What Mattered Last Year Still Matters in 2015: Good Nonprofit Leadership


On the great stage of blogging, Leadership Matters is still a bit player, and we’re OK with it because we know we’re onto something.

We believe firmly that good leadership trumps organizational or endowment size any day. And it’s available to all of us, whether we’re a sole proprietor or part of a staff so big it seems like a small town.

We believe vision, agility, and courage are ingredients that make strong organizations. If you’re still skeptical and bent on new collections management systems or iPads for your galleries as the next new things, think again.

We’d like to suggest you read this report on leadership (or the lack thereof) in the social sector by Mckinsey & Co. Yes, they definitely have a reputation as white, male, and corporate-oriented, but that doesn’t mean they don’t understand leadership in business or in non-profits. Read the report and then do yourself a favor:  Make 2015 the year that you work on leadership. If you are a director or department chair, be mindful, be present, listen, serve. If you are a team member or volunteer, own every bit of what you do. Acknowledge failure, move forward, love what you do. If you don’t love it most days try to understand why not. Figure out ways to push the envelope and see if your colleagues will join you. Commit to moving the needle beyond mediocrity.


A lot of blogs spend the first post of the new year reminding readers what they said over the last 12 months, and most particularly, what they said well. The post that stood out above all others in 2014 for Leadership Matters, and we’re not completely sure why, was our March 25 missive titled “Women & Museums”, which drew a record number of readers to this blog. Like a pebble in your shoe, there seem to be some issues around gender in the museum world. So if you have thoughts, questions, experiences around gender and this field, watch our Women+Museums page (above) and see how you can be involved.


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