Partnering with other organizations has the potential of multiplying your organization’s impact and creating relationships that transform your thinking and actions. When determining if an organization is a good fit as a partner, consider four qualities:

  1. Resources: Effective partnerships bring resources to your organization that you would not otherwise have access to. Strategic partnerships open up the opportunity for organizations to share their secrets for success with one another in a way that benefits all parties involved. Be generous with your resources, and your partner will be more likely to return the favor.
  2. Alignment: Analyze whether or not the other organization shares the goals, purpose, and drive that your organization has. It doesn’t have to be an exact match, but there does need to be an alignment in order for both groups to benefit from the partnership and to maintain the partnership long-term.
  3. Time: Be honest about the time that it will take for the partnership. Ask yourself, “Do I have the time and the resources that the partnership will require?” If the answer is, “No,” then it is far better to retreat prior to an agreement than after one has been signed.
  4. Hard Work: Look for evidence that you and the other organization share the definition of hard work. What have they accomplished in your shared goal area that wows you? If you can’t find it, ask for it and evaluate it.

When these four characteristics aren’t present, the two organizations are really just collaborating which is a nice way of saying that they are operating independently and have a limited impact on each other’s success.

However, when these four characteristics are present, a partnership is truly formed. There will be an agreement of how resources will be shared and a clear structure for what each side will provide. It’s risky, but the benefits can be worth it.

Announcing a Partnership!

Leaders Building Leaders (LBL) exists to be the difference maker in the leadership development of individuals and organizations. When we were looking for partners who have demonstrated the resources, alignment, time, and hard work in the public charter school world, we found all of these qualities in Rhonda Dillingham and her team with the North Carolina Association for Public Charter Schools (NCAPCS). Their mission is to, advance quality educational opportunities for all North Carolina children by supporting and expanding successful public charter schools. We’ve been to their annual conference multiple times, and we have heard them speak passionately about school choice along with the challenges, successes, and gateways involved. Partnering with the NCAPCS is a clear path for Leaders Building Leaders to partner up to multiply our impact.

Albert Einstein offered advice that applies to partnership: “Strive not to be a success but rather to be of value.” Being of value is Leaders Building Leaders’ gauge when we determine whether we have been successful or not. We are confident that the same is true for NCAPCS. As LBL strives to be the difference makers in leadership development in charter schools, Rhonda and her team strive to support and expand public charter schools.

Our Partnership Benefits Charter Schools and Charter School Vendors

Together, LBL and NCAPCS have big plans to maximize our partnership. Here are a few of the ways that we are working together:

    1. Leadership Impact Area: Board training is essential to successful governance.
      • Benefit to You: LBL provides the online and on-demand governance training program called Navigate to all NCAPCS members at no cost. Navigate is a year long professional development program that targets the area of governance that all boards struggle with and offers time to dive into specific questions, offering a nice balance of need to know and have to know.
    2. Leadership Impact Area: Developing school leaders through collaboration.
      • Benefit to You: LBL provides a 25% discount to NCAPCS members for our Principal Consortium, a yearlong opportunity for school leaders to gain insights, ideas, and practices to improve school operation and academics by visiting and learning from the top public charter school leaders in NC.
    3. Leadership Impact Area: Rules, regulations, and legislation can make charter school operations and governance difficult.
      • Benefit to You: LBL and NCAPCS are facilitating Leadership Roundtables across the state to gather the “regulatory” barriers impacting charter school leaders and work with the Association and its board to meet with State decision makers.
      • Let us know which event you’d like to attend, and we will register you.
        • September 13th at IC Imagine in Asheville
        • September 18th at Corvian in Charlotte
        • September 26th in Raleigh
    4. Leadership Impact Area: Preferred Vendor Database: charter schools operate on their own without a central office to call when they need a new plumber or electrician. Since there’s no Angie’s List tailor-made for charter schools, many school leaders find themselves combing online services to fill a need. We are working together to fill that gap.
      • Benefit to You: LBL and NCAPCS will create a user-friendly Charter School Business Network database and directory to assist schools in locating a vendor who they can trust.
    5. