News

How To Balance 8 Apples on a Pineapple

Tue, June 25, 2013 1:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

By Deanna Tharpe, DSAIA Executive Director

So I totally lied.  I'm not going to tell you how to balance eight apples on a pineapple.  I'm not sure it can even be done...but I'm an executive director of a nonprofit.  If anyone could do it, I probably could.  

I am an Executive Director.  Before I came to DSAIA, my last job was as an executive director.  There are two things that I know as an ED…you have an incredibly important role in your organization.  Oh, and your relationship with your board is tantamount to the success of your goals and initiatives. 

One of the most common issues leaders contact me about is the relationship between board and staff.  That is why DSAIA spent time (and resources) investing back into our current series on this subject.  The first session was for board members.  It was entitled “How To Lose an Executive Director” and it centered on the role of the ED in relationship to the organization and the board.  It was great information, a wonderful and compelling presentation and something that every board member should watch.  Oh, how I wish that more board members had attended than staff! Yes, our attendance was overwhelmingly EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS!  How crazy is that!?!

So, the next session is “How To Lose a Board Member” and is aimed at the top level staff in an organization and how they can improve their relationship with their board.  Thankfully, we’re seeing good involvement from our EDs.  Is your ED or PD or AA (love my abbreviations?) registered?  Why not ask them?  Why not encourage them?  Heck…why not demand it?

And then…when you are done…..  Let’s talk about your board ALL watching the replay of the How To Lose an Executive Director.  If you are even thinking of hiring one, your board should watch it.  If you have one and want to keep them, your board should watch it. 

Next up in July….Resolving Conflict Between Board and Staff.  It’s the third in our series.  Yes, we’ve seen it.  That is why we included it in our 3-part series.  And even if your relationship is super-awesome, wonderful and all hearts/flowers, you should watch it.  Be prepared.  Be a good steward of your organization’s resources (that includes your staff and board). 

And…dismount!  That is me hopping off my high-horse and getting back to being an Executive Director.  I’ll be on Thursday’s webinar.  I hope to see you there as well as DSAIA re-invests your dollars into educational development opportunities for YOU, our members.  

I want to tell you what WONDERFUL time I had at the conference. I learned so much and came away with lots of ideas for our organization. -Barb Waddle, The Upside of Downs of Northeast Ohio

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Down Syndrome Affiliates in Action started as a conference bringing together outstanding leadership from Down syndrome organizations around the country. Learn More

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