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Managing Leadership Transition for Nonprofits: Passing the Torch to Sustain Organizational Excellence by Laura Watkins, Susan Egmont, Barry Dym

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1. What Makes Nonprofit Leadership So Challenging?

Under the best of circumstances, nonprofit leadership is extremely challenging. Those at the helm are generally asked to do more with less than seems humanly possible. Inflated expectations, limited finances, the need for experience across both content and administration, the lack of time and resources for training, and the demands of often contradictory constituencies just begin to describe the difficulties. No wonder so few succeed as much as we would like.

The difficulty of replacing a leader is compounded by the fact that matching talent, one to one, with the job description won’t necessarily do the job. Even the most talented leaders succeed in some circumstances and fail in others. Jim ...

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