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NeighborWorks Achieving Excellence Program Overview

achieving excellenceThe combination of curriculum, coaching and peer group collaboration will maximize your efforts to apply what you have learned to the challenges that matter most to your organization's success. The three interdependent components of the Achieving Excellence program include:


Three cutting edge sessions led by faculty of Harvard University and other thought-leaders will open your mind to new ideas and approaches

The multi-disciplinary approach of the academic curriculum concentrates on the issues of leadership in organizations working to benefit their communities. The coursework is case-based and focuses on your issues — those on your plate right now, those on the horizon, and the ever-present challenge of how to increase the community impact of the work you do. Faculty will lead a critical exploration of emerging issues in strategic analysis and planning, leadership and organizational alignment, performance measurement, community building, alliances and partnerships, and other relevant topics. Their approach will allow you to learn from the best and most recent work in the field, and apply it within your own environment.

Intensive One-on-One Executive Coaching

Personalized guidance on performance-driven change by innovative leaders in the industry

To assist you in achieving performance, learning and change, the program provides significant consulting resources as well. One of a team of leadership coaches will guide you through the 16-month program and help you identify the outcome-based goals to achieve success. You can expect to work on your performance challenge regularly through conference calls, online chats, and one-on-one conversations with your coach and your peer group of colleagues several times each month.

Peer Group Work

Structured peer group learning and best practice sharing with colleagues of equal experience and sophistication

A select group of approximately 50 executive directors (and also some other senior staff with significant scope of authority and resources) who lead sophisticated nonprofit organizations will be chosen to participate. To assist you in achieving performance, learning and change, the program also provides structured peer group collaboration among this talented cohort. Working with a group of approximately nine other senior leaders and executive directors, you will work to achieve your own performance challenges — being accountable to each other while also being accountable to yourselves, your organizations and your communities. This group will provide support when you face obstacles and honest feedback to keep you on track when you begin to fall short — and you will do the same for each of them.

"I consider Achieving Excellence to be the best executive training program for community development in the country, if not the world. It has produced a cadre of national leaders who are profoundly shaping the future of our field."
- George McCarthy, formerly of Ford Foundation, now with the Lincoln Insitute of Land Policy