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Top Qualities of Great Leaders

By Heather Brown
July 20, 2015

Throughout all of human history, leaders have slowly learned ways they can more successfully drive their teams forward. If you work for a nonprofit board those same leadership skills that have benefited generals and statesmen are not only helpful, but essential to achieving results. The seven qualities of a great leader outlined below will help you to examine your focus in your work and drive your team to even greater heights of success.

  • Honesty
    • A leader simply must be honest with themselves and with their staff. Leadership often involves making hard choices and providing information to others for them to make their choices. If you cannot be honest about the facts, no one will be able to make the best choices.
  • Inspiration
    • You have probably seen the sort of person who goes about their work with no inspiration, no drive to see it succeed. They may be able to get some work accomplished, but will struggle to bring others on board. To lead a nonprofit, you absolutely must be able to project an air of inspiration to everyone around you. Once your team sees your excitement and inspiration, they will want to emulate it. Take time to remember the people who inspired you.
  • Conflict Resolution
    • Every group of people will have disagreements. In order to succeed, your nonprofit needs someone who can smooth these out, help your partners to see past their differences. A great leader will be able to sit down with the two parties in any disagreement and work with them to achieve compromise.
  • Fundraising
    • Even with the perfect vision, the perfect plan, and the perfect people, if your nonprofit does not have the resources to carry out its mission, it will not succeed. Fundraising cannot be a task consigned to some small division out of your hands, it must begin with a strong leader at the top.
  • Evaluative
    • On a nonprofit board, you have to make choices about where to put your resources. A great leader will be able to examine these choices and make a careful, informed decision about the best option.
  • Communication
    • The best vision will go nowhere if you cannot share it. A great leader will be able to sit down with their nonprofit board and explain their plan clearly and concisely. This is perhaps the most important quality of the seven. A failure here imperils all the great work you hope to accomplish.

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