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One Way to Invest in Your Leadership Development


CLA.Paperli.CCNLIf you are a nonprofit ministry leader, what are you intentionally doing to invest in your own leadership development?

One way to invest wisely in your growth as a leader is to enroll in the Christian Leadership Alliance (CLA) premier experience known as the Credentialed Christian Nonprofit Leader (CCNL) program.

Designed to promote biblical principles and professional standards in Christian ministry leadership, the CCNL program  possesses a proven multi-disciplinary and understanding of nonprofit leadership that traverses critical areas of professional practice.

CLA President and CEO Tami Heim recently interviewed Billy Burnett, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Joni and Friends.

Burnett has contributed significantly to both the financial success and workplace environment of Joni and Friends. His leadership helped to result in Joni and Friends being ranked as the number one “Best Christian Workplace” in organizations having less than 120 staff. They also rank in the top six percent of best fiscally managed nonprofits in the country.

As a member of Christian Leadership Alliance’s national Advisory Council, Burnett serves in the Financial Management track. He has also received designation as a CLA Credentialed Christian Nonprofit Leader (CCNL). In this interview, Burnett shares how the CCNL program has transformed his personal leadership. Here he answers the question:

What has becoming a CLA Credentialed Christian Nonprofit Leader (CCNL) meant for you?

Here’s what it does for me, and for anyone serious about lifelong learning. I call them the four C’s: capacity, confirmation, connection, and convenience. I’m intentional about finding themes like that; it’s my industrial engineering background coming through.

(1) Capacity

It increased my capacity to lead. It’s not enough to be compassionate and desire to be a good leader. Being equipped to lead effectively is critical. That requires practical tools. Through CLA I build capacity. One of the most powerful and impacting courses I have taken, in any educational platform, is Dr. Randal Dick’s CLA Online Academy module on governance. I use it every day. It taught about aligning mission, vision, and values with what you’re doing. That is critical for good leadership.

(2) Confirmation

The next is confirmation. CLA classes have confirmed for me that Joni and Friends is utilizing best practices in leading across generations, in engaging donors, and in teaching our staff at each stage of their leadership.

(3) Connection

And then there’s connection. Through CLA I’ve developed a lifelong network of friendships with other learners. I’ve been able to help friends gained through CCNL. I’ve gone back to my office, and shared processes we’ve learned, in order to assist them. That’s what we should be doing. That networking has helped us.

(4) Convenience

And then, finally there is convenience. We live busy lives as leaders. For me the convenience that CLA’s Online Academy offered was awesome. I was able to have a busy life, yet complete courses to reach my credential. At CLA we’re providing great ways for people to learn to lead for today and tomorrow.

What are you currently doing to invest in your leadership effectiveness?

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This is an excerpt from the 2013 Summer edition of Outcomes Magazine.

Learn more about the CLA Credentialed Christian Nonprofit Leader (CCNL) and the Enhanced Certificate Programs (ECP). Together these programs translate into acedemic credits at select universities!  Explore these opportunities to keep growing and thinking higher for greater Kingdom gain.

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