Having spent the last 20 years working with Managing Directors in the for profit marketplace and then in the last three years working with the Chief Executives of charities I am in a special place to comment on the differences.
Both sectors are running a business and the normal criteria for great leadership is the same and relates mainly to motivating and inspiring people. Because the outcomes are different; one is money, the other is the cause, then attitudes are different particularly when it comes to reward. However leadership skills are vital and similar.
The big difference is that most charities have two leaders at the top; the Trustee Chair and the Chief Executive Officer. The needs of each are very different and in the case of the Trustees they are unpaid and are financially responsible.
These differences are critical and often create tension that leads to negativity, fear and demotivation.
The only solution is that the CEO and the Chair need to be in partnership both agreeing the purpose values beliefs and goals at the start of an appointment. Only then can it succeed.
These critical relationships are often discussed at our Forum with Chatham House Rules. You get to learn the best and worst from your peers.
Brian Chernett, ella forums Executive Chair