Governance

In his recent book egonomics: what makes ego our greatest asset (or most expensive liability), co-author Steven Smith explores the power of ego to enhance communication and organizational effectiveness. Because choruses, like many arts organizations, are comprised of community boards and often little or no staff—all led by an artistic director whose vision, talent, and charisma play a major role in galvanizing and motivating the activities of singers, board, and staff—the quality of communication among them is vital to organizational health. Smith elaborates on how ego can be harnessed to foster effective communication.

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Providing financial oversight for your chorus is a critical role with many facets—learn about the challenges and rewards of effective stewardship.

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So, it's your turn: You have been asked to step into the role of board chair. But what will be expected of you? How can you be sure that you can provide the leadership needed? How can you fulfill the expectations outlined in the job description? We explore top traits of board leaders, how to motivate your team, and crafting productive partnerships among your staff.

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A mission statement that articulates not just who you are but why you matter will help your chorus stand out in the eyes of potential singers, audiences, and donors.

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How You Can Use the Chorus Operations Survey Report

As chorus leaders you make important decisions annually, monthly, even daily, that affect the future of your organization. In doing so, be sure to consider context, both internal and external, as you make your choices. What are other choruses doing? What are others in the broader nonprofit community doing? What have we ourselves been doing and how might we do it better? We discuss how others have used the Chorus America Chorus Operations Survey Report to inform their decisionmaking.

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Artistic leadership of a chorus is both an individual balancing act and a highly collaborative endeavor.

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Managing Time So You Have More of It

If your day is spent managing a chorus, then you know all too well how Murphy’s Law and the ongoing needs of your staff and board can exacerbate the ability to get your own work done.

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All the accountability checks in the world won't prevent lousy decisions if board members, managers, and artistic leaders lack teamwork and communications chemistry. Cultivate a healthy culture that brings out the best group traits of your board.

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In the 2005 study, Choral Conductors Today, Chorus America learned that as many as one-third of choruses are conducted by their founders, and furthermore that a majority of these choruses were founded a generation or more ago. This data suggests that a large number of choruses will be facing significant leadership transitions and indeed, experience in the intervening years has borne out this assertion.

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We can all tell stories about things we did that derailed a solicitation or embarrassed us (even if we got the gift!). Mistakes may be inevitable, but our awareness of them can reduce their frequency. Increase your prospects for success by understanding these common misperceptions about fundraising.

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