Dr. Donney John

Executive Director
NOVA ScriptsCentral

Tell us about your leadership style and how this contributes to your organization’s success.

I embrace a servant leadership approach, which entails prioritizing the growth, well-being, and empowerment of my team members. Through this leadership style, I have fostered strong connections with my organization’s staff. By leading with empathy, my team recognizes my sincere commitment to their success, both personally and professionally. We come together to celebrate achievements and support one another during challenging times.

This nurturing, familial atmosphere within our organization serves as a powerful motivator, inspiring all team members to work diligently in order to create a positive impact in our community. We make a conscious effort to engage, actively listen, and collaborate with our community partners and members. My servant leadership approach has enabled me to build trust with those I am privileged to lead and collaborate with.

What advice would you offer for other nonprofit leaders?

Embrace a visionary mindset, one that emphasizes long-term thinking.

Lead with empathy and possess the unwavering determination to genuinely serve others in the long run. Quick victories may not always lead to the lasting impact we aspire to achieve. Recognize that systemic inequities did not develop
overnight; therefore, it is crucial to consider ways to integrate community input into the creation of solutions that genuinely address their specific needs.

I often emphasize the idea that nobody chooses to be sick; instead, they simply require assistance in learning how to heal. It is crucial to prioritize long-term success by collaborating with both funders and community members. Additionally, it’s essential to recognize that building and earning the trust of those we aim to serve is a process that takes time.

What does this award mean for you and your organization?

Receiving this award would hold immense significance for both me and my organization. This recognition would not only be a tremendous honor but also a validation that a servant leadership-centered approach can indeed lead to organizational success. Furthermore, this award would serve as an acknowledgment of the tireless efforts put forth by my organization in nurturing collaborative relationships with both community members and partners. It offers proof that as a nonprofit, we don’t need to adopt a competitive “hunger games” mentality to achieve success. Instead, it demonstrates that success can be redefined when nonprofit organizations unite to serve their community.