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Leadership: You Don’t Have to Take My Word For It (Part 1)

The characteristics of what makes an effective leader may vary from sector to sector, one’s role at the institution, perhaps even generationally, geographically, philosophically or as time marches on. And yet a wise leader is always growing, constantly honing their skill, and never stops considering feedback and guidance from others.

With a tip of the hat to LeVar Burton’s famous phrase “you don’t have to take my word for it” from the hit PBS series Reading Rainbow, we’ve asked leaders from across the public and private, for-profit and nonprofit sectors what makes an effective leader. Here is part-one, featuring a sampling of thoughts to jog your mind as you formulate your own response to the prompt.

“In these unprecedented times, leaders will need to reimagine how they can use their time, talent, treasures and their testimony. Leaders must use their platforms to fight injustice, lift up equity and inclusion and advance opportunity.”

Dr. Una Osili

Associate Dean for Research and International Programs

Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

“Strategy from a leader respects a glance backwards but is focused forwards. Success is more likely achieved through remaining open to change and supporting teammates in their decision making.”

Michael C. Rechin

President & CEO (Ret)

First Merchants Bank

“Be very intentional about how you show up as a leader, and understand the great responsibility and impact you have on the lives of others. Everything you do from your verbal and non-verbal cues, attitude and attentiveness has the ability to set the tone for how someone sees themselves in the organization and ultimately how they show up every day to do their job.”

Brandi Davis-Handy

Chief Public Relations Officer

AES U.S. Utilities

“Leadership requires many attributes, but must begin with conceptualizing and verbalizing goals and involving his or her people in the process. People must be motivated by the shared goals and vision.”

Frank Basile

Gene B. Glick Company (Ret)

Philanthropist, speaker and volunteer

No matter your role - - Board chair, dedicated staff member, tireless volunteer, generous donor - - we all have a role to play in effective leadership within the social sector. Consider integrating one or two of these observations from thought leaders into your daily practices, it may just make a difference!

...but you don’t have to take my word for it!

Cape Fletcher Associates

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