Lynne Gilliland, host of Lessons From Leaders, reveals a wealth of insights and wisdom from two thought-provoking podcast episodes. In this installment, she delves deep into illuminating conversations with two remarkable nonprofit leaders: Sara Nathan, the President & CEO behind Amigos de las Américas, and Will Warshauer, who currently serves as the President & CEO of TechnoServe.
Transformational Insights: Evolution from Local to Global
The narrative kicks off with Sara’s days as an Amigos volunteer as a teenager in Latin America, which ignited her passion for community development and leadership, setting the stage for her current global volunteer program leadership role at Amigos.
Particularly noteworthy is Sara’s heart-to-heart about how Amigos realized they needed to shake things up in a changing world. This lightbulb moment led to Amigos moving from just sending US volunteers to nurturing local leaders, building stronger relationships with local partners, and expanding its reach through local resources and teams. Sara shared that If Amigos had not changed to localization, they would not be relevant today and empowering young people worldwide.
A standout moment comes when Sara opens up about Amigos’ realization that they need to adapt to a changing world. This led to a shift from just sending US volunteers to focusing on nurturing local leaders, strengthening ties with local partners, and expanding their reach through local resources and teams. Sara stresses that this move to localize was vital for Amigos to stay relevant and continue supporting young people worldwide.
“Right now, 70 young people run programming. Half are from all across Latin America, which is kind of amazing. It’s an evolution.”
Of course, change brought evident challenges — managing remote teams, adapting to pandemic-driven shifts, and reevaluating strategies. The key to success? The organization’s readiness to adapt and embrace ongoing evaluation, with credit to the dedicated teams.
“I give credit to our board and the teams that had the courage to envision different ways of doing programming and different ways of reimagining how we could reach our mission and purpose.”
Need a crash course on adaptability in a changing world and continuous evaluation in leadership development, as well as actionable advice and insights on localization, and the power of local partnerships? Listen to this fascinating episode with Sara Nathan, President & CEO of Amigos de las Américas.
Unlocking Your Team’s Potential
On the same note, Will’s leadership journey started as a Peace Corps volunteer in Sierra Leone, where he was deeply moved by noticing unequal opportunities, fueling his commitment to international development and unleashing human potential.
A turning point occurred in Pakistan when his team had to transform into dedicated problem solvers after taking ownership of a complex issue.
“The very same team, once resistant to change, transformed into dedicated problem solvers after being attached to a new complicated issue and taking ownership. It ignited sparked my journey into adaptive management, understanding diverse needs, and unlocking untapped potential.”
Tailoring his leadership to the unique needs and dynamics of different individuals and situations allowed Will to unlock their potential. He has used that lesson ever since.
Leading from behind? It works! During the COVID-19 pandemic, Will learned to lead from behind, empowering his team to handle crises which led to remarkable results. Will initiated weekly calls where his team could ask him anything, fostering open communication and bringing him closer to his colleagues.
“People were incredibly frank and open with me, the same with them. It was a real gift they all gave me, and something I won’t forget. It brought me a lot closer to people. There were a lot of hidden gifts in all the sadness and struggle during COVID for me.”
The vision? “The need for [TechnoServe] to go away.” Will envisions a future where TechnoServe’s services are no longer needed, advocating for market-based strategies to alleviate poverty and discerning what works and what doesn’t.
Enjoy this fantastic, insightful, and fun conversation with TechnoServe CEO & President, Will Warshauer.
Across these two episodes, discover the inspiring stories and wisdom of leadership transformation—, from embracing localization to navigating a changing world, and unlocking untapped potential.
Real conversations. Current topics. Honest leaders. Found wherever you listen to podcasts. You can hear top tips from leaders across the world. Lynne and her guests discuss everything from success to failure, fear to courage, and the path to growth. Listen today!
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