At Third Sector Company, our goal is to build successful and sustainable leadership within nonprofit organizations. We’ve worked with a wide variety of individuals and organizations to equip leaders with better tools to serve their cause.
Today, we’re zooming in on one of the previous participants from our Interim Leadership program, Randy Brinson. Randy has worked with a wide variety of arts-related and community service organizations in Seattle including:
- KCTS 9, Seattle’s PBS Station
- Tasveer South Asian Film Festival
- Southwest Youth and Family Services, a social service agency supporting immigrants and other disadvantaged populations
- Schools for Salone, an organization dedicated to rebuilding and strengthening schools in Sierra Leone, Africa.
- Coyote Central, a program in Seattle’s Central District connecting teens with creative professionals through classes and projects.
Here’s some insight into Randy’s experience in nonprofit leadership, and how Third Sector’s Interim Leadership program helped him better serve the community.
How did you get involved in nonprofit leadership?
Most of my career has been in public media. I started out as a television director and producer, so I’ve always been comfortable with informal and project-based leadership. Over time I moved into more formal organizational leadership roles and came to appreciate the differences between project and organizational leadership.
I learned a ton in those roles and enjoy using that expertise to support other nonprofit leaders and their organizations.
Why did you choose to enroll in Third Sector Company’s interim training?
I recently made a career shift, and discovered I find meaning and satisfaction in working with nonprofit leaders to build capacity within their organizations. Interim leadership is capacity building at the highest level: its main purpose is to prepare an organization for success with its future executive leader.
The Third Sector Company’s deep experience with leadership transition offers a strong framework and body of knowledge to prepare me for success in that work.
What did you find to be the most beneficial part of this training?
The systematic approach that Third Sector Company brings to the interim leadership experience really jumps out in the training.
I learned to think holistically about a broad set of deliverables which Third Sector Company has found effective in creating a clear path forward for an organization in transition. While each situation is bound to have its unique challenges, starting with a strategic view of key tasks prepares everyone for success.
What are some key takeaways from this training?
One takeaway is that an interim leader can’t function effectively as an external consultant; that person should be an integrated member (temporary employee) of the organization during the engagement.
This training also highlights the importance of preparation before the engagement begins, including (but certainly not limited to):
- Learning about the organization and its needs during early interviews
- Achieving consensus on scope of work, client responsibilities and other terms of employment
- Planning the interim leader’s introduction to staff and other stakeholders
- Knowing the organization’s bylaws
- Establishing a transition team as an advisory and communications resource
Finally, this training emphasizes how essential it is that an organization’s purpose brings compelling value to the community. At the end of the day, the board is not simply leading an organization. The interim leader helps the board understand it is also leading a cause.
For organizations large and small, our goal is to empower professionals in the nonprofit sector by better serving their cause through better leadership strategies. To read more of our stories or to learn more about Third Sector Company, subscribe to our newsletter!