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8 leadership dos and don’ts

A nonprofit is unlikely to have any success without effective leadership. Everyone’s definition of a leader is different, but there are some common threads, according to Emmet D. Carson, CEO and President of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

In “Nonprofit Management 101,” Carson laid out the qualities that all leaders should and should not have. The direction of your organization will ultimately determine the specific characteristics you should express, but Carson wrote that the following eight factors shouldn’t be ignored, regardless of the situation:

  • DO lead consistently with passion and explicitly stated organizational values to inspire those around you.
  • DO insist on a comprehensive annual evaluation.
  • DO learn equally from outstanding and mediocre leaders.
  • DO cultivate the art of active listening.
  • DON’T ever surprise your board.
  • DON’T avoid confronting the –isms of racism, sexism, and ageism in your organization.
  • DON’T confuse delegating with managing.
  • DON’T rely on a one-size-fits-all leadership style.

As we celebrate our 36th year, NPT remains dedicated to supplying breaking news, in-depth reporting, and special issue coverage to help nonprofit executives run their organizations more effectively.