Shared Wisdom for Successfully Leading Organizations

Category: Getting ready

Tips to develop strategic and business plans for your non-profit

The following is an excerpt from Chapter Four “Making plans.” Once you have a comprehensive understanding of the key drivers of the organization, you are ready to develop strategic and business plans. Good plans are used to galvanize your team to reach agreed-upon and measurable goals. Plans outline future growth and development by prioritizing an organization’s work for the next three to five years.

This article is focused less on the nuts and bolts of plan-making than it is with the process of preparing a good plan and, in particular, the way to ensure that your plans get the necessary buy- in throughout your organization.

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How to craft the vision of your non-profit organization

Compass points to word "Vision"

The following is an excerpt from Chapter Three, “Crafting the vision.”

If you are leading an organization, you probably believe in its work or mission. Whether it is designing software, awarding scholarships, providing shelter to homeless people, or protecting the environment, you are clear on what the organization’s purpose is. Often, the factors that will help the organization achieve that goal are less obvious. In other words, what is the core business for the organization? As a new CEO, you must take some time to figure this out. If you don’t, your operations can go spinning out in all directions very quickly. Defining your core business is not always simple, but once articulated, it results in a clear vision.

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Your first 40 days as a CEO

The following is an excerpt from Chapter Two, “Getting the job and getting started.” Congratulations! You got the job! Now, what do you do? First, avoid the temptation to make promises and set strategic goals in the first few weeks. This is a common impulse for new leaders, especially first-time CEOs with heroic notions. They run the risk of setting expectations that are too high, making promises that are unrealistic, or acting before thoroughly understanding the organization. Equally troubling, they miss the opportunity that a CEO only truly has in the first few weeks on the job — to get honest and direct feedback from the organization’s stakeholders. Once you are fully integrated in the organization, these stakeholders may not be as willing or able to openly share their thoughts with you.

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Getting ready to become the CEO of a non-profit organization

Gears with success words on them (iStockphoto)

The following is an excerpt from Chapter One, “Making a Move.” When Franca Gucciardi accepted her first CEO position at the Loran Scholars Foundation she quickly realized the immensity of the task ahead of her and contacted her mentor, Alan Broadbent. What followed was a series of conversations, and a process of learning to ask (and then answer!) the right questions. You’re It! is mentorship in book form, the collected wisdom of two experienced CEOs — a practical and accessible guide to leading an organization. It’s everything you wanted to know about being a CEO but were afraid to ask.

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