Category Archives: Leadership

Leading From Behind

Karen Haren

 

 

One of the biggest challenges nonprofit Executive Directors report is having effective boards. Effective boards don’t just happen, they are developed and supported by effective Executive Directors. The Executive Director leads the board from behind ensuring the board is prepared to fulfill the it’s role in governing the organization.  Here are 5 key responsibilities of ED.

  1. Build a strong partnership with the board chair. Keep the chair informed of any issues.  There should be no surprises between these two partners.
  2. See that officers and board members are oriented and trained. Spell out expectations, provide background on roles, structure of the organization, mission, programs, fund raising, finances, strategic plan, successes and challenges etc.
  3. Prepare for board meetings. Develop an annual strategic agenda calendar for board meetings. Draft the board agenda and discuss with board chair, prepare background materials for actions that the board is being requested to take, distribute packet to board members one week before the meeting. Consider having a web page for board members with bylaws, board minutes, board calendar, meeting materials etc.
  4. Ensure the organization has a strategic plan. Annual plans, budgets, and staff performance plans all flow from the strategic plan. Present a dashboard at each board meeting that shows the board where you are in achieving the targets in the strategic plan.
  5. Ensure there is a performance management process for the ED. The criteria for the review as well as the process and time line should be spelled out at the beginning of the fiscal year.  Compensation and an annual raise should be tied to the performance review process.

While the ED may not be the individual who completes all of these tasks, it is important that the ED ensures that these tasks are accomplished.  Leading from behind ensures an effective governing board.

Author:  Karen Haren, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org

New Year Invites Reflection and Evaluation

Michael Kogutek, nonprofit management coach

Michael Kogutek

 

On behalf of all the coaches at Executive Coaches of Orange County, we want to wish you and your family a Happy New Year. May it be blessed with good health, peace and happiness. We at ECofOC are grateful that our 115+ clients have chosen to turn to us for individual coaching or for our Executive Director Forum (32 members), or for both.

For the past 15 years, we have been living our mission of helping nonprofit leaders  and managers become more effective, efficient and successful so their organizations can do more of their good work in our community.

The new year offers a time for us to pause and take an inventory of where we have been and set new goals for the future. The services of ECofOC may provide you an opportunity to move forward and up your game. Change  needs to be met with accountability.

Coaching  provides a  one-on-one relationship to nonprofit leaders. Our coaches help managers set specific goals and solve difficult issues from a nonjudgmental perspective in a confidential setting. Coaching can address virtually any nonprofit management issue, including board development, fundraising, outreach, leadership, management, finance, IT and HR issues, personal development and career planning.

Our Executive Director Forum is comprised of 10 to 12 executive directors facilitated by two experienced ECofOC coaches in monthly meetings using a proven process to guide the group to practical solutions for issues brought to the table by each participant. These sessions allow executive directors to test ideas and work though issues with a group of their peers.

We  hope you will consider getting a coach. If you are a manager with a non-profit organization in Orange County, you can apply here at www.ecofoc.org. The price is right; it is FREE! Our team of coaches are prepared to take you where you want and dream to go. The moment and power of change is now!!

Author:  Michael Kogutek, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org

 

Changing Leadership Skills for the Promotion

Adrianne Geiger Dumond

 

Even good leaders often face uncertainty when they consider what skills need changing in the new job. In a recent newsletter published by the Center for Creative Leadership, they present four (4) important attributes to consider: Self- Awareness, Communications, Influence, and Learning Agility. The premise is that these skills vary depending on the job level in the organization.[1]

Self Awareness: This knowledge may be the most important for the accomplishment of all the skills. For example, do you lead intuitively, deliberately, or strategically and to what degree? If you move from an operational level to a management level, will you need to think strategically and how do you get there? Self-assessment instruments and feedback surveys provide this kind of knowledge so a person can use his/her strengths effectively and make adjustments to the weaknesses. ECOC has coaches skilled in this process and are able to assist in the planning and execution of this process.

Communications: Communications becomes more complex as one moves up the ladder. It is basic to success at many job levels, but requires a different perspective in a larger role. This is especially true if a new boss has been a peer before. Different skills may be building trust, encouraging discussion, listening well, and conveying the vision, mission, and strategic intent.

