7 Nonprofit New CEO and Executive Leadership Questions with Jon Charles


Jon Charles served the Boys & 47 Girls Club movement for 47 years before his retirement. 

Name: Jon Charles

Number of years as a CEO or Executive Director: 30 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Texas

Current Title: Retired

Jon Charles before his retirement served the Boys & Girls Clubs movement for over 47 years. His contributions to the lives of youth and staff are too many to recount.

1. What advice would you give to professionals who have taken on a CEO or executive role for the first time?

Don’t be afraid to make the tough decisions to help move your organization forward. Always utilize active listening to those around you and give credit where credit is due. Make a plan, follow that plan, and execute your plan.

2. What is your best advice to navigate the first 90 days?

Evaluate where your organization is, talk to your community leaders and decide who you want on your bus moving forward.

3. What is your best advice on how to work with the board?

Be an active partner. Set the expectations that you are the professional and always treat them with respect. This partnership if everyone is working together can move an organization forward faster.

4. What is your best advice on leading a team?

Respect, active listening, and lead when you need to make the tough decisions. Keep everything you do at a professional level. Respect is earned not given.

5. What is your best fundraising advice?

Stewardship! Stewardship! Stewardship! Match what the needs and interests of the donor to what they can do to help you move forward.

6. Share your greatest failure as a CEO and executive and the lesson learned. We often learn the most from our failures.

My greatest failure was creating a five-year plan that I wrote for the organization. It did not work. Make sure you spend the time with your board and staff in the process of creating your plan. Their buy-in is critical to your success.

7. Recommended reading. What book helped you on your journey?

212 Degrees

I hope this helps. Let me know. Sharing is caring.

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Thank you to those nonprofit CEO and Executive Directors who’ve generously done the 7 questions!

I hope reading 7 Questions with Jon Charles helps you in your nonprofit journey.

Your mission matters,

Sabrina Walker Hernandez,

President & CEO

Supporting World Hope

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