Career Advice


I am traveling to Cleveland today to help coordinate trainings for Boys & Girls Clubs of America. I will be talking to some new CEOs about leadership and giving them tips on becoming effective Non Profit Leaders. Some of these points might apply to you as you look to led and make a difference.

PASSION/WORK ALIGNMENT: I would encourage you to find leadership opportunities or a career around something you are passionate about. I believe people who are passionate about their career get better results. I once heard a quote, “If you are passionate about your work. You will never work a day in your life.”

FIND A MENTOR/COACH: Find someone who has been there-done that. Someone who will always be brutally honest and give you valuable advise as you navigate through your career. You also have to be humble and be wiling to listen if you go this route.

BE VISIBLE & VALUABLE: Volunteer for projects and connect the dots with those who might have influence in supporting your goals. Spend time networking with your colleagues by asking one for coffee, lunch, or participating in a event that will help someone else reach their goals. Sometimes it is not who you know. It’s who know you and there is a BIG difference between the two.

BE HONEST/DONT SCHEME: Honest leadership is sustainable and needed. Most decision makers are looking for leaders who are honest and purpose driven. Whatever you do – do not scheme as you attempt to lead. The amount of time plotting schemes could be better used for generating good ideas and results. Scheming is not sustainable. When you scheme people will notice and many will resent you. When you do the right thing and do things right, the answer of how to move up the ladder will come naturally. Work hard and deliver results beyond the expected and you will soon see the difference you are making and opportunities will present themselves.

LEND A HELPING HAND: Show you’re willing to lend a hand to others. Let decision makers and your colleagues know that you’re a proactive and engaged colleague. Demonstrate that you are willing to pitch in and help others even when what needs to be done isn’t technically in your job duties. Your credibility in the workplace is critical and sometimes it will be your colleagues who will inform decision makers of your actions.

DEVELOP EXPERTISE/CREDENTIALS: These little things really do matter!! Build your personal brand by becoming an expert in a something specific. For example, become an expert on company policies and procedures or understand a “critical issue” or a high-impact activity your organization routinely carries out. You will raise your stock with decision makers who know they can depend on you. Also gain as many credentials as you can whether it’s through degrees of certificate programs. These professional development opportunities along with practical experience will help you become a better leader.

BE GRACIOUS: Good leaders never take credit for the work of the team. It is important to recognize every one who have contributed. If you honor their work you will be blessed in the process. This characteristic is critical to your success.

WHEN IT’S YOUR TIME: Hire or engage with people who are smarter and more capable in their respective areas than you. After setting some rules and guidelines, just let them do their jobs. It’s a skill to be able to work with people who are completely different from you, but it pays off in the long run if you are willing to listen and learn while you lead.

RESPECT YOUR COLLEAGUES: Once you are leading. Allow your colleagues to lead with you. Your colleagues are your most valuable asset and they deserve your attention, respect and support. Be willing to look at each of your colleagues as an asset that will help carry out the strategic vision of your organization. I hope this helps you through your career path and journey.