Elisa Morgan – Can Failure Be Our Friend? – Part 2

“If you want succession to have any chance, we need to make policies that hold the thinking of the ministry and carry it forward so that—regardless of who’s leading—the ministry is protected and carried on.” –Elisa Morgan

Welcome to this episode of the Next Gen Nonprofit Leadership With Tommy Thomas podcast.  Today, we’re continuing the conversation with Elisa Morgan that we began last week.

Elisa Morgan is an author, podcaster, and president emeritus of MOPS International.

In this episode, we’ll learn what goes through Elisa’s mind when she’s recruiting new board members, her thoughts on failure, what the biggest risk in her career has been, and much more!

Thanks again for joining us today.  If you’re listening to an app that lets you leave a review, please do so. A lot of our listeners come to us on the recommendation of a friend or a colleague. If you’ve heard something today that’s worth passing on, please share the show with others. 


“I have always believed that the ministry is more than its founder.” -Elisa Morgan

Show Notes

[1:43] – This is what’s going through Elisa’s mind when recruiting new board members.

[3:44] – These are the types of backgrounds and perspectives Elisa looks for when building a more diverse board. 

[6:12] – Elisa responds to the quote, “You need a director on the board who will be a pleasant irritant, someone who will force people to think a little differently.  That’s what a good board does.”

[8:06] – What does Elisa think about term limits for board members?

[9:35] – Elisa explains how she constructively has the right tenure for a board chair and a CEO to work together.  

[12:11] – We hear Elisa’s experience in the board participating in strategic planning and how she believes it should go.

[13:47] – This is how soon a CEO should start thinking about succession planning, according to Elisa. 

[16:41] – Elisa shares her thoughts on CEOs that have identified and groomed their successors having likely failed in that aspect of leadership.

[18:45] – How effective is the nonprofit sector in acknowledging change?  

[20:44] – Elisa reveals what she wishes she was told early in her career.

[22:22] – Being $300,000 in the negative caused Elisa to freak out, but it taught her a valuable lesson. 

[23:39] – The biggest risk Elisa took in her career.

[26:40] – We learn what counsel Elisa is giving the next generation of nonprofit leaders. 

[28:22] – Tommy concludes the conversation.

“I have come to deeply respect those pleasant irritants because they see far ahead, and they see obstacles that I can miss. And I’m so grateful for the pause button.” –Elisa Morgan

Links and Resources

JobfitMatters – Website

MOPS International – Website

Titles by Elisa Morgan on Amazon

RightNow MEDIA – Elisa Morgan


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