Here are a few of the common questions we get at the Concord Leadership Group. If yours isn’t here, feel free to email us at faq@concordleadershipgroup.com.

If I’m a CEO, I can clearly figure things out on my own. Why would I need coaching?

Many nonprofit CEOs feel isolated. They find the saying “It’s lonely at the top” is really true!

Boards expect them to know how to run the organization, even though each nonprofit has conflicting demands and nuances. Their staff assumes they can lead each department as an expert, and get frustrated when CEOs don’t understand what they’re trying to say. And everyone assumes that CEOs can magically raise money, even though many have little to no experience with nonprofit fundraising.

Concord Leadership Group can serve as your informed sounding board, giving you a place to explore solutions and benefit from our research-based approach and extensive experience working with nonprofits around the world. We help you effectively communicate with staff and address your board (without letting them run roughshod over you), re-arrange direct reports and staffing structures, and design new marketing initiatives.

Our clients find that coaching saves time. And research shows that coaching can help you present yourself more confidently, more convincingly, and even reduce your own stress. Most importantly, we help your nonprofit reduce unnecessary turnover costs, avoid wasted time and effort on the wrong goals, and help you increase fundraising and staff job satisfaction.

Isn’t coaching something reserved as a “last ditch effort” before someone is fired?

It definitely used to be. Decades ago, coaching in corporations was reserved for underperformers, often the last step before a pink slip. But over the last twenty years, organizations and boards discovered what star athletes have known all along: to excel, you need a coach.

Coaching is now a sign of a healthy, high-performing leader. It’s become a sign of courage and exemplary discipline. Proof that the organization is in great hands. According to recent research, more than half of senior leaders in the private sector have received coaching or leadership advice from outside their organization. Not all business strategies work in nonprofits–but coaching is one that is proven to work in nonprofits too.

I’d love a coach, but my board will only invest in something with a “return,” like fundraising. How would you address my board’s concern?

This is a common question. After all, nonprofits need to make a lot happen with limited resources. Unfortunately, focusing exclusively on quick fixes is usually motivated by an unhealthy short-term focus rather than implementing long-term solutions. Not addressing challenges like rampant donor attrition actually costs more than that fixing their causes.

When a CEO can’t properly manage staff, it results in costly turnover. Unfilled staff positions, while appearing as cost “savings” on budget sheets, actually cost nonprofits 3 times the annual salary of the position. When CEOs can’t meet fundraising goals, organizations are in perpetual crisis mode, which leads to more funding problems as donors tire of hearing constant pleas.

Studies find the ROI on coaching to be more than 300%. In our own work, our clients enjoy average revenue growth of 37% in the first year after working with us, due largely to increased leadership effectiveness, more focused marketing, and better fundraising strategies. Most importantly, coaching helps nonprofits avoid costly CEO turnover, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in recruiting fees, under-led staff, and missed opportunities.

But don’t just take our word on it, here are three representative reports:

Coaching produced a 529% return on investment and significant intangible benefits to the business. Including the financial benefits from employee retention boosted the overall ROI to 788%. (Source: MetrixGlobalBriefing)

“I really doubt I’d still be here without coaching; in the face of really difficult changes in management…I got regular, reliable feedback on how I was doing during a period of change.” (Source: CompassPoint Study)

Coaching paves the way for decision makers to create higher levels of organizational effectiveness through dialogue, inquiry and positive interactions. Coaching creates awareness, purpose, competence and well being among participants. Coaching is NOT another feel-good exercise based in soft skills that has no correlation to the bottom line. (Source: The Case for Coaching)

So my Concord Leadership Group coach will be like my own personal consultant or trainer?

Yes and no. As a coach, we ask questions and help you envision solutions from your own wisdom and life experience. Coaching is like teaching a person how to fish.

Our clients often experience immediate benefits as they apply new skills and insights. These early benefits then become leadership assets that provide returns long after coaching has been completed. A powerful part of coaching is that you get to actually try out new strategies and see if they actually work for you.

Are coaches therapists or counselors?

No. Therapists and counselors often focus on the past that are causing current dysfunction. Coaching is more of a “present-future” focus. Where most coaching focuses on skills, we focus on your strengths. We uncover your hardwiring, the things that do with naturally and with ease. We help you build on your strengths to drive your growth and development.


It’s up to you

If the Concord Leadership Group’s approach sounds appealing to you, your next step is to click here so you can schedule an exploratory call.

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"The Concord Leadership Group tells us what true leaders have already accepted: not planning strategically is just tempting fate. Without a plan, you are betting other people's future on your continued dumb luck."

-Bill Tedesco
CEO, DonorSearch

 

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