Launch of a leadership training program for association leaders

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There’s one trait that for-profit and non-profit leaders share: At some point in their careers, both can hone their administrative skills.

But for a variety of reasons, it is not always easy for leaders of Lakeshore nonprofits to acquire new leadership skills. LEAD 24/7 can help them overcome this obstacle.

The nonprofit LEAD 24/7 is a 12-month immersive management program for executives who want to develop their leadership skills and abilities.

Rodger Price, Founder and Managing Partner of Leading By Design, based in Zealand, and Patrick Cisler, Executive Director of Lakeshore Nonprofit Alliance in Holland, have joined forces to create LEAD 24/7 for nonprofits. Its three-pronged goal is to help leaders of Lakeshore nonprofits learn to be someone worth following, learn how to lead an amazing team, and clarify the organization’s mission to non-profit.

“We call it goal, vision and values,” explains Price. “I think that kind of leadership isn’t complex, it’s just hard to do.”

Full-day courses meet monthly and cost $ 2,500 per participant – down from its price of $ 10,000, thanks to scholarships – and are delivered at various sites in the Lakeshore region by nine directors. executives of various non-profit organizations in West Michigan. Individual executive coaching sessions are also offered.

A big goal

According to Price, LEAD 24/7 isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel, but it has a big goal to achieve.

“Very little of what we teach is original,” Price says. “My goal is for West Michigan to become through leadership what Silicon Valley is to technology or what Nashville is to country music – that West Michigan is home to the best leaders. “
Rodger Price is the founder of Leading by Design.
To achieve Price’s goal, here are the LEAD 24/7 leadership topics: a leadership framework, public commentary and speaking, living systems and listening, shaping culture and addressing issues. healthy conflicts, financial viability and fundraising, leading the board and building a great team part 1, building a great team, part 2, building a great team, part 3, setting a vision and a strategy, lead the change and yourself, followed by a summary and project presentations.

One challenge for nonprofits centers on what donors designate their donations for, which often involves programming and the construction of new buildings, according to Cisler. Staff development is not as exciting for donors, he says.

“I think this is something that we as nonprofits have been fighting for a long time,” Cisler said. “Donations directly to programs, on the surface, to serve the people of a community, that’s great. But what we see for the long term success of a nonprofit, you need to invest in your people. People are often seen as “overhead” by donors. “

Such a mentality is a puzzle for Cisler.

Invest in people

“To me, that never mattered because a lot of times the big donors own their own businesses, they run their own businesses,” he says. “These are executives, people who have often made a lot of money in the market, and when you look at for-profit companies, they invest in their people, they send them to seminars, they offer coaching opportunities. professional. “

Price says his interactions with executives of for-profit companies revealed something telling: He was asked what happens if an executive director of a non-profit organization receives 24/7 LEAD training. / 7, then resigns from his post?

“My answer is, ‘What if you don’t train them and they stay?’ said Price. “There’s this old parable that you have to keep sharpening your ax. Samuel L. Johnson had a great quote: “People need reminders more than instructions. If you want them to grow in an organization, you have to invest in them. Some are smart enough to find out for themselves.

LEAD 24/7 – so named because executives of nonprofits sometimes find themselves working around the clock – has three divisions: for nonprofits, K-12 school administrators and pastors.

“Patrick started the nonprofit in 2019 and then, of course, COVID hit, so it took a long time for this cohort to go through the year,” Price explains.

It is high time for nonprofits to invest in their leaders, he says.

“One of the things I’ve said often is that there aren’t a lot of pure leadership development programs in West Michigan, and when you look at the nonprofit sector, there are hardly any, ”explains Cisler. “It fills a gap. Many nonprofits don’t spend a lot of money investing in their staff. We (LEAD 24/7) are able to really reduce the costs of people’s participation.


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