Lessons in Capital Campaign Leadership: A Reflection

by Willie Matis

So the title of the luncheon “Lessons in Capital Campaign Leadership” probably could’ve been changed to “Lessons in Nonprofit Leadership.”

The panelists yesterday were among the most quotable of the entire year.

A huge shoutout goes to JGA (Johnson Grossnickle & Associates), for not only putting on a great series for AFP Indiana, but saving this great group for last.

Yvonne Shaheen – CEO, Long Electric Company (retired)
Mike Wells – President, REI Investments, Inc.
Steve Walker – Chairman of the Board and CEO, Walker

Some great themes that were taken from them can be noted from the tweets above; however, one big takeaway was that leaders and board members should not be afraid to hold each other accountable.

This is a large statement. People, places, and organizations get complacent all too often. I don’t think it is coincidental that all 3 of these panelists, who are known to be fantastic board members, are also know to be a little “blunt.” Holding each other accountable is how to move forward. Sure, there are tender ways to be assertive, but when it comes down to it, in order to see success everyone must do their job. It was very refreshing to hear these words from the panelists. It fired up the crowd, and they inspired us all.

The quotes above or the theme of the day could have a negative feeling to it, but that is not at all how it came across. The passion was seen in each of them, and they speak their minds because they care about the community and the organizations for which the volunteer.

Yvonne gave some great parting words… she said, “If you don’t love what you are doing, then you’re in the wrong field.”

When you have passion, when you care, and when you work out any problems that arise, then good things will come.

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