Advance Your Career through Nonprofit Board Service
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Advance Your Career through Nonprofit Board Service

About the Book

Merge Your Professional, Philanthropic, and Personal Missions with Strengths-Based Nonprofit Board Leadership

You want to invest in your profession, the causes you care about, and yourself, but your time and energy are limited. You need one approach to amplify your effectiveness and impact in all three domains at once. Here’s the approach: Strengths-based leadership.

With the exercises and information in this book, you will:

•Learn your own strengths and how you can use them to get better results in your professional pursuits.

•Learn to form strengths-based board leadership teams, so you can have greater impact when you serve on not-for-profit boards of directors and with your professional association. This way you’ll have the strongest people taking the lead on fulfilling board responsibilities, instead of simply the people who can’t say no or (worse) the people who were absent from the meeting when committee chairs were assigned.

•Complete a matrix mapping your and your colleagues’ strengths to their responsibilities. You can then use the matrix, and the resources in this book, to take your own leadership team, and/or any board of directors on which you serve, from good to great.

•Discover that it’s perfectly legitimate to use nonprofit and community board service to advance your professional career—if you have a genuine passion for the organization’s mission, and you can say with integrity that you’re contributing talents and skills the organization’s board needs. Nonprofit board service gives you leadership development opportunities that can help you excel in your profession as well. 

•Identify nonprofit and community organizations that fit your passions; match your skills and talents to their needs; and plan to perform leadership roles with excellence.

Your profession, the causes you care about, and your own personal development matter. Strengths-based leadership ties them all together into a win-win-win with your leadership at the center.

About the Author

John M. Fulwider, Ph.D.
John M. Fulwider, Ph.D.

Professional communicator John Fulwider helps nonprofit chief executives advance their strategic visions through everyday conversations. Combining coaching, teaching, and training, John works exclusively with high-achieving CEOs who want their leadership teams and boards rowing in the same direction. He is a sought-after speaker and the not-yet-bestselling author of five books, including Better Together: How Top Nonprofit CEOs and Board Chairs Get Happy and Fall in Love (with the Mission) and Everyday Strategic Conversations: How Top Nonprofit CEOs Get Their Teams and Boards Rowing in the Same Direction.

John works primarily with community-development organizations and foundations, and those that mainly serve children. Some recent clients include alt.Consulting, Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, NeighborWorks Lincoln, NeighborWorks America, and West Central Initiative.

John’s clients have included:

Child-Focused: Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands, Child Advocacy Center, Hope Center for Kids

Economic Development: alt.Consulting, Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, Goodwill Industries

Foundations: Heartland Council of Community Foundations, Kearney Area Community Foundation, Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, Nebraska Community Foundation, West Central Initiative

Health Care: Brain Injury Association of Kansas and Greater Kansas City, Brain Injury Association of Nebraska, Bryan Health, Nebraska Optometric Association

Housing and Community Development: Lincoln/Lancaster County Habitat for Humanity, NeighborWorks America, NeighborWorks Lincoln

Higher Education: South Dakota State University, University of Nebraska Public Policy Center

Other: Human Services Federation, KZUM 89.3 FM, Lincoln American Marketing Association, Lincoln Arts Council, Lincoln’s Young Professionals Group

John is also a happy husband, a proud papa, a fun-loving foodie, and an advocate of alliteration. He has lived and traveled all over the world. He is a passionate foodie who can suggest what to eat, and where, in an impressive number of cities. While he charges a lot for his other services, his advice on eating out is always free.

John previously taught political science at the university level and wrote about politics for various newspapers. He holds a doctorate in political science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Five things you might not otherwise know about John:

  • His favorite cuisines are Ethiopian, German, and Indian, in that order.
  • He once completed a five-rappel descent off Cat in the Hat in the dark, without a headlamp.
  • He’s a redhead whose hair has gone dark. (Sad.)
  • He still has the rock he used to (slowly) chip ice out of the wheel wells (all four!) of his Geo Metro one particularly wintry day in Boulder, Colorado, circa 1996.
  • He adores functional public transportation systems with an abiding passion.

Table of Contents

    • Acknowledgments
    • Copyright Notice
    • 1. Introduction
      • Aim of the Book
      • Quick Overview of the Contents
  • I Advance Your Career through Nonprofit Board Service
    • 2. It’s About the Mission
      • Mission Impact Defined
      • All Kinds of Ways to Change the World
      • Serve for the Right Reasons
      • Don’t Overcommit
      • Worksheet: It’s About the Mission
    • 3. It’s About You
      • Develop Your Leadership Strengths
      • Benefits for Your Career
      • You Can Do It Now
      • Worksheet: It’s About You
    • 4. Conclusion: Advance Your Career through Nonprofit Board Service
      • Further Reading
    • 5. Action Plan: Advance Your Career through Nonprofit Board Service
  • II Understanding Nonprofit Board Leadership
    • 6. Ten Responsibilities and Privileges
      • Three Summary Responsibilities
      • Committee Work to Fulfill the Ten Responsibilities
      • How the Ten Responsibilities Lead to Mission Impact
      • What to Expect from Board Service
      • Worksheet: Ten Responsibilities and Privileges
    • 7. Finding the Right Board
      • Worksheet: Finding the Right Board
    • 8. Conclusion: Understanding Nonprofit Board Leadership
      • Further Reading
    • 9. Action Plan: Understanding Nonprofit Board Leadership
  • III Leading with Strengths on a Nonprofit Board
    • 10. Why Strengths Matter for Leadership
      • People and Teams Operate Best from Their Strengths
      • Boards Operate Best from Their Strengths
      • Understanding Your Strengths
      • Strengths Theory and Positive Psychology
      • Gallup’s StrengthsFinder Strengths
      • Going from Good to Great
      • A Strong Board Team
    • 11. Matching Strengths to Board Responsibilities
      • Strengths Matches for “Provide Strategic Leadership”
      • Strengths Matches for “Ensure Abundant Resources”
      • Strengths Matches for “Provide Oversight”
      • Worksheet: Matching Strengths to Board Responsibilities
    • 12. Conclusion: Leading with Strengths on a Nonprofit Board
      • Further Reading
    • 13. Action Plan: Leading with Strengths on a Nonprofit Board
    • 14. Next Steps
      • Read
      • Consider
      • Act!
    • 15. Action Plan: Pulling It All Together
    • About the Author
    • Contact Me

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