Nine Points Every Nonprofit Leader Should Know

Nine points I believe everyone needs to practice to be a successful nonprofit social entrepreneur and leader.

  1. Look for people’s strengths; set team members up for success by focusing them on what they are good at.
  2. Look for passion in team members; experience is not necessary. Passion is what matters.
  3. Accept people’s inadequacies; no one is perfect.
  4. Nothing is perfect, ever.
  5. Empowerment and trust; are the foundational building blocks of a leader.
  6. Empathize; you have no business in the NPO/NGO sector if you cannot do this.
  7. Results matter; impact grows out of tangible results achieved. Start there.
  8. Failure is an opportunity; it’s up to you to find the opportunity hidden inside failure.
  9. Kaizen; sustained incremental improvement is more powerful than leaps forward.

Three additional thoughts that I reflect on regularly.

  1. I do not have an MBA; I don’t believe they are essential for social entrepreneurs of nonprofit organizations located anywhere. Business theory and getting stuff done rarely coexist. You don’t need an MBA to be a successful social entrepreneur. Just get out there and make a difference.
  2. I focus on my strengths; I surround myself with people who are good at everything else. I spend no energy improving what I’m not good at.
  3. The global education system doesn’t serve everyone; it leaves people behind by design. For that reason, team members look to employers to further their education.