Nonprofit Boards: Boot Camp for Corporate Executives

Nonprofit Boards: Boot Camp for Corporate Executives

With global corporations actively pursuing growth opportunities in emerging markets, Harvard Business School Professor Bill George raises the compelling leadership development challenge facing these businesses in this HBR blog. He points out how companies require entirely new approaches to prepare leaders for "aligning employees around the company's mission and values, empowering people to lead, and collaborating horizontally rather than managing vertically." Further, George calls for new ways to develop the cultural sensitivities, emotional intelligence, and self-awareness of thousands of new leaders. Clearly, traditional leadership training and education will not suffice.

In my view, nonprofit board service is the ultimate leadership opportunity, giving business executives with the personal and professional skills they need in this new world. Furthermore, there's a win-win in this leadership development arrangement. By serving on nonprofit and global nongovernmental ("NGO") boards, business people provide invaluable skills, expertise, and resources in strengthening organizations that address vital issues, while gaining unique experience in working with people from diverse backgrounds on missions of common interest.
 

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