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Jun 4, 2024

In episode 99 of Mission: Impact, Carol Hamilton and Mary Reeves, PhD discuss:

  • the importance of effective governance in nonprofit organizations. 

  • the transformational experiences board members often undergo

  • the Japanese concept of Ikigai—finding purpose through what you love, are good at, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for. 

Mary's reflections provide valuable insights into the complex dynamics of nonprofit governance and the importance of continuous learning and integration for effective nonprofit organizational leadership.

Episode highlights:

Ethical Nonprofit Governance

- [00:06:00] The importance of ethical and proper governance in educational organizations.

The Concept of Ikigai

- [00:07:20] The Japanese principle of Ikigai and its four components: what you love, what you are good at, what the world needs, and what you can get paid for.

Building positive Nonprofit Board and Executive Director Relationships

- [00:08:35] The importance of fostering positive relationships between the board and executive directors.

Transformational nonprofit board experiences

- [00:011:34] The transformational experience board members often undergo.

Managing Conflicts of Interest and Fiduciary Responsibilities

- [00:18:26] The inherent conflicts of interest in many association boards and the importance of understanding fiduciary responsibilities.

Elevating Nonprofit Board Service

- [00:22:20] The high stakes of decision-making in board service and how it can be a transformational experience by rising above personal experiences and biases in board service.

Progress over perfection

- [00:28:43] Leaders should recognize they cannot do it all and should focus on progress rather than perfection.

Guest Bio:
Mary H Reeves, PhD

Mary Reeves is the retired executive director of the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA), the current public member on the Council on Academic Accreditation of ASHA, and a member of the NAFSA: Association of International Educators Board of Directors Governance Committee. Her non-profit board experiences span 50 years, both on the board-side in local service organizations and national leadership positions in professional associations in English language and international education, and in staff-side associate and executive director positions. She now focuses on effective transitions, proactive mentoring, and how to maximize contributions of knowledge, experience, and passion while gracefully passing the torch. Mary holds a PhD in higher education policy studies with a primary focus in international education and a secondary focus in organizational behavior. 

Important Links and Resources:

Leadership without Easy answers by Ronald Heifetz




Related Episodes:

Episode 15: The Nonprofit Executive director – Board chair leadership

Episode 42: Building shared governance 

Episode 55: Helping nonprofit boards move toward greater equity

Episode 61: Impactful nonprofit boards


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