How to develop leadership skills to lead your nonprofit team in 3 weeks

Kathy Archer
4 min readSep 2, 2022

​How to be an effective nonprofit leader? Continue to grow and develop yourself!

​Do you love to learn? Perhaps not. I know that not everyone is a lover of learning like me. But what I also know is that learning is part of leadership. It’s necessary if you want to be an effective leader to continue to grow and develop yourself.

But if you struggle with the learning component, it’s hard to make it happen on an ongoing and effective basis. Yet when you do, the results are astounding.

  • When you learn to manage your emotions, you can stay composed during a meeting even though you get triggered.
  • TRY THIS: Managing Your Emotions at Work
  • When you learn the difference between coaching and corrective conversations, you spend more time coaching your employees than correcting them.
  • TRY THIS: Creating Comfortable Coaching Conversations
  • When you learn what not to put on the supervision meeting agendas, even though everyone else tells you you should, you find staff meetings way more effective at building your team and having them do what they’re supposed to do.
  • TRY THIS: Staff Supervision That Transforms

Is your learning too shallow?
Learning in a way that helps you apply it and get value from it requires some effort. So often, when we learn, we’re just going shallow. We read a book, listen to a podcast or attend a session at a conference and get some good ideas. And that’s as far as it goes. Perhaps you apply one of them, but more often than not, it’s a fleeting thought.

What if you spent 3 weeks diving deep into how to develop your employees?

Mark These Leadership Training Suggestions

Consider taking a topic like learning how to develop your employees. For example, perhaps you listened to Strengths-Based Leadership on your commute to work. Then you listened to 10 Ways to have better conversations with your team leads and discussed it. Additionally, you completed the course Staff Supervision That Transforms.

Do you do this as you learn?
As you read the book, listened to the video, and completed the training, you wrote down what you were learning. You also had a couple of discussions with a peer who read the same book. On those calls, you added any new learnings or deeper understandings of how to apply the concepts to your notes. Then over the 3 weeks, you went back to your notes regularly. You added to your notes what you continued to learn as it related to your day-to-day world. You also became intentional in identifying where you could practice or apply the concepts.

What would you expect would be different in your leadership abilities?
Can you even imagine the change you might experience? I bet you would feel way more confident! Think about it. It’s only a 3-week commitment. That’s it. And it wouldn’t require much time, just intentional scheduling of your time.

Will you make a 3-week commitment that allows you to go deep on a subject?
To be a stronger leader, you must go deep on one subject rather than bounce from book to podcast blog, but never really dive deep. Are you ready to dive in?

  1. Slow down, pick one topic, and learn about it in different ways.
  2. Consider how the concepts translate into your world.
  3. Apply the concepts.
  4. See if they work, what needs work, and try again.

Keep reading as we break it down more as you learn to create your 3-week learning plan.

How to deepen your learning into a leadership topic in 3 weeks

If you want to dive deep into a topic, here are three strategies. Once you’ve picked the topic:

1️⃣ Identify 3 places you will learn about that topic
There are a ton of places to learn from. Pick 3 that will give you various insights, perspectives and strategies.

  • Read a book
  • Take a course
  • Interview people
  • Listen to podcasts
  • Do online research

2️⃣ Identify 3 ways you will integrate that learning

  1. Write about the concepts and how they relate to your work.
  2. Have a conversation with someone else who’s learning about the same thing and talk about how it applies to your work
  3. Create a tool measurement for scoring your implementation. For example, in Wellness at Work, my students measure their engagement at work and see if it changes. They use a Likert scale to measure:
  • How involved were you in what mattered most at WORK?
  • On a scale of 1–10, how much time were you (1) Fighting Fires or (10) focusing on what matters most?
  • Were you enthusiastic most days at WORK?
  • On a scale of 1–10, how much time were you (1) drained or (10) enthusiastic?
  • Did you feel committed, not trapped, to your work & workplace?
  • On a scale of 1–10, how much time were you (1) feeling trapped or (10) feeling committed

** You can access the worksheet that measures this and so much more in the first lesson of Wellness At Work.

3️⃣ Identify a time to review your learning
Set aside 15 minutes and answer these questions

  1. Do I feel like I’ve learned enough about this topic? What else do I need to learn?
  2. Do I feel I’ve spent enough time strategizing how the ideas fit into my work? Where needs more attention?
  3. What’s the next step with this topic for me? When will I take it?

When you set aside three weeks to deepen your learning about a topic, integrate your knowledge by implementing strategies, and practice it, you’ll find that a quick dive into learning something has benefited you exponentially.

Originally published at

Kathy Archer

Helping women leaders make it in the nonprofit world. Leadership Development Coach * Best-Selling Author * Wife * Mom * Grandma * Mom to one boxer named Zeus!