2016 ProInspire Fellows Share Leadership Lessons as They Conclude Their Fellowship Year
Last week marked the final training for 2016 ProInspire Fellows in Washington, D.C. and the San Francisco Bay Area. It was a time of both celebration and reflection, as the Fellows looked back on what they had learned over the past year, and set goals for their future as leaders in the nonprofit sector.
Five universal leadership lessons surfaced from the discussion and sharing of individual experiences and perspectives:
- Learning and teaching is a continual process. As a leader, you don’t have to know everything. Leaders should ask good questions so they stay in a continual learning process — and help others learn, too. This also means getting comfortable with failure, and not always being right.
- No one will tell you to step up — you have to take it up. Successful nonprofit leadership requires the ability to take initiative and look for opportunities to lead, at every level.
- Focus on self-awareness. It’s important to understand yourself and your blind spots. Becoming a leader is a continual work in progress, and leaders need humility to recognize and address their areas for development.
- Lead with optimism, not fear. As a leader, you set the tone for those around you. Embracing a positive attitude and inspiring hope can help create a healthy culture.
- Set people up for success. Be present for those around you. Pay attention to their needs, and look for ways to support them. By recognizing the contributions of your team members, you inspire them to keep contributing and adding value. And don’t forget that coaching is a mutually beneficial activity, as it can help you answer questions you might be confronting.
We welcome these talented leaders into our ProInspire Alumni community, and we wish them all the best as they continue their journey in the nonprofit sector. We can’t wait to see where you go, what you contribute, and how you lead!