Fostering leadership opportunities as well as a rich leadership mindset* inside your community-based organization advances all members of the team and the organizational mission.

The benefits of such opportunities and a mindset impact the big picture of advancing your organizational mission and responding to the hearts and minds of the staff members that make the organization and its mission alive in the world.


Why This Topic is Important

Fostering leadership opportunities and a mindset allow you to:

1 |  Demonstrate concrete investment in the staff team.

2 |  Attract future employees with a reputation of staff investment.

3 |  Communicate organizational values of empowerment, trust, and transparency.

4 |  Safeguard the staff talent and organizational budget by curbing turn-over.

5 |  Understand that the wellbeing and thriving of the staff team correlates to greater effectiveness.


Tip 1

Foster a leadership mindset across all areas of the organization.

Tip 2

Get creative about ways to offer and use leadership opportunities with your colleagues and yourself.

What is The Definition of a Leadership Mindset

*Definition: Subscribing to the science of curiosity and mental flexibility central to a growth mindset and applying it to oneself and to those one has responsibility to support.

How can I disseminate a leadership mindset across my organization?

As an entry-level staff member:

Know your strengths and share them with your team and supervisor. If you haven’t done the StrengthsFinder 2.0, now is the time! Start by checking-out your top five strengths because this is where to focus the majority of your time and precious energy.

As a manager:

Consistently prioritize your team’s wellbeing. Meet with each direct report once-a-week for 20-30 minutes. Yes, we know – there’s no way any of us have time for more meetings! Try walking meetings as Harvard Business Review outlines.

This approach will SAVE time in future misunderstandings, inefficiencies, and so forth. Listen to Kevin Kruze’s LeadX Leadership Show Podcast episodes #216, #221, #226, and #231 to learn more about the usefulness of regular meetings with staff members. Also, check out the article by Ladies Leading Ladies called 5 Simple Ways to Make Meetings Matter to avoid dreaded meeting mistakes.

As the CEO:

Invest in leadership development and team-building in both the organizational budget and annual calendar. This investment is necessary to blow outcome measurements out of the water and also to retain your top talent. Grab the freebie “The 12 Resounding Yes’s You Need to Attract & Retain Top Talent” developed by Ladies Leading Ladies.

As the Board:

Support the CEO or Executive Director on getting leadership development activities in the organizational budget and annual calendar. Also, nothing shows that you are rallying for the success of the CEO like ensuring an executive coach is made available. This is absolutely crucial for long-term success of the organization no matter the skills of the CEO and to avoiding “founder’s syndrome”.


What counts as leadership opportunities?

Getting creative about ways to offer, access, and use leadership opportunities:

As an entry-level staff member:

Take the initiative and invest in your growth! Find a great training, conference, or certification without expectation that the organization will financially support you. Then, take this investment to your supervisor and share with them exactly how the opportunity will improve your performance, ability to take a larger leadership role, and that you’d like to follow up after you completion the training to discuss how you are putting those new skills to work.

Overall, you’re letting your supervisor know that you’ve decided to invest in yourself. Make it clear that if there are any funds or schedule flexibility available to support part of this investment you would appreciate that backing.

If you’re ready to grow and move up as a leader in your organization The Leadership Project, a carefully designed leadership course by Ladies Leading Ladies, is the perfect fit for you.

As a manager:

Use your regular staff meetings as an opportunity to develop your team – not to just go over task lists (everyone hates a meeting that could’ve been an email!). Use leadership books and podcasts as an interactive development opportunity by listening in your meetings or reading a chapter of the book together and discussing as a group each week. Here are some recommendations on great podcasts, including HBR Ideacast, Skimm’d From the Couch, Oprah’s Master Class, or Boss Files with Poppy Harlow.

As the CEO:

Create an internal leadership development program that intentionally grows your top talent. Make this a competitive program, that provides deep investment in your top growing talent and make sure you take completion into account as you promote from within. There is an entire module in The Leadership Project that will take you step-by-step through the process of creating and implementing an internal leadership development program at your organization. This leadership course and a customizable option through Ladies Leading Ladies might be right for your organization.

As the Board:

Create and implement a staff engagement survey at least annually, review the results, and take action. Utilize the results in your CEO or Executive Director’s annual performance appraisal; that is, the main part of the Board’s job is to create a leadership culture and connection to mission for the entire organization.

More on this in The Leadership Project, and Anchoring Success’ video and blog on surveying the staff team on their knowledge and engagement with the strategic plan. The strategic plan is a the core driver of priorities for all in the organization; you know if your organization fosters leadership opportunities and mindset if the staff team knows and engages the strategic plan!


Why did we develop 2 Tips videos?

We know that many professionals and organizational leaders do not have the funds to partner with specialists (like us) and/or the time to strategize on what might seem like extra projects.

We launched these 2 Tips videos to support you with making tweaks, adjustments, and refinements in programs and operations — doable for busy professionals like you!

Co-Authored by:

Nikki Henry, CEO
Ladies Leading Ladies