Lead from where you are


One of our core axioms at DBD Group is "Leadership is Everything.” The success of an organization can be directly tied to the strength of its leadership.

We recognize that leaders can be found throughout the organization and in non-profits big and small. More than a title on a business card, leadership is the ability to guide and influence others toward a bigger vision. We are pleased to highlight and recognize examples of leadership all month.


Leadership at Its Core

Many people have the misconception that leadership is a title or a role. They think it’s about always knowing what to do and doing it well every time.

Being a leader is about more than having a fancy title. A healthy organization has leaders at every level, all working to make their department or area of influence better.

Recently I shared this graphic with my team. I think it speaks to what leadership really looks like. Behind every successful initiative or decisive move is a whole lot of trial-and-error, hard-won experience, and preparation.

Below the leadership icebergCharacteristics of Successful Leaders

Below the waterline of successful leadership is a whole host of experiences and behaviors. From taking risks and being rejected, to hard work, courage and discipline, leadership balances on top of all the decisions and events that got us to today. The good and the bad are all foundational.

Beyond that foundation are the characteristics that really separate leaders from everyone else: their integrity, passion and willingness to innovate. These characteristics can be cultivated and strengthened, giving your leadership (of your nonprofit, ministry, volunteer group, family) greater resilience and adaptability.

Refreshing Your Leadership

If you wish to cultivate your leadership abilities, or if you feel a bit overwhelmed or lackluster in your leadership roles, take a moment to ponder this image and ask yourself:

  • What is missing in my leadership?
  • Have I gotten fixated on one thing and neglected all the rest?
  • Where do I need to focus for a while to create a stronger foundation going forward?

Regardless of what your business card says, you can exercise leadership in ways large and small, each and every day.

Leadership Coaching: Iron Sharpens Iron

If you feel like you could still use some guidance after this exercise, DBD Group offers one-on-one leadership coaching. We all know how spending our time, defines us. 78 percent of leaders reported one-on-one or group coaching with a professional coach was extremely or very helpful in meeting change management goals. Considering coaching, but want a sample session? Let's start the conversation.


Posted by Bruce Berglund
Bruce Berglund

Written by Bruce Berglund

For nearly 30 years, Bruce Berglund, CFRE, has been a successful professional fundraiser in the fields of higher education, arts and culture, and social services. Bruce is the CEO and Founder of DBD Group (formerly Donor by Design Group), a national firm providing comprehensive fundraising services to nonprofits, churches, community colleges and schools. DBD is currently managing more than $3 billion in capital, annual and endowment campaigns. Bruce is a highly sought-after writer, speaker and teacher.

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