The Nonprofit Leadership Transition and Development Guide: Proven Paths for Leaders and Organizations

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John Wiley & Sons, Jul 1, 2010 - Business & Economics - 384 pages

The Nonprofit Leadership Transition and Development Guide

In this dynamic resource, Tom Adams (an expert in succession planning who has worked with hundreds of organizations) shows how intentional leadership development and properly managed leadership transitions provide nonprofits with the rare opportunity to change direction, maintain momentum, and strengthen their capacity. This accessible guidebook is filled with illustrative stories, instructive lessons, best practices, and practical tools that can be used to ensure a successful nonprofit leadership transition.

"It is terrific to have a book which so effectively addresses the unique challenges and opportunities of leadership in the nonprofit sector, replete with sound advice and concrete examples. Tom Adams brings a wealth of experience and savvy to the topic. Paid and volunteer leaders of nonprofits at all levels will benefit from reading it."—Irv Katz, president and CEO, National Human Services Assembly

"The guide is one of its kind in providing a realistic frame for the world of nonprofit leaders. It is long overdue in the sector as a real tool for leaders. Maybe even more important, it helps nonprofit boards of directors and philanthropic organizations to understand the connection between their investment in leadership and achieving organizational goals." —Diane Bell McKoy, CEO, Associated Black Charities

"Rich with instructive examples and advice, this book is grounded in the reality of nonprofits. It will be an extraordinarily useful guide to nonprofit organizations of all types and sizes." —Ruth McCambridge, editor in chief, Nonprofit Quarterly

"Make no mistake: attracting and retaining top talent should be priority number one for the nonprofit sector. Adams's book offers practical advice for how to embed this priority into the sector's DNA. All who care about nonprofit effectiveness would be well-served to give this book a close read."—Kathleen P. Enright, president and CEO, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations


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Paths to Leader Development and Talent Management
Talent Management
Launching a Talent Management Program
A Critical Leadership Strategy
Promising Practices
Many Paths Many Champions
Enjoy the Leaders Wayand Grow the Campaign

Transitions and Emotions
Handling Individual and Group Emotional Responses
Emotional Awareness Opens Options
Understanding the Founder
How Founders Can Build Leaderful Organizations
Preparing the Organization for Founder Succession
Following the Founder
Founder Transition Success
Diversity and Inclusiveness
Building Racial and Ethnic Diversity in Leadership
Generational Diversity
Meeting the Diversity Challenge
What Makes Successful Transitions
Key Transition Decisions
The Executive Transition Process
The Prepare Phase
The Pivot Phase
The Thrive Phase
Leader Development Through ETM
Prepare for Succession Planning
Create an Emergency Backup Plan
Develop and Adopt a Succession Policy
Gentle Paths to Succession Planning
Four Phases of Planning
Advancing the Leaderful Organization
Examples of Leader Development and Talent Management
Leader DevelopmentPersonal Commitment and Actions
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Resource Organizations
Recommended Readings

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About the author (2010)

Tom Adams is a national thought leader, speaker, and trainer as well as president and cofounder of TransitionGuides, a consulting and educational services company based in Silver Spring, Maryland. Adams has published extensively, including articles in the Nonprofit Quarterly and the Stanford Journal for Social Innovation. For more information on TransitionGuides, visit

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