If you’re the executive director or CEO of a nonprofit and you think you don’t have the time to be a leadership coach to your team, you’re placing your organization at a disadvantage.

Here are some of the ingredients today’s leaders have to have for success in today’s world, and that includes in the nonprofit sector:

  • Innovation
  • Creativity
  • Passion
  • Motivation
  • Desire to be dominant in the industry

Tom Brady’s Coaches

If you know me personally, then you know that I’m not someone who is very into sports because I don’t have the patience for it. I’d much rather spend my time doing than watching others do something.

But, I am aware enough to know that Tom Brady, who is probably the best quarterback ever to play football, ever, has five coaches. He has a head coach, a position coach, an assistant quarterback coach, a personal throwing coach, and a health and fitness coach.

So, here’s my question, if one of the best players to ever take the gridiron has five coaches to perfect his game continually, why would you think that your team members don’t need that same type of expertise? Why would you not believe that it’s your responsibility to give it to them?

What’s stopping you from being a great coach to your management and team members?

People are not typically born leaders they are taught how to be leaders.

And it doesn’t matter if you have a small, medium-sized or large team, there’s more success when you share the role of leadership among your team members. That means it’s your job to develop your team, and primarily to develop leaders within your organization.

Why Should You Develop Leaders?

I’m a student of leadership. I don’t know about you, but I love the topic and I always think that when I’m coaching my team to become leaders, I’m developing as a leader. It takes a firm commitment to develop your team, but the rewards can be significant. In fact, I don’t think it’s possible to grow and become sustainable if you’re not looking to help create leaders within your organization.

When you make it a point to develop leadership talent within your nonprofit, you’re helping your team understand that they’re part of something bigger than themselves. Leaders, by their very nature, understand that they are there to serve a broader purpose that extends beyond themselves.

And, when you happen to connect with those on your team who want to become leaders, take a guess what begins to happen?

If you guessed that they begin to set higher goals and reach higher peaks, you would be correct. When you’re developing leaders within your group, you’re inspiring and challenging people to achieve more than they thought. You’re encouraging them to reach further by digging deeper inside of themselves.

What Does It Take to Develop Your Team?

Candidly, I don’t think it takes tremendous effort to begin to develop your team. It just takes commitment and consistency. Leadership development is just not something you decide to do one day and then forget about it the next. There are a few additional ingredients:

  • Partnership: Leadership coaching is not about pontificating about your wisdom and knowledge. Instead, it’s about tuning yourself into the people you want to coach within your group and partnering with them on the journey. It could be through a formal coaching relationship, but more often than not this leadership coaching partnership consists of informal conversations by the water-cooler or, more importantly, modeling behavior that demonstrates what leadership should look like in your environment.
  • Listening: I’m in sales, and like any great salesperson, I consider myself one of the best salesmen you’ll ever meet. But, here’s something that has been the secret to my success. I listen. I think too many people talk too much. In fact, there’s so much talking going on that people forget that often the best way to make a point or uncover motivations, thoughts or ideas is to be silent. If you’re seeking to be an excellent leadership coach for your team, listen more and talk less. And, learn to get yourself to a place where when you’re in meaningful conversations that you listen 75 percent of the time and only speak 25 percent of the time.
  • Intuitiveness: One of the most important things you can do to develop your team is to develop your own intuitive senses. Learn to follow your gut. If you see someone, for instance, who is a junior team member but there’s something there, and you feel it, then by all means, figure out a way to coach this person. Remember, leaders on your team do not have to be the managers. How many times have you seen more junior people be promoted past managers because they’ve had the skills to get the job done––and lead others––much better than managers? Assume anyone can be a leader and develop your intuition about their abilities.

In today’s competitive environment, the greatest success and victory goes to those who understand that they have to develop themselves and their team. Yes, just like Tom Brady and his five coaches.


Author of “Not Your Father’s Charity: Grip & Rip Leadership for Social Impact” (Free Digital Download)

© 2017 Wayne Elsey and Not Your Father’s Charity. All Rights Reserved.