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Become a Better Leader in Just 15 Minutes

Nonprofit Leadership Center

Is it really possible to become a better leader in just 15 minutes? According to Simon T. Bailey — author, life coach and former keynote speaker at the Nonprofit Leadership Center’s Nonprofit Leadership Conference — the answer is yes. He says that by incorporating this 15-minute routine into your day, you’ll be on your way to long-term leadership success.

Become a Better Nonprofit Leader in Just 15 Minutes a Day

If you want to become a more successful leader, start by waking up 15 minutes earlier each day. Research shows the world’s most successful CEOs are morning people. Break this extra time into three, 5-minute segments to start daily habits that lead to a lifetime of success.

1. First 5 Minutes: Meditate/Mindfulness

To speed up, we must first slow down. Prior to reaching for your phone and tapping out emails before breakfast, spend the first five minutes of your day engaging in quiet meditation. Science shows that practicing daily meditation, just for a few minutes, can improve our focus, decision-making and sleep while reducing stress and anxiety. Apps like Headspace can help you learn how to practice mindfulness and prevent your brain from wandering away from the present.

2. Second 5 Minutes: Read/Listen

After you’ve spent some quiet time disconnecting from the day’s many tasks, spend a few minutes reading or listening to something that inspires you. Curiosity is one of the most critical tools for leadership success. Whether that’s reading the latest news articles, reviewing peer campaigns or listening to a podcast, we are more effective leaders when we look outside ourselves and our own organizations. Instaread is an app that allows you to read more than 800 non-fiction books in just a few minutes at a time. Looking for a great read for nonprofit leaders? We’re big fans of “The Sustainability Mindset,” co-authored by NLC trainer and partner Steve Zimmerman. It helps nonprofits create better strategic decision-making models to drive both impact and profitability.

3. Final 5 Minutes: Stretch/Move

Finally, spend the last five minutes of your new 15-minute routine stretching. This will help get your mind and body in alignment so you are mentally and physically ready for the day ahead. If you need a little help getting started, there are numerous stretching apps for your smartphone you can search for in the app store.

Are you ready to become a more successful nonprofit leader? Wake up 15 minutes earlier tomorrow and get started.

Register for the 2024 Nonprofit Leadership Conference

Join hundreds of nonprofit and business leaders at the 2024 Nonprofit Leadership Conference on October 8 to unleash the power of collaboration and innovation to strengthen our organizations and communities.

More Ways to Strengthen Your Leadership Skills & Success

Join us for an upcoming training class or learning experiences to strengthen your leadership skills and organization’s impact. See all our upcoming events and start becoming a stronger leader now.

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The Certificate in Leadership is a 10-week program for nonprofit leaders who are new to managing people or programs. This life-changing learning experience helps participants grow as high-performing leaders who are adaptive, courageous and committed to results-driven change. Offered once per year, it includes peer-based learning groups, group coaching calls and one-on-one coaching.

Start your certificate today!

The Certificate in Leadership is a 10-week program for nonprofit leaders who are new to managing people or programs. This life-changing learning experience helps participants grow as high-performing leaders who are adaptive, courageous and committed to results-driven change. Offered once per year, it includes peer-based learning groups, group coaching calls and one-on-one coaching.

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