Home Concepts Concepts of Leadership Community Engagement Senior Leadership in Community: Interview with Norman Westmore

Senior Leadership in Community: Interview with Norman Westmore

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7. What is the name of the one organization on the list in which you are most involved and committed?…Were you invited to become involved or did you approach the organization and volunteer your services? Are you paid or unpaid? On average, how many hours a month do you give to this organization?

It is the Center for Nonprofit Leadership. I was invited to join the board of CNL about four years ago. I spend on average 40 hours a month involved in its activities.

8. I’d like to learn more about your involvement in this organization by asking four  questions:

First, describe the leadership role that you play within the organization.

I have played four principal roles within CNL: leading the creation of a strategic plan, serving as Board Chair for two years, securing 501 c 3 nonprofit status for the organization, and helping to build what is perhaps the strongest nonprofit board in our community.

Initially, when I was invited to join the CNL leadership team, my role was to lead the development of a strategic plan. I designed the process, brought a team together, and in one year we created a far-reaching strategic plan—which included a recommendation to pursue 501 c 3 status for CNL. I led the entire process, wrote the bylaws and the incorporation documents, and filed the required IRS papers. This resulted in CNL securing 501 c 3 nonprofit status.

I have also helped the organization by developing a process to identify, cultivate, and recruit members to the CNL founding board and beyond. The process has resulted in CNL adding the 14th and 15th board member, and we are now at full capacity. Personally, I believe this has been my most significant contribution to the organization. Part of the process has also involved my developing a succession plan, and this has resulted in an outstanding individual succeeding me as Board Chair.

Second, in what ways do you believe you have most helped the organization?

I would say attracting a highly diverse and talented group of leaders onto the CNL Board. A number of them really standout, and they are emerging as future CNL Board leaders. This has been very fulfilling to me because it has involved coaching and some mentoring.

Third, as you think back over your involvement in the organization, what roadblocks have been most challenging?

A major roadblock came up as we were forming the CNL Founding Board. Some individuals on the earlier Leadership Team (before there was a CNL Board) were not right for the founding board and needed to exit. So we had to work through each of these delicate decisions. The challenge was to be careful in encouraging a person to leave, while preserving their good feelings about CNL. I was able to accomplish this, and those who left formal leadership within the organization found they could better serve CNL in a capacity other than being on the board.

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