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Your Secret Ingredient Is . .  A Culture of Safety

Respectful, Proactive, Values Driven
Congratulations on building a Culture of Safety!
Your efforts are the base of a healthy and sustainable future for your team and organization.
Speaking of your team, you trust them and know that the actions they take are done in the best interest of the organization.
Whether they succeed or not, you are able to accept and handle the consequences with grace and keep moving forward towards your strategic goals. As long as you are taking steps towards client and community impact, then everything can be put into perspective.
How Do I Lead With Safety?
Here are ways you’re most likely leading already, because they are tried and true methods for creating a Culture of Safety.
And hey . . if you notice something on this list that you’re not doing, try it out!
You already have the inclination towards building a Culture of Safety, so why not amplify your recipe for success?
  • You don’t shy away from holding tension and starting difficult conversations at the office
  • For you, humanity comes before anything else and you respect the boundaries and well-being of your team
  • You model vulnerability by asking for what you need when you feel it isn’t being given
  • You proactively stand up to abuse or demeaning language, while allowing for open and honest communication
  • You walk the walk by backing up tense and challenging conversations with decisive action
  • You encourage your team to take risks and accept mistakes. After all, they are a step on the path to reaching the organization’s strategic goals
What else might be helpful to add to your recipe for leadership success?
There are four leadership postures that successful nonprofit executive directors incorporate into their cultures:
  1. Generosity
  2. Candor
  3. Support
  4. Safety

The beauty of these postures is that no matter the situation or skill level of the individuals involved, they are accessible and achievable for anyone willing to do the emotional work of being in productive, authentic relationships.

Check them out below and see what sounds good to you!

Hi, I'm Michele!

I’m an executive coach who focuses on helping ambitious nonprofit leaders amplify their intuition, insights and impact.


With 30+ experience leading, directing and volunteering at national and local non-profits, I know what it takes to run an organization from all sides.


Nonprofit work is inspiring and powerful. Yet, it can also be challenging.


Clients often come to me overwhelmed, isolated and facing unrealistic expectations. During our time together we are able to unravel what leadership skills are working for them - and what aren’t, expand their repertoire, and keep their passion alive so they thrive in their roles.


Let's stay connected, now that we’ve met!


You can find me on LinkedIn or check out my blog and other resources.

Four Cultures of Thriving Nonprofit Leaders
A Culture of Support
Support is a critical element to ensuring your relationship with your team members is functioning in a healthy and productive manner. Showing support by cheering one another on not only feels good, but sets the stage for success when you must hold the necessary conversations around constructive feedback and realignment.

Want to practice leading with a Cultu
re of Support?
What about writing down the strengths you notice in each member of your team and sharing them out loud at your next staff meeting or retreat? What’s the point? Being noticed improves team member’s morale and fosters a stronger relationship between you and them. This leads to better working relationships, less human resource challenges and greater impact. 

A Culture of Candor
Candor is the way to build a culture of continuous improvement. When people are open about what they don’t know, they are able to find the support, lessons and practice time to get better. When individuals and organizations are open about where they need support and how they want to improve, it allows for strong decision making and increased impact.

Want to practice leading with a Culture of Candor?

What about creating an open channel for feedback, either anonymously or not? Why? If you’re informed of the impact of your leadership on others, you can shift your style to maximize your team’s impact. Perhaps you can ask: ‘When you give your opinion, do you feel listened to?’, ‘Do you feel supported in your projects & initiatives?’ or ‘Are there any items you would like to discuss that would make your work life more productive and sustainable?’. 

A Culture of Safety
Safety is the base of a healthy and sustainable future for an organization. Leaders who create a Culture of Safety are building a deep level of trust across their team. This allows them to understand, accept and handle any challenges that arise with grace. If these leaders are moving forward towards their strategic goals around client and community impact, then everything is ok.

Want to practice leading with a Culture of Safety?

What about sharing a bad decision that you made (that is relevant to the agenda) and how it was resolved in your next team meeting? Why? To model the understanding that even well thought out plans don’t always work, but being adaptable and centered allow unique solutions to emerge. 

A Culture of Generosity
Generosity is a key element of innovative and positive organizations. Leaders who create a Culture of Generosity more clearly understand what is going on around them. This allows them to tap into opportunities they might otherwise miss and identify solutions that could have been overlooked.

Want to practice leading with a Culture of Generosity?

What about creating time in your next meeting to catch up on any major personal or professional updates? The primary goal? Finding time to acknowledge current realities and celebrate successes.

Keep up the good work. You’ve got this!

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