Lessons for Nonprofit and Start-Up Leaders
Tales from a Reluctant CEO
Maxine Harris, Michael B. O'Leary
Lessons for Non-Profit and Start-Up Leaders: Tales from a Reluctant CEOuses the experiences of a real company, Community Connections, to bring to life the practical dilemmas that an organization founded on a mission and guided by a set of ideals must confront and solve if it is to thrive. With no business or financial background, Maxine Harris and her partner Helen Bergman grew a tiny startup into a $35 million business. Through trial and error, they learned how to manage finances, hire staff, overcome barriers, and adapt to changing business models. In Lessons for Non-Profit and Start-Up Leaders, Harris shares her insights, struggles, and mistakes with the goal of helping others who may be starting and running non-profit organizations. She spells out the ways in which creativity, tenacity, and the power of relationships helped her and her partner overcome barriers that often cause start-ups to flounder in their first years of operation. In a humorous and novel twist, the book engages the reader with a series of original fables, each tailored to introduce a business dilemma in the language of “make-believe.” Michael O’Leary provides commentary that places the stories and case studies from Community Connections into a broader context, making the lessons accessible to anyone working in the non-profit or startup sector.