Monday, January 27, 2014

The Philanthropist Diaries // Breakfast With Nonprofit Rockstar Trista Harris

//In early 2013, I started a blog called The Philanthropist Diaries. In trying to simplify my life, I'm consolidating blogs and will now feature posts of The Philanthropist Diaries on Life Law Luck. It's my life, it's how I'm using my law degree, it makes sense to me. If this topic doesn't interest you, I'll be back with recipes, DIYs and random other things that make me smile. This post was previously published on 2.10.13. //

Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the first Breakfast of Champions event put on by the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network Twin Cities chapter.  The spotlight champion was Trista Harris, Executive Director of the Headwaters Foundation and co-author of the book How to Become a Nonprofit Rockstar.
The breakfast was one part networking and one part learning from Trista. She focused her talk with us on sharing 6 tips to be a Nonprofit Rockstar. I thought I'd share my quick takeaways from Trista's talk:
1. Develop Expertise
Do your job well. You are in charge of your success or failure. Develop your own personal development plan. Learn everything you can about your job.  Build your skill set.
2. Build a Network
Build your relationships in places you want to be. Volunteer at conferences in your industry. Being an introvert is not an excuse - turn it on when you have to.
3. Establish a Great Personal Brand
Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room. It is up to you to establish your brand. See the context of where you are working and work within it.  Highlight your strengths.
4. Practice Authentic Leadership
Be a leader even if you aren't in a manager position. Lead a committee or an initiative.  Manage a budget.  Be intentional about your leadership.
5. Plan for Balance
Nothing else matters if you burn out or quit so find balance that works for you. Un-volunteer for stuff. Build a leadership pipeline in the organization that you volunteer in; it gives you an exit strategy. Keep a thank you note file to remind you that you matter.  Keep perspective.
6. Move Up
Having the hard conversation is critical to your career advancement. Ask for the raise or promotion. Determine what value you add to the organization. Set big goals for yourself. Have people who will push you to the next step. Enjoy the thing you are doing now.
Over the weekend, I devoured Trista and Rosetta Thurman's book, How to Become a Nonprofit Rockstar. This should be reading for anyone making their way in the trenches of the nonprofit world.  They offer a ton more tips that are easy to implement and highly relevant for getting ahead in your nonprofit job.  If you want to be a nonprofit rockstar, you must check it out!

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