5 Steps to Build a Strong Leadership Team Nonprofit Resources January 19, 2022

5 Steps to Build a Strong Leadership Team

It’s the beginning of a new year, and for many nonprofits, this means the board of directors is making their transitions into new roles. New officers or committee chairs may have been elected in Q4, or your organization may be putting out nominations for a new slate to be elected during the first quarter of 2022. Whether your organization’s leadership is transitioning or not, it is never the wrong time to work towards building a strong and effective leadership team.


Here are 5 things an Executive Directors, or really anyone in a leadership role, can do to develop and build a Leadership Team for their organization according to nonprofit expert, Joan Garry:


1) Define the Charge

Why is this group necessary? What value does the gathering of these people bring to you, to the organization, and to each member? What is the organization missing if you don’t create a real leadership team? Again, make sure you focus on the word “team.”

2) Define Roles and Responsibilities

Use real-life examples with your folks. A great one to use is the development of a budget that is in the best interest of the entire organization. Have the entire team engaged in making the tough decisions.

3) Define Your Expectations of Leadership

Do not assume that people know your expectations.  And please, I beg of you, include behaviors and not just achievements.

4) Create Meetings and Agendas that Reinforce the Prior Items

You gotta walk the walk. If you want a real team, then the leader of that team has to invest in managing it. If you are all about the whole being greater than the sum of the parts, then by golly, you better talk about things at these meetings that enable everyone to add value to a conversation. And you must make it clear that as leaders, each member has a valuable and valued point of view. (There can be no “you don’t know development – how can you have a point of view on this?”) Remember, your development colleague is wearing an organizational hat in this meeting. And as the Executive Director, you must call people out if you see their departmental hat sneaking out.

5) Get Everyone A Hat

Not kidding. Visuals are remarkably important. Nothing tells me more clearly that I am on the same team than team hats.

Read Joan’s full article here!

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