Influence: Now you need to bring people along and influence their thinking, align the actions of others, and build commitment to achieve measureable outcomes. Again, it is wise to know one’s style of doing this so that adjustments can be made, if necessary. New skills required may be: presenting logical and compelling arguments, more focus on steering long-range objectives, giving insight, inspiration and motivation.

Learning Agility: Being constantly open to learning provides the confidence it takes to learn new skills. “ Learning agility involves asking good questions, respect for give-and-take, listening well, and being open to feedback. For senior leaders, learning agility also includes inspiring learning in others and creating a culture of learning throughout the organization.”[2]

[1] “Leading Effectively”, The Center for Creative Leadership, September 29, 2017.

[2]  Ibid.

Author:  Adrianne Geiger DuMond, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org

Focused Conversation Practice, Action Planning and Consensus Building

Michael Kogutek, nonprofit management coach

Michael Kogutek

 

The skills mentioned in the above title are a must for every NP manager.  Last week I took a two day workshop at One OC that focused on those skills. The course is called ToP Facilitation Methods and taught by ToP facilitators Becky Foreman and Emma Diaz. The ToP methodology is associated with a group called the Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA).   ICA programs strengthen the capacities of organizations, communities, and individuals to build and implement innovative plans of action that draw upon assets and social capital in a collaborative manner.

Here is the description of the specific workshops:

The Focused Conversation Method: This common sense approach leads naturally to a meaningful exchange of ideas

  • Conduct purposeful discussion
  • Capture a group’s best thinking easily
  • Surface new ideas and solutions
  • Stimulate candid feedback

 

The Consensus Workshop Method: This Structure process is so engaging people are energized getting to consensus.

  • Tap rational and intuitive thought processes
  • Integrate diverse ideas
  • Generate practical and creative solutions
  • Develop group consensus

 

The Action Planning Method: These practical steps help groups plan, organize resources and build commitment.

  • Visualize a successful result
  • Analyze the current reality
  • Create a practical plan
  • Maximize group involvement

 

This was a first class workshop. The leaders are  top notch professionals. If you are a NP manager looking for ways to activate group participation, this workshop is the ticket!!! It helps groups think, talk and work together.

Institute of Cultural Affairs: http://www.ica-usa.org

Author:  Michael Kogutek, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org

“Ethos of Change” by Stambouly, Amazon 2015

Michael Kogutek, nonprofit management coach

Michael Kogutek

Book Review by Michael D. Kogutek

Ernest Stambouly is a colleague  and friend of mine at ECofOC. He is a dynamite coach who delivers passion, innovation and change in his coaching process.

If you are looking for a book discussing the conventional and traditional ideas of change in individuals and organizations, this book is not for you. “Ethos for Change” is an out of the box body of work that will challenge your current beliefs. In the first part of the book, Ernest writes about change. He talks about his philosophy and psychology regarding change. Self disclosure about his own journey of the subject is refreshing, engaging and connecting. He sets forth three specific conversations that one must use to transform the change process. Most importantly he openly discusses how resistance is the major obstacle in this process. Legitimizing and talking out loud about resistance is critical. In discussing the dynamics of change, Ernest mentions how language and discerning mood states is very helpful. The second part of the book is a road map full of applied and practical interventions to make the process come alive. Ernest is under no illusion that change is easy. It is a state that is uncomfortable and uncertain Keep in mind that what he is proposing will take courage, a leap of faith and the willingness to confront your old beliefs.  This book will have to be read several times to internalize the concepts.  Reading this book is an invitation to change and transformation.

Author:  Michael Kogutek, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org

Management and Leadership Skills

Bob Cryer

 

Would you be interested in quickly learning how you might get better results from your nonprofit management and leadership efforts? NonprofitReady.org can deliver some ideas relevant to your interests whenever you are ready, and do it quickly and at no cost to you. Here are some of the most popular of the 47 NonprofitReady.org trainings in the “Personal & Professional Development” category, sub-category “Management and Leadership”.

Becoming a Coaching Manager – Part A This 15-minute online course is designed for managers seeking to improve their ability to coach employees to higher performance. Objectives for Part A and Part B: Identify ideal coaching situations, Explore tools for coaching success, Understand how coaching can assist both individuals and teams within an organization.

