In the beginning of August, El Pomar Foundation partnered with the Center for Creative Leadership in Colorado Springs to hold their annual Non-Profit Executive Leadership Program (NELP). This four-day workshop is designed to train experienced nonprofit Executive Directors, Presidents, and CEO’s throughout the State and empower them to become more effective leaders.
In order to fulfill this aim, El Pomar Foundation offers two distinct NELP workshops. Regional NELP is designed to train individuals currently working at 501(c)3 organizations with operating budgets lower than $750,000. It is run by Cathy Robbins, Senior Vice President and Director of the Regional Partnerships Program at El Pomar Foundation and Pam Shipp, an independent consultant. The most recent workshop, entitled simply NELP, supports executives working for 501(c)3 organizations with annual budgets over $750,000. This year the workshop was led by Cathy Robbins and Russ McCallian, Senior Faculty at the Global Markets Center for Creative Leadership.
Through a variety of indices and methods, NELP aims at promoting self-awareness among their participants, as awareness of personal work and leadership styles promotes more effective leadership practices. According to a recent NELP participant, “I understand the logic of what makes me, me. I can use this information to be more aware, intentional, and effective.” Throughout the four-day training, participants learn to offer and receive feedback using Situation – Behavior – Impact (SBI) assessments. They also explore their own leadership and learning styles through assessments like the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). In an effort to practice and assess their own leadership skills in challenging situations, participants coach each other through work scenarios, taking turns playing different roles.
“Thank you so much for the information, statistics, guidance, humor, and perspective. No matter what happens in terms of success or short-fall, I know that the directions I choose and decisions I make are more mature and have a kind of clarity about them that is new. I have always tended to mix instinct, intuition, and logic, and NELP helped me to recognize and formalize that recipe in a way that is supportable, explainable, and repeatable” explained Joan Lazarus, Executive Director for the Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp and 2013 NELP graduate.
NELP workshops allow individuals to re-think the way they lead, particularly in high-stress, high-stakes environments. Participants leave with a better awareness of the skills and self awareness they need to lead, support and challenge their colleagues.