(Team) Building Blocks
What you’re getting with this person is experience. So an NGO may use a CEO or board member to guide a change that the wagon trainer encountered in a previous position.
The key qualities, then, for wagon trainers are essentially experience, experience and experience. The wagon trainer also needs a commitment to the safety and interests of the group, and the skill to know when to use a scout to check out the risks. A wagon trainer will generally take the safest option — the one that minimizes risks. Note that you mustn’t confuse scouts and wagon trainers. If you are committed to having a wagon trainer, then make sure you’re getting real, relevant experience.
Often in the Wild West you need the benefit of a sheriff. This person is responsible for laying down laws or ground rules for the wagon train once it stops and sets up camp or stays in a town. In change processes, individuals may bring all kinds of wild and zany ideas to fruition. These may work at the time, and maybe they’re appropriate. But people also need some stability and — after a period of dramatic change — to calm down a little and have some rules and structure.
The sheriff’s role is to administer the law — the systems and structures that are necessary. He or she also ensures everyone is treated fairly. The sheriff may have to do a number of things:
- Keep the charity within the law — literally — in terms of things it does.
- Make sure organizational discipline is maintained.
- Act as a focus for inevitable dispute resolution.
Key qualities for a sheriff are wisdom in applying the rules, a desire to avoid confrontation (but not afraid to do so if necessary), and a sense that he or she is a law enforcer, not a lawmaker. It’s worth noting that when the sheriff and the CEO/chair are combined, they sometimes confuse their will or opinion with the law.
Duke Haddad, Ed.D., CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis. He also serves as president of Duke Haddad and Associates LLC and is a freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO since 2008.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration plus a dissertation on donor characteristics. He received a master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis on public administration plus a thesis on annual fund analysis. He secured a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) with an emphasis on marketing/management. He has done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
Duke has received the Fundraising Executive of the Year Award, from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Indiana Chapter. He also was given the Outstanding West Virginian Award, Kentucky Colonel Award and Sagamore of the Wabash Award from the governors of West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana, respectively, for his many career contributions in the field of philanthropy.