Peel Leadership Centre is very excited to launch the Rising Leaders Network (RLN). The RLN meets in-person in the evenings four times per year starting on April 25. Participants connect for learning, networking, socializing and fun (advanced registration is required; to go to the registration page, click HERE). Our in-person sessions take place off-site at a lounge/resto-bar with food provided by PLC and drinks available for purchase. Each session will feature a Subject Matter Expert who will facilitate for about 1.5 hours on a topic important to rising nonprofit leaders. These sessions will also include an hour or two for socializing, conversations and networking. Based on feedback and our work with emerging leaders and middle managers over the past three years, we’ve identified the following topics for each session;
- Leadership 2.0 – how to level-up our skills and move our careers forward
- Effective Supervision – strategies to inspire and motivate teams
- Managing ‘up’ – how to create a positive relationship with our own leader
- The fourth session is TBD!
Nonprofit leaders often learn these skills ‘on the job’ after much trial and error. We want to help rising and emerging leaders acquire these skills before becoming an ED, CEO or moving into a bigger leadership role. These sessions are designed and facilitated in such a way that in a few hours’ time, participants will have learned practical tips and strategies for better leadership that we can implement and practice right away. Plus, since we’re part of a network that meets throughout the year and also includes a digital group space, we can share our experiences and our practice with each other as we go. We will learn, grow and expand our skill sets along with the other rising leaders in our network. This is a rare opportunity for emerging nonprofit leaders.
As we’ve all heard, leadership is not about the title; it’s about sharing a vision, inspiring those around us, motivating our teams, having integrity, building great relationships and so much more. We don’t have to wait until we have that “Title” before we begin to show up as a Leader. We can be leaders now. The Rising Leaders Network will help us learn the skills and strategies we need to take our leadership from good to great and reveal all the opportunities and possibilities in the nonprofit sector.
As mid-career, nonprofit professionals, we may not comprehend the full potential of and the opportunities that exist within the social-profit sector. Our current roles often require us to dive deep into our communities, but not necessarily to look up and out across the sectoral landscape. Folks that join the Rising Leaders Network are joining us from organizations across the GTA and in a number of different fields. Already we have registrations from folks who work with youth, the elderly, in the arts and more! Connecting with folks from a variety of fields can help uncover before unknown career paths and choices. This is the moment in our careers when we can spend time exploring how we can best contribute to the sector and to our communities. In this network we can connect with and learn from peers working in a field we may have been curious about, or we may learn about career options that we didn’t even know existed.
The connections forged in these sessions can help build a support network that can not be replaced by the networks in our personal sphere. Professional networks are very different from our personal support groups (friends, family, etc.), because our professional networks are career and issue focussed. When we foster these connections, we build relationships that bring value to our careers and also, to our lives in general. Plus, folks in this network will probably understand our struggles, anxieties, frustrations, and achievements better than our friends and family, and they may be able to offer us insights and advice that are actually rooted in shared experience. The nonprofit sector is unique and if you’re not in it, it can be very tricky to appreciate. Folks in the RLN will understand what we’re experiencing and can most likely relate! This can help do away with career-building side effects like so-called imposter syndrome and general anxieties about our career and work choices, and combat feelings of isolation, too.
In 2013, 2015 and now in 2018, PLC has conducted ED Surveys and discovered that many current EDs feel isolated. In fact, 58% of EDs surveyed indicated that they experience a feeling of isolation in their role. Over half of EDs feel alone in their work; disconnected and leading on their own. If we want to ensure strong leadership in the nonprofit sector, we need to combat these issues and deploy strategies that will ward off isolation and our propensity for working in silos. If we want to take on leadership roles ourselves, we need to take action today so that we have a supportive network in place. If we establish strong connections and build our networks now, we may be future-proofing ourselves and our organizational leadership against isolation. In forging strong relationships with peers across the sector, we are building a support structure that, if tended, will remain with us throughout our careers.
We work in a sector that requires greater and better collaborations than ever before. The networks that we build now can help us and serve our organizations in opening doors to partnerships and collaborations that we may not have previously considered. It is possible for all of us to open greater possibilities through relationships and networks. When we’re connected, we can leverage our collective wisdom and deliver greater impact for the communities we serve.
Until next time,
The PLC Team