Christopher Scott, from the Nonprofit Leadership, Innovation, and Change blog, is writing an ebook for young nonprofit leaders. He is interested in receiving contributions. The following is what I believe are some of the key qualities or traits that are required from a great nonprofit leader:
A great nonprofit leader demonstrates LOVE for others
Demonstrating respect for everyone you work with is an important part of building trust. This includes your peers, superiors, subordinates, volunteers and other people you come in contact with outside your organization. Practice the Golden Rule at all times.
A great nonprofit leader values EDUCATION
Learning does not end on your school graduation day. It is an ongoing process. Look for opportunities to learn on the job. Attend additional classes. Read books. Search out mentors. Teaching also enhances the education experience. Become a mentor to someone else. Pass along what you have learned and you will both benefit from the education.
A great nonprofit leader is ALTRUISTIC
A great leader understands it is important to help others. This applies to those at work as well as those outside. Do something at work for someone without any expectation of getting anything in return. Donate your time and money to causes that are important to you. The feeling you receive from your unselfish acts will carry over into other areas of your life.
A great nonprofit leader has big DREAMS
Making a big difference starts with a big vision. This vision should include your life and the future of your organization. Be creative and don't limit yourself to what seems possible today. Changing the world doesn't start by mediocre thoughts. It requires us to think big and to inspire others to help make the vision a reality.
A great nonprofit leader is EFFECTIVE
A leader can motivate others by being effective in moving toward the vision. To be effective, goals need to be established and tasks need to be prioritized. There is always too much to do in the available time. Build a habit of completing the most important, least desirable tasks first. You will be amazed at the progress being made to forward your mission.
A great nonprofit leader takes RISKS
If you want to make a big impact as a leader, you are going to have to be willing to take some risks. I am not referring to gambling. The risks should be comparable to the expected payoff. Leaders are willing to make mistakes in order to take action and make progress. It is uncomfortable, but also very rewarding.
These are some of the traits I believe a great leader needs. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list. What additional traits can you think of?