How to Exemplify Nonprofit Leadership and Impact - Interview with Tim Ditloff, Grant Writing Simplified with Teresa Huff, Episode 112

How Nonprofits Can Exemplify Strong Leadership And Make an Impact [Episode 112]

“You can’t be a caretaker of somebody else without taking care of yourself.”

Last winter I presented a grant writing workshop at a conference in Milwaukee. One of the hosts was The Nonprofit Alliance. You may recognize that name from my past guest Shannon McCracken in Episode 70.

I didn’t know another soul going into the conference. However, you’d be proud of this introvert. I had a great time and talked to a lot of new people!

One of those happened to sit down next to me at lunch. After hearing his story, his passion for building strong teams, and his unique take on leadership, I knew my new friend was a great person for you to meet too.

In this episode I’m talking with Tim Ditloff, an avid sailor, about what leadership looks like. With a lot of in depth and fun analogies, he relates sailing to strong leadership. I recommend following Tim on LinkedIn for a lot of thoughtful, inspirational posts on life, leadership, and sailing!

Things to Remember As a Leader

Tim has a lot of thoughtful wisdom to share with us:

  • Your path might not always be straight. Adjust to the zigs and zags.
  • Celebrate small victories. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
  • Each person’s seemingly small task is very important in the ultimate journey.

How Can Nonprofits Live Out Strong Leadership?

Tim has worked with his share of nonprofits over the years. He recommends that we focus on these things:

  1. Remember why you exist
  2. Remember what you are good at/your strengths
  3. Reflect on your progress
  4. Map out your course, set up milestones, and celebrate along the way
  5. Make sure your team is on the same page

Lessons From Sailing on Leadership

Tim relates each of the following leadership characteristics to sailing and teaches us how to think about them from a new perspective. Listen in to get all of the thoughtful analogies he gives us on these powerful points:

  • Steward leadership: Take care of each other. You’re not on the boat alone.
  • You can’t take care of others without taking care of yourself too.
  • Take the time to step back and observe how things are going among your team to make the most impact.
  • Clear communication. Communication is vital for life or death on the sea; communication can be the line between success and failure in a nonprofit.

Challenge Question:

What sailing lesson from this episode can you compare to your nonprofit journey? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Connect with me on LinkedIn or send me a message.

Meet Tim Dittloff:

Tim has received world-class training in business, speaking, and sailing – and he puts all of his knowledge to good use, helping companies like yours with leadership development. 

Time provides coaching and seminars to company leaders and their teams so they can transform both personally and professionally. His credentials include a Master of Science in Education. He is also a Certified Franklin Covey Trainer, Licensed U.S. Coast Guard Captain, Certified John Maxwell Facilitator, and Certified ASA Sailing Instructor.

Connect with Tim Dittloff:

Resources Mentioned:

Free Audit: How Grant-Ready Is Your Nonprofit?

If you need support in your journey to excellence as a grant writer, I’d like to invite you to join me on the Fast Track to Grant Writer. Go to teresahuff.com/vip and start learning today.


Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Grant Writer? Take the Quiz:

If you’re ready to explore a career in grant writing, take my free quiz, “Do you have what it takes to be a grant writer?” People are always surprised at how many skills they already have. The distance isn’t as far as they thought. Let’s figure out how you can use your skills to help change your world.

If you’re ready to step up your nonprofit game, join me on the Fast Track to Grant Writer. The world needs you.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *