Regardless of your stage of career, or position within the organization, a nonprofit assessment can give you an objective sense of your abilities as a leader. When you start to learn more more about your leadership competencies you will be able to capitalize on your leadership superpowers in order to be a more efficient and effective leader.
Guide Your Career
While gauging your capacity to handle different roles and responsibilities, a good leadership assessment can help you to define where you are and where you need to improve as an executive. Many will assess your strengths in different situations, while others will help you communicate better. Some will provide you with 360 degree feedback. There’s even a tool that will show you how you sabotage yourself. Many online assessments can be taken by multiple members of teams in order to increase understanding, build trust, and engage in healthy conflict.
Whether the evaluation is focused on personal leadership or team engagement, the results can tell you where you may need to learn new skills through training or engage with an executive coach. A detailed assessment can guide you toward achieving your career goals.
Increase Your Self-awareness
Dan Goleman in his breakthrough research on emotional intelligence published in the Harvard Business Review article: What Makes a Leader, described the first (and most important) attribute of extraordinary leaders as “self-awareness.” Self-awareness means having a deep understanding of one’s emotions, strengths, weaknesses, needs, and drives. Leaders with strong self-awareness are neither overly critical nor unrealistically hopeful. Rather, they are honest—with themselves and with others.
A high-quality leadership assessment like DISC, SDI 2.0, or Leadership 360 which is administered and debriefed with a certified professional executive coach will inform you about what kind of person you are. This is a critical factor on the journey of becoming a better leader. Self-awareness of your personal qualities and leadership skills will exponentially improve the way you lead your nonprofit organization and deal with others.
With higher awareness, you will become more emotionally intelligent, boost your credibility, and gain the support and trust of your team. You should remember, however, that a leadership evaluation should not be seen as a definitive picture of your potential capabilities. Leadership skills are continually developed and honed through experience and training.
Improve at ALL Stages of Your Advancement and Development
Many Fundraising Leadership Clients are lifelong learners. For them, it means that they stand back to assess their leadership skills at regular intervals. The process typically helps them decide what training program is right for them at the current stages of their career. Here are a few scenarios:
- An ambitious frontline fundraiser recently promoted to lead a team may want to take the SDI 2.0 and debrief it with Janice in order to learn how to engage in healthy conflict with other members of the team.
- A mid-career leader may notice that the communications skills honed as a frontline fundraiser are not serving her well in the new organization she recently joined. In that case, a DISC and Debrief session with David may be in order.
- An executive director at the top of an organization, seeking ways to move the organization forward while also improving relationships with the board and staff may want to work with Michelle and the Leadership 360.
DISC is the most widely used behavior profiling tool of its kind, supported by decades of research and validation. The Fundraising Leadership online DISC Assessment trains nonprofit managers and leaders to know their own natural behavioral tendencies, identify their team’s observable behaviors and adapt their style to optimize team performance.
A complete system for leadership development, the Leadership Circle Profile 360 measures two primary leadership domains – Creative Competencies and Reactive Tendencies. The profile integrates this information to identify the habits of thinking that feed both effective and self-limiting behaviors.
Rather than focusing on WHAT we do, the SDI 2.0 helps us understand WHY we behave and HOW we relate to each other. With a focus on our motives, the SDI 2.0 provides a critical connection to a key leadership skill – the “art of influence.” It is easier to communicate with and influence someone when what’s important to them is understood. This insight helps you choose the best approach for engaging people whose thinking and behavior appear much different from your own.
Where to Start?
Many of our behavioral patterns and character qualities are established early in life through the influence of peers, education, parents, authority figures, and our environment. Then, throughout our lives, a variety of patterns get reinforced and become habits. While our habits make us fairly predictable, everyone has different habits. It’s important to point out that nearly all of the leadership skills required to lead in today’s volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous nonprofit world can be learned, acquired, or strengthened over time with practice. They are not innate, and at any given time in your career, you may be stronger in some areas than others.