Dear Emerging Leader

Two of Mission Capital’s resident Millennials youthful sages, Katy Sauer and Minh Ha, recently attended the Emerging Leadership Academy – a one-day intensive dedicated to the development of nonprofit professionals early in their careers. Armed with wisdom, experience and an abundance of insights, they’re here to answer all your burning questions about Emerging Leadership.

Dear Emerging Leader,

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been so long since I took some time to invest in my own leadership growth! The Emerging Leadership Academy looks like the perfect opportunity to chart my own leadership development path. Still, I’m wondering…do I need to have experience managing other people to really get the most out of this class?


Hi Never-Been-a-Boss,

You do not need any prior management experience! I believe that you have to check manage yourself before you wreck manage anyone else, and that’s the beautiful thing about the Emerging Leadership Academy. It’s like the nonprofit version of those six-month backpacking trips that people take to go on a journey of self-discovery, but with less dirt, less time and more overt lessons learned about how you can lean into leadership in a way that works for you. I didn’t necessarily know what kind of leader I want to be going into the day, but I walked away knowing what wasn’t my style, and that was powerful. Among the many other things you’ll walk away with is a DISC assessment, which roughly outlines the strongest assets of your work style, the forces that drive you, the best (and er, worst) ways to communicate with you, and the most effective strategies to help you prioritize your goals. It’s a beefy packet of pages filled with colors and keen observations all about you! My favorite part is that you’re in a room full of your peers, so it’s by no means a solo journey.

Happy trails on your leadership journey!
Minh & Katy

Dear Emerging Leader,

So, you know when you attend a great training and leave totally empowered and jazzed…only to find your team, work environment and full calendar exactly as you left it? The struggle to share and apply what you’ve learned IS REAL when you’re thrown back into a busy schedule with competing priorities left and right! What advice do you have for Emerging Leaders looking to take back what they’ve learned to their workplace while maintaining that post-training glow?

Take’n it Back

Hello Take’n it Back!

We totally get it.  All of your new strategies, “aha moments” and even that delicious boxed lunch can feel like a distant dream when up against the pressures of daily nonprofit life. Fortunately, we have a few tips to help you make sure that your leadership enlightenment doesn’t go unapplied (or unnoticed…). Check out these trainer-approved strategies:

  • Take advantage of your trainer’s offer to check in with you on your leadership goals following your Emerging Leadership
  • Share your DISC profile with your colleagues. You may feel a slight bit exposed, but remember: as a leader, showing the right level of vulnerability will make you more human to your colleagues and chances are, it will spark some relationship-building
  • If you’re having difficulty working with a particular teammate, you might suggest comparing your DISC profiles and discussing your communication preferences, and how you might better accommodate one another. Better yet, do this at the beginning of new projects and work relationships to get you off on the right foot.
  • Fly your DISC flag with pride! Consider posting a visual of your DISC profile and your communication do’s and don’ts outside your office. Then, encourage your teammates into doing the same!
  • If your coworkers have not yet boarded the Leadership Academy train, you can get in touch with our Learning & Leadership Team and learn about upcoming academies for all leadership levels here.

Good luck, and happy emerging!
Minh & Katy

Think Emerging Leadership Academy might be a good fit for you? Register for our next session on May 16! We have nine slots remaining!

If Emerging Leadership Academy isn’t a fit for where you are on your leadership journey, we encourage you to check out our other Leadership Academies!

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