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10 tips on being a soulful leader

by The NonProfit Times - October 21, 2013

Everyone can think of some advice they’d like to pass on to others, usually things learned by bitter experience.

There is no end to bits of advice nonprofit leaders could swap, but Wayne Elsey, founder and chief executive of Soles4Souls, a nonprofit providing shoes to people in need, wrote about his experiences in his book ”Almost Isn’t Good Enough.” Elsey offers the following 10 tips for every nonprofit leader:

  • Be absolutely clear about your work. Think elevator pitch. You’ll live or die by its brilliance or absence.
  • Surround yourself with a great team. You can’t do it alone.
  • Focus on solving problems. Nonprofit work is not about the pursuit of self-actualization.
  • Make a decision. Be bold enough to make the call, and willing to accept the glory or suffer the consequences.
  • Believe cash is more than a four-letter word. Don’t be afraid of the subject of money.
  • Take action. Being paralyzed by fear always leads to defeat.
  • Scale to the size of the need. Don’t use a Band-Aid when you need stitches.
  • Check your numbers. Data will not lie.
  • Adjust to constant chaos. The world is changing too fast to stay the same very long.
  • Keep your eyes looking forward. Don’t lament the past. Don’t be consumed with the urgency of today.


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