Alliance of Rhode Island Southeast Asians executive director
For over a decade, I have immersed myself in many different capacities in the nonprofit sector, and what I have learned is the need and belief that leadership and stewardship must be exercised at every level in highly effective and mission-driven organizations.
What I have come to understand about nonprofit work is that we do not “own” resources. We must recognize, as nonprofit leaders, the organization only exists to address a need, ultimately meaning the assets and resources acquired belong to the organization’s mission. We only serve as stewards.
In turn, this realization necessitates that we operate in alignment and authenticity to our mission.
It is equally imperative to create an organizational culture that develops and empowers leadership, irrespective of “titles.” Everyone, from the board of directors to support staff, must take pride and ownership of the work, as well as believe they can collectively lead the charge to create change and impact.
This approach cannot just be ideological – it must be embedded at the core in the everyday practices and functions of an organization.
I have been fortunate enough in both my professional and personal journey to be part of reshaping and rethinking how change occurs, recognizing that it only happens through leveraging the critical connections of transformational leadership and stewardship, challenging the status quo and maximizing the collective strengths of all stakeholders.