Last Friday, I got to spend the day with financial expert and guru Dave Ramsey. It was his one-day EntreLeadership program and it was well worth the investment of time and money to attend.

I’ve been through his Financial Peace program (and loved it) and had heard from a couple of folks that they got lots from EntreLeadership, so I decided to treat myself to a ticket.

About halfway through the morning, I knew I had to share some of what I learned here with you. Some of this is straight from Dave, some of it has my editorial on it. Either way, I hope you get something good from these nuggets! It’s very applicable to nonprofits.

What I learned from EntreLeadership:

  • If you’re a Leader, act like it! Behave with integrity. Be authentic and inspiring. Be a role model and a mentor. If you’re not this, you suck as a Leader.
  • A Leader inspires others. An entrepreneur takes risk. An EntreLeader causes a venture to grow and prosper.
  • Your nonprofit will never grow beyond the skills of your Leaders. Organizations are limited only by their Leaders.
  • You cannot lead without passion. You must care about the work your organization is doing and engage others in that passion.
  • Passivity is NOT an option. Make bold decisions and move forward. If you don’t make the decision, it will be made for you.
  • Stagnation will not move your nonprofit forward.
  • Indecision is made by fear. Indecision is the greatest thief of opportunity.
  • Set goals and follow them. If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.
  • Don’t ask your team to set goals when you have none.
  • Individual team members can’t have goals dictated to them; instead help the team develop their own goals.
  • Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you won’t do anything with it.

If you’ve been through Dave’s EntreLeadership program, I’d love to hear what you thought about it. Leave a comment and share.

  1. I haven’t been through any of Dave Ramsey’s programs, but I’ve heard them spoken very highly of. I love what you pointed out about passion – something nonprofit organizations never seem short of is passion – although I have seen it get a little dampened over time by unmet expectations and frustration with others. An issue that definitely needs to be addressed if they’re going to have a turnaround.

    Thanks for sharing these take-aways!

  2. Sounds like a great time, Sandy. I’ve been a “Dave fan” for years and have had the opportunity to meet him once or twice. One of my favorite quotes of his is (paraphrased), “Good judgment comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgment!”

    So true!

  3. Sandy,

    One of my former bosses comes to talk to my graduate students about leadership in the Strategic Communications and Organizational Change class I teach at Simmons College.
    A point he makes to the class, that really sinks in, is that leaders are about leading change, managers about making things work effectively. Your post reminded me of that point.

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