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An Essential Read for Non-Profit Leaders

Posted on May 9, 2017
By Paul Born

Tamarack Institute’s Board Chair, Alan Broadbent, has written a new book and it is fantastic!

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If the next step in your career is leading a non-profit organization, you are likely thinking about all that it takes to make your organization strong: managing a board, raising money, talking to major donors, preparing for a fundraising gala, and speaking to government officials. All in the same day.  Lying in bed at night, you might be asking yourself: Am I ready? Will I be able to handle the pressure? What exactly will be expected of me?

Leading a non-profit organization is a challenge and You’re It! Shared Wisdom for Successfully Leading Organizations from Both a Seasoned and a First-Time CEO is one of the very few leadership books on the market that addresses this unique challenge.  It is a book that speaks to those of us who want to do our part in leading social change.  The book grew out of two decades worth of conversations between Alan Broadbent, Chairman of Maytree and Tamarack, and Franca Gucciardi, CEO of the Loran Scholars Foundation. Franca first met Alan when she was still a student, and over time he became one of her key go-to people for leadership advice - after she got the call from the board of the Loran Scholars Foundation asking her to consider taking on the role of CEO.

The authors take the reader through the life cycle of being CEO of a non-profit organization: from deciding whether to accept the job offer; your first days on the job; creating plans for yourself and your new organization; and, how to set up your team and networks. It reviews: how to best work with a board of directors; raise funds and friends; and, manage the money. Finally, and somewhat surprisingly, the authors write about the importance of moving on.

As you read along, you will pick up important pieces of advice to help you in your leadership journey. Alan and Franca’s hope is that You’re It! Shared Wisdom for Successfully Leading Organizations from Both a Seasoned and a First-Time CEO, "serves as a friendly reminder of the importance of your leadership role. A committed, effective leader of integrity can make a huge difference to improving the impact an organization has, and thus an impact on the health and well-being of our society.”

Not only is You’re It! an invaluable resource for someone just starting their leadership journey, it is also a resource for those who have been in their position for a while. A quick review, for example, of the chapter on how to raise awareness for your cause could help you put together your next successful capital campaign. Keep it on your bookshelf to guide you through the tricky areas you have to deal with every day.

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Paul Born


Paul Born

By Paul Born

Paul Born grew up as the son of Mennonite refugees. This is what has made him deeply curious about and engaged in ideas that cause people to work together for the common good. Paul is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Tamarack Institute and the Founder and Director of Vibrant Communities. He is the author of four books, including two Canadian best sellers. Paul is a global faculty member of the Asset Based Community Development Institute (ABCD) and a senior fellow of Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social innovators.

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