The ‘L’ in Leadership

Love and Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations

As I think about this time of year, a time of giving thanks, sharing gifts and being with those we care about, I think about love.  Last week, I took my 6 year old son to see the movie Frozen.  The movie tells the story of two sisters.  The older sibling was born with the magic of turning things to ice with her touch.  She accidentally hurts her sister with this magic and cannot forgive herself.  She does not know how to control her magic and therefore locks herself into a room and will not communicate with others.  By the end of the movie, the older sister finds that through love and caring for others, she is able to control her magic and uses it for good.

The story in Frozen speaks to the power of love.  Many fables share a similar message.  Many of us grew up being told this message; that love perseveres.  Love and goodness win.    Then we grow up a little bit more and learn about the darker aspects of society.  We learn about people, animals, communities and aspects of the environment that are in need.  We also learn about many nonprofit organizations that are created to help those whom others have forgotten.   Again, we learn about how love and caring can help.

The love of leaders can provide a positive way to change the way we see things, how we think and can therefore change the ways that we behave.  When our leaders guide us with love, it can be transformational.  Leadership from a place of caring and interest has much more power than leadership from a place of fear.  Can fear-based leadership even be considered leadership at all?  How authentic and powerful is it?  Think about the leaders that you admire the most…what traits do they have that has led you to admire them?  Has their love of the work, love of their cause, love of making a change factored into why you follow them?

John Hope Bryant, author of Love Leadership, states that “When you get real with people, when you show vulnerability, you connect with them and you move them on a human level.  That gives you real power.”  John C. Maxwell, the leadership expert, states that “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”.     What do YOU care about?  How much do you care about it?  If so, how can you show it in the year to come?  Wishing you a wonderful new year full of love!


Photo credit to: Microsoft Office Clip Art


Jeanne Ward is a Consultant and Personal Strategist who brings her knowledge of psychology, strategy and personal fulfillment to her current work. Jeanne started her career by helping mentally ill inmates to ‘get their lives back on track’ as they integrated back into society from jail in NYC. She leveraged this experience with a Social Work degree to manage teams who were supporting people trying to move back into the workforce. She later lived in Atlanta, GA and Frankfurt, Germany where she began consulting with nonprofit organizations to guide them on their strategy, volunteer development, and organizational development as well as to support the development of their leaders and board of directors. After the jolt of a divorce, Jeanne found herself doing a lot of soul-searching. Digging deep, she arrived at a new-found appreciation for herself and the world around her. This journey taught her that when we start with improving ourselves, the benefits multiply. Jeanne realized that her strengths of strategic thinking, relationship building, and implementation planning could be combined into her ongoing passion of personal leadership. Hence, her personal strategy work was born. Jeanne helps men and women between the ages of 35 and 55 who are fed up with their corporate jobs to create fulfilling professional and personal lives through the development of a personal strategic plan. This work ensures that her clients identify their professional and personal goals as well as create a plan to make those goals a reality. Jeanne is also the Executive Director of the Atlanta Road Trotters Kid’s Running Club, a nonprofit organization that provides a platform for children to build a foundation of running health and fitness which leads to a better connection to the organized running community as well as a strong foundation of Discipline, Self-Esteem, Respect and Team Work. She has also co-authored a workbook on networking, founded and organized the National Association of Social Workers-Georgia-sponsored ‘Social Service Career Network’ and organized a summit for the National Alliance for Mentally Ill attended by over 100 organizations from 6 Atlanta counties. Previously, she sat on the board of NASW GA as their Secretary as well as on the board of NAMI GA/DeKalb as their Co-President, was a senior consultant for the Georgia Center for Nonprofits and helped to run a capital campaign for an independent school. Jeanne has an MSW from Hunter School of Social Work (City University of New York), an MA in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice (City University of New York) and a BA in Psychology from Emory University. Jeanne lives in Atlanta with her ten-year-old son.

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