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Best Career Advice for Nonprofit Leaders

What's the best career advice you've ever received? Question on an orange background in black text
Nonprofit Leadership Center

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received? That’s the question we recently asked our community of nonprofit and business leaders. Whether you’re a new professional just starting out or a seasoned pro, you’ll benefit from this career advice that nonprofit leaders say helped them throughout their journey.

What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?

Talk less and listen more.

Career success is not just about working hard; it’s also about building relationships. Make time for people.

Effective nonprofit leadership is about relationships, relationships and more relationships!

You don’t need to know all the answers. You just need to be willing to find them.

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Indeed, it is a sign of strength.

Expect the best from the person to whom you delegate. And when you delegate, make sure the other person has what they need to do the job.

If you don’t ask for financial donations directly and clearly, someone else will. Don’t be afraid to ask.

You have the power and ability to do whatever you want to do to achieve your goals and dreams.

Leadership is about relationships and humility. Never be “above” doing a task. Hire people more qualified than you, and focus on empowering people, not managing people.

I am human. I will make mistakes. Own up to it proactively and come with thoughts on how to fix it or deal with it, why it may have happened and a plan to not repeat it. Be open to responses to this.

Be renowned for the service you provide and the respect you have for all.

The least you accept will be the standard. If you want better, demand better — in work and in life.

Take your work seriously, but never yourself.

Don’t forget to have fun.

Always bring your authentic self to every room you enter, because the authentic you is the gift that will help and represent others who have no voice.

Never stop learning.

Work hard and be nice to people.

Every day is an interview!

Never say you can’t help a client with something. Always say you will find out how to help. It gives the client hope that their problem is not being dismissed.

You can only be one person, in every circumstance, personally and professionally, be genuine.

Don’t be afraid to be great.

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The Certificate in Nonprofit Management at the University of Tampa is a graduate-level educational opportunity to enhance the knowledge and skills of current and emerging nonprofit executives. This high-quality academic program is taught by Ph.D. faculty in partnership with leading nonprofit practitioners. The courses are delivered as four intensive one-week seminars over 15 months, representing 12 credit hours of graduate-level instruction.

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The Certificate in Nonprofit Management at the University of Tampa is a graduate-level educational opportunity to enhance the knowledge and skills of current and emerging nonprofit executives. This high-quality academic program is taught by Ph.D. faculty in partnership with leading nonprofit practitioners. The courses are delivered as four intensive one-week seminars over 15 months, representing 12 credit hours of graduate-level instruction.

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