Thursday, January 31, 2013

Not for Profit Leadership: Three Inspiring Young Leaders Offer Us Their Insights

I was reading the Third Sector Magazine and come across a really interesting ‘couch discussion’ conducted and written by Candice de Chalian with three inspiring young NFP leaders, Viv Benjamin CEO of OakTree Foundation, Samah Hadid , National Director of The Global Poverty Project and Ellen Sandell, Australian Youth Climate Coalition. By way of background the three shared their journey to NFP leadership which encompassed volunteering, being discriminated against both in terms of age (too young) and their ethnic background, realising that change happened when politicians feel community pressure, not being held back or preoccupied with the views of others and getting mentors and developing a range of skills.
Here are some insights I gained, and notes I made from the discussion into their challenges and triumphs. They offer some great advice and I am inspired by their wisdom and encourage us ‘older’ folk to embrace and learn from these young leaders.
Strategies to overcome challenges
  • Keep strong relationships with people outside of the area or NFP sector
  • Stay true to your own moral compass and principles
  • Surround yourself with inspiring change makers and peers who are working to positively change society 
  • Trial and error
Some leadership horror and success insights • Being thrown in the deep end and realising so much about own abilities and capacity • The need to undertake big bold projects and take lots of risk to prove you can do Big things
Rewards • Working for a purposed, research suggests purpose driven people are happier • Work you do has an impact on the lives for the poor and vulnerable • Work each day on your passion
Advice • Keep doing what you love • Be authentic • Live by your principles • Try to identify and improve your weaknesses
Tips • Don’t wait - lead now • Don’t be held back by conventional wisdom • Try, try and apply the ‘learn by rejection’ rule • Put time and effort into what you are doing • Show you are prepared to do the hard things
If you would like to read the full article it’s in the February 2013 issue of the magazine I am involved in a program that seeks to increase the number of young people on Boards and Committees in the Aged and Community Sector. Find out more about the program here

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