The Nonprofit Times reported recently on a study that 45% of nonprofit executive directors are facing burnout. In a Myer Foundation study, they discovered that 75% of nonprofit leaders have their eye on the door looking for another job.
In his TED Talk, “The Way We Think About Charity is Wrong, Dan Pallotta, challenges traditional thinking that charities have created scarcity thinking and have dumbed down to thinking that #1 good salaries are not considered; #2 it’s not acceptable to spend money on marketing; #3 taking risks to create new streams of revenue; #4 if we take time to build systems and create results it’s not valid; and and #5 we can’t make a profit…all of these negative paradigms create a system that challenges leaders. If we try to install these solid business principles into the charity we lead we are criticized.
There are many other studies that validate that we have a looming crisis, a ticking time bomb in the leadership of charities in the US. We talk about it without solving the problem.
There are solutions and most of them start with each of us. Leaders are first and foremost people of influence. In her book, Extraordinary Leadership, she talks about how we limit our own effectiveness because of our perceptions of our own limitations. We are limited by the traditions and cultures of our origin. We are shaped by our family of origin and without the knowledge of how that conditioning has shaped our thinking, we are then trapped into patterns that limit our success and think that we have become a victim of circumstances. Executive Directors serve at the pleasure of the Board, however they do have a position of influence. Equipping ourselves to know how to influence thinking and decision making. Leading as a Transformational Leader is leading by influence and not by power of position.
At the writing of this post, I have just completed conducted 19 one-day intensive leadership sessions in 18 cities all over the US. The top issue that people want to address is leader burnout! The next issues and board and staff under functioning and challenges in creating multiple streams of revenue that are sustainable and help to lift the limits to achieving the vision that drives our passion.
The barrier to change…is the leader. Yes, we are our own worst enemy when it comes to making changes. In my 8 years of study of Bowen Systems, with Roberta Gilbert (book listed above), I have moved to a better understanding of how leaders actually participate in the low functioning of organizations. Yes, we, as leaders, actually create the problems that we hate and limit our success and the success of the organization that has engaged us to lead. Bowen Systems has opened my eyes to how leaders influence others in any group emotional setting.
If we want others to change, then we must change ourselves. I’ve seen many situations that prove this to be true. We, as leaders make the difference. We don’t however have the skills and awareness to understand how we make the difference.
Check out My Program Unblocked: Unlocking Your Inner Potential HERE
SynerVision Leadership Foundation was created to provide high quality resources at a reasonable cost. We have created a different paradigm to the consultant model. We find that consultants promise a lot and deliver little. We also find that resources provided by consultants are fragmented and the leader is not always of the gaps that compromise their progress and intimately the success of the organization.
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Latest posts by Hugh Ballou (see all)
- Nonprofit Leadership Burnout is Becoming a National Crisis - July 14, 2016
- Planning: Tasks and Priorities - July 28, 2015
- Meetings – Do Them Right! - April 14, 2015