What kind of leader do you want to be?

by Kristin Holland
Kristin wrote this post initially for the national YNPN blog; it first appeared here.
I’m sitting in a breakout session on leadership at a nonprofit conference.  The speaker asks, “Can someone tell me about their experience as a leader?”
Immediately, my hands get clammy, beads of sweat bubble around my hairline, and I am genuinely considering whether anyone will notice if I crawl under the table. As I glance at the raised hand of my neighbor, I am certain she is getting ready to share her experience founding a nonprofit that single-handedly raised adult literacy rates, ended childhood obesity, fed the hungry, and sheltered the homeless all at the advanced age of nine. I have only two thoughts: I am not a leader, and I hate this question.
pschmitzokc-225x300 Paul Schmitz in Oklahoma City. Photo from the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits.
This describes my experience at nearly every leadership workshop until last week when the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits brought in Paul Schmitz to lead a workshop based on his book, Everyone Leads. Paul suggested a definition of leadership that I had never considered before. In fact, his definition defies the very laws...

Thinking About Serving on a Nonprofit Board? Why You Should Consider It

by Kristin Holland
When I started my nonprofit career almost two years ago, one of the questions I often asked my mentor was, “How do I get an entry-level job when even those positions require experience that I don’t have yet?” It seemed impossible to develop skills unique to nonprofits (ahem, fundraising) without being given the opportunity to actually work for a nonprofit.
Her answer to my dilemma? Serve on a board.
Serving on a board is a great way to gain experience. At YNPN’s “Get Hired” event, nonprofit hiring managers told participants that experience doesn’t always have to come from a paid position; it can come from volunteering or board service. Since most volunteer opportunities are with a nonprofit’s programs, sitting on a Board of Directors is an especially great option if you want a position in a more operational area like resource development or communications.
But board service isn’t something you do just to boost your resume. Board members have legal and financial responsibilities to the organization, and it’s important you have a good understanding of what this means before you accept a board position. Here are some things to keep in mind as you’re considering board service.
Be realistic with yourself.  Overcommitting...

The Baby Boss - Working with Employees From Multiple Generations

by Bevan Graybill, YNPN of OKC Professional Development Committee Chair
Multi-generational workplaces are here. If you don’t already, soon you will be expected to lead people 3 to 30 years older than you.
Thirty-four percent of U.S. workers say they are older than their bosses, and fifteen percent say they work for someone who is at least ten years younger, noting a shift in the correlation between seniority and leadership (CareerBuilder). Baby Boomers are staying in the workforce longer, and members of Generation X and Generation Y are moving into more and more management positions. This article explores some of the challenges of the “young boss, older employee dilemma” and strategies for effectively leading an older staff.
First, consider how you view each generation. Baby Boomers were born 1946-1964 and are currently between 49 and 68 years old. Generation Xers were born 1965-1980 and are currently between 33 and 49 years old. Generation Yers were born 1981-2000 and are currently between 13 and 33 years old.
My view of each generation has been developed mostly by my personal and professional relationships with members of each generation. My parents, aunts, uncles, and most of the judges with whom I work are all Baby Boomers. I...