Summary: ''We are beholden to Machivel, and writers of that kind, who openly and unmasked declare what [people do in fact, and not what they ought to do; for it is impossible to join the wisdom of the serpent and the innocence of the dove, without a previous knowledge of the nature of evil; as without this, virtue lies exposed and unguarded.''--Sir Francis Bacon, The Advancement of Learning (1605)
What does political savvy have to do with running a nonprofit organiz ...show moreation? According to the authors of this practical and empowering guide, it's essential to success. But can political know-how and altruistic values comfortably coexist in a nonprofit leader? According to Michael and Deborah Bradshaw Jinkins, the most effective leaders are those who combine the expertise of their discipline and their deeply held values with political skills, enabling their expertise and values to flourish in real-world conditions. The Character of Leadership is a compelling tutorial in the use of pragmatic and principled politics that will help individuals become better leaders.
Drawing from the experiences of leaders in a variety of nonprofit organizations, this book gives readers a viable approach to rethinking the practice of leadership. This book helps them examine their current practice and the organizations they serve, reflect on their character as leaders, and gain political skills for value-rich leadership.
While most nonprofit leaders have a clear sense of their ultimate goals, they tend to be idealistic about their endeavors, viewing politics skeptically--even disdainfully. Much of what they learn in professional schools and their own highest ideals may actually work against their effective leadership. This much-needed guide offers a practical, principled approach to the politics of leadership.
As their model, the authors use one of the smartest political observers of all time--Niccolo Machiavelli. While the dictionary uses his name to define cutthroat politics, many contemporary philosophers, including the ethicist Reinhold Niebuhr, have discovered in Machiavelli's view a realistic and effective approach to the leadership of social institutions.
The Jinkinses show how Machiavelli's methods can work in contemporary leadership situations--ethically. They reflect on the distinct political skills essential to achieving the organization's goals, including making political connections, building leadership teams, and dealing with sabotage and opposition. For nonprofit leaders who believe that they must inevitably choose between their values or political reality, this book provides a compelling alternative.
A Compelling Guide to Successful Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations
For nonprofit leaders who want to succeed in their efforts to change the world without selling their souls, this compelling guide offers a fresh, pragmatic approach to principled politics. The authors guide readers toward recognizing and working with political realities and help shape a value-rich but more politically astute mode of leadership. They offer a rich array of case studies, from school principals and university presidents to pastors and social service administrators, revealing how contemporary leaders can effectively translate their values into both policy and practice. ...show less
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