Welcome to the inaugural blog post of Lead for Good, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to helping nonprofit professionals unleash their great leadership skills.  This blog is intended to be a forum for sharing ideas, questions, and comments regarding leadership issues facing the social sector.  And believe me, there is a lot to discuss!  For example, an executive director was recently struggling with a situation involving a poor performer in her organization.  While she really didn’t want to confront the employee (who does?!!), she knew the situation was negatively impacting morale and the organization was suffering.

After exploring options, the executive director decided to have a courageous conversation with the poor performer.  Before having the talk, however, she did some prep work that included: 1) coming up with SPECIFIC, factual examples of the poor performance; 2) identifying a “benefit of the doubt” reason the person’s work might not be up to snuff (e.g. the person didn’t have the necessary resources) so she could ease the tension and find out the REAL reason for the crummy work (if it was something other than a resource issue); 3) and thinking through what had to change and what successful performance needed to look like going forward.  In addition, she made sure to set aside plenty of time (1.5 hours) for the meeting, so they wouldn’t be interrupted and she could devote her full attention to the conversation.

I’m happy to report the meeting went very well.  It turned out the employee did not clearly understand what was expected of her.  Once the executive director understood what was happening, the two partnered to come up with a revised job description with more clearly defined duties and responsibilities.

Have you had a similar experience?  Please feel free to share your stories and opinions, pose your own questions, and/or share resources as the mood strikes you.  The purpose of this blog is to create a mutually supportive community of leaders (or aspiring leaders) who are working in the nonprofit sector.

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