It can be argued that no leadership role personifies a nonprofit organization more than its president. Whether upholding academic standards at an educational institution, raising much needed funds for a social services agency, or even dealing with a major crisis such as the effects of a hurricane, the president becomes the focal point of all stakeholders and the public at large. An effective president is often the key driver to a well-funded, thriving, and successful mission.
In The Leadership Imperative Report, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) outlines key attributes that make an effective president, among them:
- Actively engages the board in meeting its roles and responsibilities
- Unites the board, faculty and other stakeholders to ensure all resources are meeting current and future challenges
- Cultivates a deep understanding of the institution's unique character, his to/)' and values
- Resists allowing daily managerial tasks to detract from long-range strategic challenges
While the focus of that report was higher education, the same attributes are critical for all not-for-profits to consider.