Monday, December 15, 2008

Do Successful Corporate Leaders Equal Successful Nonprofit Leaders

This weekend I read an article in the NY Times ( The article is about a program at Harvard University that is training former corporate CEOs in a one year fellowship on being nonprofit CEOs. While I am for further education, three thoughts crossed my mind. They are as follows:

  1. I feel a little disrespected when people think that a one-year, once a week/month fellowship is enough for someone to be able to come in an run a nonprofit effectively. It makes me think that there is little regard for the sector.
  2. Why isn't there a similar program for corporate CEOs. I think the corporate sector could really gain from the leadership of a nonprofit CEO.
  3. While much has been stated in the nonprofit world about the impending leadership gap regarding the baby boomers retiring and not enough nonprofit leaders able to take over, I do not see this as the only reason to leap over to the help of the corporate sector. I am sorry, but every headline I read in a business periodical relates to an issue that can be directly tied to bad corporate leadership. And this is the pool that the nonprofit sector should be begging for.
Maybe I am over-reacting but I get a little angry when people immediately think that either corporate practice or leadership can swoop in for the lowly nonprofit sector. In my opinion, it should be the other way around. Maybe a bailout would not be needed if the corporate leader spent time on the ground floor of a nonprofit and worked their way up.

No comments: