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Nonprofit Leadership Lessons with Stacey Girdner

June 26th, 2020


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In our most recent podcast episode, Roy and I got to interview our good friend and leadership mentor, Stacey Girdner. Stacey is the Founder and Managing Partner of The PRAXIS Group, a firm that helps organizations become more effective through leadership development and coaching. We worked closely with Stacey when she was Chief People Officer at Russ Reid (where Roy and I both worked previously). And most recently, Stacey also authored what I think is one of the most impactful (if not the most impactful) chapters in my recent #1 Best Seller101 Biggest Mistakes Nonprofits Make And How You Can Avoid Them. You can download Stacey’s chapter for FREE here.

In our conversation we talked with Stacey about some of the biggest mistakes leaders make. Here are some key insights from that conversation:

Mistake #1: Lacking self-knowledge – If we aren’t self aware enough to recognize our own idiosyncracies and how they impact those around us, we stand to do real damage to the people we’re entrusted to lead. And to our organizations.

Mistake #2: Abdicating our power to influence our direct reports – As much as we might want our teams and our people to show up on day 1 as the perfect employee, knowing exactly what is needed and how to do it, that never happens. If we aren’t mindful of how our approach, and how the things we do/don’t do to support our people influence their success, we miss key opportunities to help them grow. Consistently abdicating this power (and responsibility) likely leads to disengaged employees, missed expectations, and eventually turnover.

A key resource Stacey recommends to help leaders in this area is Marshall Goldsmith’s book, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.

Mistake #3: Thinking it’s noble to burn the candle at both ends – Often leaders think they have to be the first one in the office, the last to leave, and the person who out-works everyone else. Stacey breaks down why this is a terrible way to think, and how it negatively impacts our work, our health, and our relationships at home.

 

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