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Age Ain't NOTHING but a number!
I recently joined the Board of Directors of two awesome charities:
Big Brothers Big Sisters Toronto. Building thriving communities through mentorship.
105 YEARS OLD
JAYU Sharing human rights stories through the arts. 6 YEARS OLD
Although almost 100 years separate these 2 organizations there are some powerful similarities. Growth begins with great leadership.
Let me explain…
JAYU – 6 years old. Gilad Cohen, the Executive Director of JAYU is one of the most authentic and high integrity leaders I have ever met. He is in the driver seat of a rocket ship fueled by passion and high impact programming.
David Vella is the Board Chair of JAYU. David is thoughtful, professional and incredibly empathetic. He does an amazing job of balancing his role between advisory and governance.
This leadership is driving an awesome culture on the JAYU team which has resulted in rapid organizational growth. When I attended their human rights film festival I was beyond impressed. I left with a fire lit in my heart. I believe strongly in supporting grassroots organizations with deep impact and amazing leadership.
Big Brothers Big Sisters Toronto (BBBST) – 105 years old. Leanne Nicolle is the new Executive Director at Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Toronto. She is a visionary and a firecracker. In my first meeting with her I was blown away by her strategic mind and “get shit done” mentality. She had a big vision with a practical, caring approach. I knew right away that Leanne was someone I wanted to learn from and work with.
Paul Henry the Board Chair is a powerhouse advisor for the new vision of BBBST. Paul has a ton of experience in working with businesses to scale. He is so passionate and invested in taking this organization to the next level. After my first meeting with Paul for 2.5 hours I knew he cared deeply about the success of BBBST.
BBBST is an essential service for youth in our country. Their model is proven. It's time for them to take off again, reduce their waiting list and provide mentorship for more youth looking for a positive adult role model.
What do they have in common?
EXECUTION: a “get shit done” mentality (no better way to say it!)
GREAT LEADERSHIP: an empathetic, authentic and driven Executive Director
GREAT CHAIR: the right Board Chair for the right time (and a great relationship between Board Chair and Executive Director)
CAUSE DRIVEN: an unwavering understanding that what they do is valuable
ALWAYS LEARNING: constantly learning from the community they serve to better their programming
STRATEGIC: a strategic approach to solving problems driven by a distinct need in the community
FOCUSED: knowing which risks to focus on (Honestly "governance" is a buzzword and I hate buzzwords, but managing the right risks is vital for long-term growth and survival)
BUILDER: builds communities by empowering the right people (builds communities of funders, staff, board members, participants, partners. Once the ball is rolling everyone wants in, it's contagious.)
VISIONARY: the inner compass. If you ask "where do you see the organization in 5 years?" they can articulate their dream scenario.
I believe organizations go through different life cycles: start-up, growth, resilience building, and evolution. Some organizations fall apart along this journey. This has a lot to do with who is in the driver’s seat and how they empower people. Leadership often influences how organizations are built and ultimately organizational culture. What does it FEEL like to work with this organization? All organizations face big challenges, but the ones with great leadership often bounce back.
Don’t believe me?! Check these amazing orgs out for yourself!
Join me at JAYU’s upcoming film screening on July 19th. CLICK HERE to get tickets! If you join me, I’ll buy the popcorn :)
Support my fundraising goal for the Big Brothers Big Sisters Toronto Ping Pong tournament on August 23rd! I’ll be entering the tournament with my dad because he loves ping pong! CLICK HERE to support my fundraising goal
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-Mikey "Piecez" Prosserman
Disruptor x Innovator x Bboy