Modern Leadership for Fundraising Executives
When was the last time you asked yourself what type of leader you are? It probably was the last time a situation presented itself to challenge your leadership skills.
It’s a great question for nonprofit managers to ask themselves as a first step to understanding if their skills match up with the leadership challenges of the modern workplace.
Many executives and managers see themselves as leaders but aren’t confident that their skills align with the expectations of their workforce. The biggest challenge often discussed is finding a leadership style that resonates with today’s worker. For many leaders, their current style incorporates a managerial approach that tends to be more “top-down” and they find that this approach doesn’t fit well in the modern workplace, which has changed exponentially in just the last 10 years alone, with the rise of a more educated and technologically savvy workforce that brings a different set of expectations to the job.
Today’s employees, even those fresh out of college, feel they already possess the necessary knowledge and skills to get the job done. They no longer look to their leaders for answers. Instead, they want their leaders to empower them to make decisions, be creative, develop their skills and provide opportunities for growth. It’s a tall order for nonprofit leaders who are operating on tight budgets that don’t always allow for professional development, but these expectations are a reality that cannot be ignored without consequences such as the defection of much-needed young talent from the nonprofit sector.
It stands to reason that the progress made by workers will not be turned back to the days of old. The same can be said for worker expectations, so this leaves current and future nonprofit leaders standing at a managerial crossroads that requires a little self introspection beginning with the question, “What type of leader do I want to be?”