I recently completed Ron Schiller’s excellent book, The Chief Development Officer: Beyond Fundraising. It’s well worth reading, and I can recommend Ron’s work to you without reservation, especially if you are considering the Chief Development Officer Role (CDO) now, or in the future.
While Ron focuses primarily on the CDO, my work as a leadership coach tends to focus on mid-career fundraising leaders at the various Director and AVP levels. You are our future CDOs!
I love working with individuals in these roles because they are still very much interested in learning and growth. And they are NOT learning about fundraising. With at least ten years of frontline fundraising under their belts, these extraordinary folks focus on strengthening their management skills, while also growing their leadership edge. It’s important to remember that while management is about what you do in an organization, leadership is about who you are.
What I notice about the most successful among these mid-career leaders is that they are gritty. It’s a quality that I admire greatly, and which is loosely defined as possessing unyielding courage and resolve in the face of adversity. Some close synonyms include:
Can you imagine a successful fundraising leader in today’s large and complex non-profit organizations without a strong dose of it?
Today’s post is brief. The main purpose is to start a conversation and encourage comments in response to a simple question:
What qualities (other than grit) do you see in the mid-career fundraising leaders you admire most?
David Langiulli is a certified professional coach who works with non-profit leaders.
He’s also the author of The Essential Leadership Guide For Fundraising Professionals.