Attitude will make or break nonprofit leaders. Attitude helps to shape the life of the leader and the life of the organization. The reality is that the more a leader maintains a positive attitude the higher the organization can climb and the greater the impact the leader can develop with the organization.
One of the biggest factors of the success of a nonprofit organization is the attitude of the leader. The leader sets the pace and determines the pulse of the organization. There can be little doubt that attitude makes a massive difference in the overall success level of the organization. When the leader is able to remain positive through times of uncertainty and insecurity it assists the organization in remaining stable. The following are some of the challenges to maintaining a positive attitude as a nonprofit leader.
One major factor in maintaining a positive attitude as a nonprofit leader is dealing with circumstances. Situations and circumstances are always in a state of flux. Dealing the daily struggle with change and handling the constant development of change can cause leaders to lose their positive spirit. When leaders base their attitude on the circumstances around them, their attitude will constantly be based on conditions instead of character. The reality is that situational attitude are always out of control. The movement that the circumstances turn bad, so does the attitude of the leader.
How to handle change effectively
1. Remember that change is a constant
There will never be a time when the organization will not be in a state of continual change.
2. Remember that not all change is bad
Change can be a good thing. The truth is that change is part of organizational life and resisting it only stalls the organization. The challenge of the leader is to help people see the need and the benefits of change.
3. Change is required for progress
Embracing change can feed a positive attitude. The more that a leader grows and develops both personally and professionally is a reality of change.
Criticism is a dynamic of nonprofit organizations that is often unexpected by newer leaders. Wherever there are more than a few people together, criticism is going to happen. Criticism comes with any job and leadership in a nonprofit organization is no exception. Leaders need to understand that how they handle criticism speaks volumes about their leadership. Taking time to understand the issue and the critic is essential in coping with criticism. Being able to cope with criticism helps the leader rise to new levels of ability and success.
Three ways to cope with criticism
1. Be humble
Humility is the first step to avoiding ongoing and unnecessary criticism. When a leader is humble, it is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength. Leaders who act in humility are able to handle criticism easier than leaders who are proud. Humility is the ability to recognize areas of weakness and working to overcome them. Even in unfair or unnecessary criticism there are lessons to learn. Humility makes the leader more able to learn those lessons without repeating them.
2. Deal with the criticism quickly and honestly
Leaders often work to avoid the issue of criticism. There is often no good way to deal with criticism but it must be done. Nonprofit leaders need to learn to handle criticism in a quick and honest manner. When mistakes are made, be upfront and honest. When criticism is issued, deal with the critic in a timely and straight forward manner.
3. Try to understand the critic
One of the biggest issues in nonprofit organizations is confusion. Sadly, leaders often try to negatively handle critics and fail to understand the underlying issues. Most people who are overly critical have problems they do not want to deal with. It becomes easier to find fault with others than deal our own problems. Leaders need to take time to try to understand the person before passing judgment.
Anxiety is nothing more than worry that is out of control. Anxiety will poison the mental state of a leader. The longer the leader give in to thoughts of anxiety, the higher the likelihood of failure within the organization. How can a leader be overcome with worry and still remain positive? Anxiety breeds nothing but negative thinking and negative attitudes. Remaining positive requires the leader to move beyond the issues of anxiety.
Every organization has times of higher levels of anxiety and times when the leader is naturally more anxious. Leaders need to be able to develop a system of mutual support. Leaders need to support the people during times of anxiety and some people need to help support the leader.
The three major challenges to remaining positive in nonprofit organizations are circumstances, criticism, and anxiety. Circumstances should never impact the attitude of the leader, especially when they are bad. Criticism is an ongoing issue for leaders and dealing with it in an effective manner. Leaders who can effectively deal with these areas will maintain a more positive outlook and a powerful attitude.