Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations is about exemplary leadership as found in both corporate and nonprofit organizations. The authors take a fresh approach to the study of leadership: they perform research in nonprofits both to understand and appreciate their complexities, and to reachconclusions about the nature of leadership in any context, including for-profit and governmental entities. Moving from nonprofit to for-profit in this way reverses the flow of ideas as represented in the mainstream literature of leadership. The authors' journey leads through case studies of remarkable leaders succeeding in complex situations. The book explores contemporary versions of leadership as embedded in American culture. It develops the concept of good fit between the leader and circumstances in which she or he must lead; it reveals predictable leadership dynamics and cycles; it explains how leaders can increase the readiness for change in their organizations; it describes the felt experience of "flow" when successful leaders are lost in the moment. Although each chapter employs a different lens, the object is the same throughout-leadership as the practice of alignment. The result is a multifaceted view of leadership as a complex system of shifting interrelationships that yields insights useful to students, researchers and leaders themselves. Features and Benefits: Critical review of literature on leadership which encourages diversity in leadership models and approaches. Case studies of nonprofit leadership which affirm public-minded, mission-driven leaders and acknowledge their contributions. Chapters on leadership constructs such as fit, dynamics, readiness and flow which provide useful insights and methods to enable success. Overarching concept of alignment which reframes leadership as an active process where the awareness of and response to the interplay of multiple, relevant factors matters more than charisma, pedigree or power.
Our understanding of leadership as a process of alignment draws from many disparate theories of leadership. We can identify a dominant cultural narrative of leadership, that is, an informal, often implicit consensus on how leaders should lead, but there is no comprehensive, commonly held formal theory of leadership. Instead, there are many, various, sometimes conflicting theories. Some focus on the archetypal character traits of leaders. Others emphasize the ways in which leaders interact with followers. Still others concern themselves with the circumstances that bring out leadership or that demand different kinds of leadership. Each theory has its explanatory virtues. Each seems cogent. When immersed in reading any one of them, it seems entirely accurate. Yet, by itself, each is incomplete.
Reading through leadership ...