Executive Director, Cathedral Community Cares
St. John the Divine Cathedral
"Because of the program I'm a better manager, a better leader, a better negotiator, a better marketer, and a better program evaluator."
I took the program because I felt like my experiential skills were not quite up to the task of effectively delivering the range of social services that Cathedral Community Care provides. I just felt like I needed an MBA-like experience.
I had what can only be described as a transformative experience with the Program—not only because of the faculty but from the feedback I received from peers who had dealt with similar problems in other organizations. We're undertaking new initiatives in service-delivery and advocacy that I wouldn't have even considered if it hadn't been for the Program.
Bushwick Workforce Resource Center (BWRC)
Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow
"I did not realize that the 360-feedback would be so central to my development process. I have realized now that meaningful change is well within my grasp."
After being promoted into a new management role in my organization I faced some difficulties with having to supervise my former peers. The program helped me to be clear and transparent in dealing with the issues head-on. I was able to learn some useful real-world applications in handling these matters and how to lead and manage effectively throughout this period of change.
I was provided with the tools I needed to be able to have both truthful and difficult conversations while managing both up and down. I am now more effective and strategic in dealing with issues that arise. The time spent in the program also allowed me the opportunity for some introspection to reevaluate strategic thinking and being more impactful. I am not only finding my way through the forest, but learning how to change the forest as I move through it.
Enrollment Director, Harlem Academy
New York Times Nonprofit Excellence Awards Finalist
"The Developing Leaders Program challenged me to begin thinking about the legacy I was creating within my organization and how I was contributing to its sustainable growth."
Collaborating and bridging ideas has been imperative as our team has grown from three people in 2004 to nine people in 2011. Being a part of an organization from its founding year has presented particular management challenges; administrative growth and leadership has often felt like a fine art—requiring delegation, patience, and foresight into making sustainable programmatic choices.
The thought implementing real change in your program can be daunting. However, I left the program with the confidence to call myself a leader, the tools to uplift my program and staff members toward best practices, an international network of non-profit peers, and true mentors in the professors and coaches from Columbia Business School.
I was reminded that my most important resource is my time. The professors reinforced that a strategic plan is not only a tool to ensure an organization is forward thinking, but it is an equally effective method of ensuring staff members are meeting their goals as individuals. I have since created my own strategic plan and have encouraged such thinking throughout my organization.
Henry Street Settlement
"One of the unanticipated benefits of the week at Columbia Business School is that I was able to develop strong professional relationships with individuals who are running important programs at other great organizations."
As a program coordinator, I faced not one but two major problems at the time I took the Program. Not only was Henry Street Settlement facing the loss of two important contracts, which meant I had to manage staff reductions, but it was also experiencing a leadership transition, which meant I had to navigate a new set of reporting relationships.
The Program taught me how to develop a "worst-case planning scenario" that helped us downsize intelligently and humanely, and it also taught me about "managing up" and "getting to yes" in what was for me a new and complicated organizational environment. I emerged from the Program a clearer thinker with a more reasonable voice. It was a great experience for me.
Assistant Director of Academics and Program
Harlem Children's Zone
"I was able to leave the Program with the tools I needed to take my skills to the next level."
In a rapidly growing organization like the Harlem Children's Zone, middle managers also need to grow—particularly in their strategic capacities and leadership abilities.
The Program, through its professors, its facilitators, and its ability to draw on the talents of the other students, exposed me to best concepts and best practices in leadership and management, particularly strategic management that I was able to apply immediately upon returning to the Harlem Children's Zone.
Senior Manager, Institutional Giving
"I found the 360 evaluation to be extremely useful because it presented me with honest, direct feedback from colleagues about my performance and work style."
My work at City Harvest has required that I work across multiple departments with multiple people, many of whom have different working styles than I.
Before the Program, I didn't recognize the challenge that varying styles can present. Since the Program, and in large part because of the 360 evaluation, I've come to better appreciate the reasons for the variance in my colleagues' working styles, and I've adjusted my style in ways that have enabled me to work more effectively across the organization.