Fostering and Maintaining Motivation This 20-minute online course is designed for leaders seeking to improve their motivational skills. Objectives: Identify motivational levers, Undertake effective action to motivate colleagues, Delegate in a motivating and effective manner.

Making Your New Management Position Successful – Part A This 12-minute online course is designed for new managers as well as those looking for a basic refresher on the core principles of management. Objectives for Part A and Part B: Clarify the implications of your new position as manager, Succeed in the first steps of your new position; Identify the key points of delegating.

The Management Styles This 20-minute online course shows how to adopt an effective management style. The course is designed for all levels of managers and team leaders. Objectives: Understand the value and purpose of different management styles and when to apply them, Incorporate the positive aspects of each management style when leading teams, Determine when and how to adapt management styles to different circumstances and colleagues

Essential Skills for New Managers This curriculum will address questions such as: What are the markings of an effective manager?  What knowledge and skillset are essential for great managers to succeed in leading people?  What are the most common pitfalls of managing people?  What are the essential skills that all new managers need to be successful?

5 Levers for Producing Great Leaders This 30-minute online course is designed for anyone seeking to improve their leadership skills. Objectives: Successfully communicate vision, Maintain cooperative relationships, Push for achievement.

Leadership Best Practice This 30-minute online course is designed for senior managers seeking to build the leadership pipelines within their organization. Objectives: Carry out a leadership inventory in your organization, Develop an innovation strategy to cultivate leaders in your organization, Secure collective buy-in of leadership development goals.

Please go to https://www.nonprofitready.org to take a few of these no-cost trainings

Author:  Bob Cryer, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org

 

In Coaching and Managing, the Question May Be More Important Than the Answer!

Michael Kogutek, nonprofit management coach

Michael Kogutek

 

 

When I am done coaching a client, I usually convene the evaluation committee in my head to assess the session. The first criteria is, did I ask good questions that led to the critical thinking process. Recently I came across a book devoted to the subject of asking the right questions in coaching as a manager. The book is: “The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More and Change the Way You Lead Forever” by Michael Bungay Stanier.* Michael is an Aussie who runs a coaching and leadership consulting firm in Canada. The book’s focus is to managers who employ coaching as a managerial and leadership style.Here is a list of the questions he puts forth: 1. Kickstart  Question: What is on your mind? Let’s talk about the thing that matters most. 2. The Awe Question: And what else? The underlying assumptions here are to stay curious, ask it one more time, avoid advice giving, and move on when it is time. 3. The Focus Question: What is the real challenge here for you? Focus on the real problem and not the first one. 4. The Foundation Question: What do you want? 5. The Lazy Question: How can I help? What do you want from me? 6. The Strategic Question: If you are saying YES to this, what are you saying no to? A YES is nothing without the NO that gives it boundaries and form. 8. What do you think I should do about? It is the cheddar on the mousetrap!

I enjoyed the book and highly recommend it. It puts us in the mindset to engage in the process of curious inquiry in our coaching.

  • The Coaching Habit-MIchael Bungay Stanier (2016) Box of Crayons Press, Toronto,Canada

Website: www.boxofcrayons.biz

Author:  Michael Kogutek, Executive Coaches of Orange County. www.ECofOC.org

No-cost Nonprofit Training Opportunities

Bob Cryer

 

NonprofitReady.org (NPRO) is a website of 43 interactive E-learning curriculums and 385 online classes and videos on a wide variety of nonprofit best practices, all at no cost to any user.  I took one of the curriculums (Management Essentials) and was impressed with the content and interactive presentation. More importantly, sixty thousand people have used the site in the past year, and six thousand new users join each month.

In my opinion, the more people in a nonprofit who know nonprofit best practices, the more effective that nonprofit is likely to be. NPRO best practice trainings can be accessed at no cost, at any time, from anywhere, for as long a session as the user has time for at that moment. It is, by far, one of the most convenient and cost effective methods that I am aware of for acquiring know-how in nonprofit best practices.

