Monday, June 25, 2007

Is There an Ideal Executive Director?

As I embark on my PhD in Leadership I have been thinking a lot about my experiences working as a staff member and senior manager in nonprofit organizations. I have had many instances where my priorities for the organization--many times operational don't line up with the ED's priorities until a crisis occurs and then they take on my priorities :) Right now it is really easy for me to judge the ED's I work for because I have never been an Executive Director. I also tend to work for people who are exact opposite of me. I am an Operations person, an organized planner; however I tend to work for amazing charismatic leaders who go from one crisis to another. So I wonder, is there such a thing as an ideal Executive Director?

An ideal Executive Director to me--is not a workaholic, is able to maintain a strong work ethic but knows how to manage his or her time and makes time for his or her family. He or she is supporting and spends quality time with his or her staff including responding to them in a timely manner. He or she is organized and a great leader, manager within and outside of the organization. He or she understands and balances the priorities of the entire organization, program, operational and strategic. He or she knows how to delegate and has confidence and believes in his or her staff to get the job done well.

What does your ideal Executive Director look like?

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