submitted by Carol Toussaint; photo by Mary Ellen O’Brien
Michael Johnson, President and CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs of Dane County, delivered on his promise to share “The Ten Characteristics of Successful Non Profit Leadership” with the Rotary Club audience on June 5th. He was profiled in last week’s Rotary News and as Rotarians and guests learned, he lives his commitment to improving conditions for young people through his own successful leadership of a major non profit organization. Sharing statistics of the impact of non profit organizations and position in the U.S. economy, Johnson had some eye-opening information for us. But he focused on the challenge of keeping the current situation in focus and emphasized the challenges of adequate employment and educational opportunities.
Johnson pointed out the success of the AVID-TOPS program and drew attention to a soon to be released evaluation of records of students from this program as they proceed through graduation from high schools and enter colleges. The records demonstrate the value of these programs supported by donors and service to the community when there is adequate support.
Those 10 characteristics of effective non profit leadership are:
- Board and Executive Alignment
- Passion for the Organization’s Mission
- Empowering Team and Volunteers to Execute w/purpose
- Keeping up with Trends w/ Effective Communications
- Attracting & Recruiting A Diverse Workforce
- Showing Confidence and Humility
- Having A Positive Attitude & Long Term Vision
- Being Persistent & Financially Astute
- Inspire Others to Achieve Greatness
- Accountability, Transparency & Fundraising
Johnson also emphasized the need for a non profit board to meet regularly, review the performance of the CEO, empower teams and assure staff proper training in communication, planning, and the need for a diversified workforce. And, many in the audience could measure themselves against these characteristics in their work in non profit organizations whether as staff or as volunteers. The board and executive leadership of the Rotary Club of Madison is, in my opinion, a great example of what Michael Johnson advocates!