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  • Writer's pictureThe MSG Team


Here is a challenge for you. Take a look at this photo. Out of these three people, who is the leader of what's going on right now? At first it seems that it could be the lady in the yellow because it MIGHT be her computer, but could it be possible that she is just "trying something out" that the guy is showing her? Or perhaps the lady in blue is actually leading while letting the other two learn from whatever is on the computer? The question seems easy at first but there are so many scenarios that could pop up once you think about it.

That's the great thing about this photo though, is that you can't really tell. The problem at nonprofits (and all businesses to be honest) is that the title of CEO or Executive Director can fool people into thinking that you need to lead and know all the answers, all the time. In fact the person that probably gets fooled with this thinking more than anyone, is yourself.

During your next staff meeting, don't be afraid to have someone else besides you lead it. Have your operations manager lead a presentation about safety, have your RD Director lead a session on how to give a donor a tour, or perhaps have a site director talk about programs and how to work with clients.

Allowing your staff to lead presentations will do a number of things for you and your organization:

- It allows them to be empowered and thus, better leaders

- It allows the pros to be pros . . . without you feeling the need to feel like the pro on everything (which you might not be)

- It allows you to be less stressed because now your staff get the opportunity to lead

- Then coming full circle . . . that allows your staff to feel more empowered

As your team learns to become leaders, make sure you then take the time to model good practices yourself, coach, mentor, and help bring your individuals to the next level (those who are interested of course).


Midwest Studies Group connects nonprofits to their communities, by providing feasibility studies, annual giving studies, RD planning, strategic planning, and capital campaign support. Learn more at

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