 

I interviewed John before he left his role at the University of Michigan. His view is a fresh insight to help this year's new leaders.  Note that although we make reference to associations throughout the posts, these tips apply to any non-profit organization and are adaptable to the for-profit sector as well.

EXCERPTS from the full article derived from
  -- "Seven Ways New Non-Profit Leaders Succeed the First Year on the Job"

1. LISTEN to Learn

In many high-pressure environments, deep listening distinguishes the highly experienced from the amateurs. ...One association executive advised his peers to “resist the temptation to prove how bright you are; do nothing when you first arrive—just learn.”
   

...Develop a list for listening interviews including staff, board members, active volunteers, randomly selected members, dropped members, industry leaders, subject matter experts, external partners, and others. Everyone has something to say; they ...will be encouraged by your desire to learn. Ask open-ended questions. Prepare to be surprised. Though many relationships will deepen during your tenure, early conversations can provide unique opportunities for candid exchanges unencumbered by baggage, fears, or agendas.

 

2. COMMUNICATE!

...Information for your staff is usually under-communicated by a factor of four.
 

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Staff members are vitally interested in what the boss [senior leadership team, executive committee, board] just talked about. Find a way to share it regularly.

    

  • The board should be vitally interested in progress toward strategic goals. Find a way to check on this.
   
  • Committees and other volunteer groups don’t know what other committees and groups are doing. Summarize, align, and share.
   
  • Members and constituents want to know “What’s in it for me?”  They will appreciate understanding the logic behind board decisions. Find a way to test, confirm and communicate this regularly. 
Read the full post on LinkedIn : https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/courage-new-leaders-listen-learn-year-deb-nystrom 
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This article is useful for any non-profit leader in interim roles, as well as new leadership roles.  It's drawn from my work with new, on-boarding leaders in a large, complex, world-class non-profit, the University of Michigan, and my continuing work for my own company,REVELN Consulting, co-written with my colleagues, senior partners at Ideas for Action, LLCAlan Davis, my former client and friend, Jolene Knapp, who are both talented, highly experienced non-profit CEO's and leaders. I'm pleased to be sharing with you ourSeven Ways New Non-Profit Leaders Succeed the First Year on the Job".

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