The Executive Director’s Guide to Thriving as a Nonprofit Leader, 2nd Edition by Mim Carlson and Margaret Donohoe
This guide serves as an extensive review of all of the major responsibilities that an Executive Director will face in her/his career. It is a very practical read for anyone who is just beginning to enter the nonprofit sector. Although the introduction claims it can be for any part of a nonprofit, it is written to an audience that is either currently or seeking this position. For anyone who is concerned with limited time, this book is a valuable resource for self-improvement as well as a resource to keep at hand.
The Opposable Mind: Winning Through Integrative Thinking by Roger Martin
Instead of focusing on what exceptional leaders do, we need to understand and emulate how they think. Successful business people engage in what Martin calls integrative thinking creatively resolving the tension in opposing models by forming entirely new and superior ones. Drawing on stories of leaders as diverse as AG Lafley of Procter & Gamble, Meg Whitman of eBay, Victoria Hale of the Institute for One World Health, and Nandan Nilekani of Infosys, Martin shows how integrative thinkers are relentlessly diagnosing and synthesizing by asking probing questions including: What are the causal relationships at work here? and What are the implied trade-offs?
Martin also presents a model for strengthening your integrative thinking skills by drawing on different kinds of knowledge including conceptual and experiential knowledge. Integrative thinking can be learned, and The Opposable Mind helps you master this vital skill.
Why Nonprofits Fail: Overcoming Founder’s Syndrome, Fundphobia and Other Obstacles to Success by Stephen R. Block
In Why Nonprofits Fail, Stephen Block explains that many well-intentioned leaders hold on to views of their nonprofit organizations that perpetuate problems rather than help fix them. According to Block, the first step to success is to challenge one’s own personal paradigms and ideas and be open to unique and alternative approaches to solving problems. This much-needed book helps nonprofits get back on track and offers advice about the seven most common stumbling blocks, including: founder’s syndrome, fundphobia, financial misfortune, Recruitment disorientation, cultural depression in nonprofit organizations, self-serving political performance and role confusion between the board and executive director.