Here is a sampling of a few of NPRO’s most popular online courses, videos and curriculums:

  • Managing Expectations This 8-minute micro-learning online course on managing expectations contains a 3 minute video, quiz, summary document and additional short audio clips. Managing expectations is a crucial part of any professional relationship, from your colleagues to your customers.
  • Managing Your Boss This 8-minute micro-learning online course on managing your boss contains a 2 minute video, quiz, summary document and additional short audio clips. Your boss can have a big impact on the way you do your work, but your actions can also influence their management style.
  • Introduction to Proposal Writing This 27 minute video is designed for anyone involved in the proposal writing process. Course Objectives: • Understand the basic components of writing and submitting a project proposal
  • Introduction to Finding Grants This 30 minute video is designed for anyone seeking to better understand the grant-seeking process. Course Objectives: • Identify the 10 most important things you need to know about grant-seeking • Understand the primary misconceptions about grant-seeking
  • Project Management Essentials – Part A This 20-minute online course is designed for anyone responsible for managing projects and/or programs. Objectives for Part A and Part B: Define the life cycle of a project and structure it around milestones, Control your project using flexible tools, Create a plan for day-to-day project management.
  • Grantsmanship Essentials Pack In this 1 hour and 50 minute curriculum from the Foundation Center, you will learn the basics on how to find grant programs and funders as well as how to write a proposal that aligns with the funder’s criteria. Objectives: To understand how to identify funders aligned with your organizational mission and cause, To articulate what is required in receiving and managing grant funds, To identify the best practices for writing a successful grant proposal.

Please visit NonprofitReady.org to learn more.

Author:  Bob Cryer, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org

Change Leadership

Dave Blankenhorn

 

 

What are you as a leader doing to adapt to our fast paced world.? The skills that got you where you are might not be enough to ensure your success in the future. Recent studies by Accenture and others have revealed new focus areas for the successful managers of the future: They must be nimble and innovative in directing their organizations. Leaders must create a larger vision for their organizations and unite people behind a common mission. While these are not new their future importance is even more critical.

Navigation of ambiguity is another component as the leader of tomorrow will face ever changing cultural, regulatory, technical and social needs. Making sure you understand these ongoing changes will position your organization for success in the future.

Multigenerational management is another such area. The leader must be able to bring together millennials, gen-xers, and baby boomers as an effective team. By 2020 millennials will be 50% of the work force and will have a major impact on the economy. Creating harmony among these disparate groups will be essential. As part of that the leader must empower and promote co-creative teams to bring about the best results.

Measuring the results will not only rest on achieving the numbers but on your ability to reduce the turnover of those high value employees who make the organization what it is. Some things don’t change

Author:  Dave Blankenhorn, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org

Listening: The Strategies to Hear What’s NOT Being Said

Adrianne Geiger Dumond

 

 

 

Have you ever left a conversation and said to yourself, there is more to this than was said. The art of good listening is hearing those unsaid thoughts. How does that take place? A recent article I read by David Grossman, a communications expert[1] caused me to reflect on a team meeting I had just left. I could identify with the description Grossman gives for the listener’s perspective, and I quote:

  • We talk too much and don’t listen.
  • We listen to respond instead of listening to understand.
  • We’re not listening for word clues or noticing body language that signify there’s additional information that is yet to be uncovered.

What are the strategies to be employed that can help alleviate these challenges?  Here, again, are Grossman’s good recommendations:

  • Listen to understand and don’t be thinking about what you will say next.
  • Listen for the underlying issue or emotion, and push back on your assumptions.
  • Listen and clarify, asking questions to ensure everyone understands before moving on to another topic.
  • Trust your gut if you feel as if the whole story is not being told. Repeat, listen and clarify.
  • Notice body language – body shift, facial expressions changing – which are clues that more questions could be asked.
  • When we communicate effectively, we understand where the other person is coming from. That DOESN”T mean we need to agree with them.
  • Ask yourself in your head, “ What’s not being said.”

Effective leaders know the importance of good communications – especially in building strong teams. But also, effective leaders are sometimes narcissistic and feel they know all the answers. Here are ways to tackle those weaknesses.

[1] ‘Strategies that Work to Listen for What’s Not Being Said’, leadercommunicatorblog, David Grossman, the Grossman Group, April 24, 2007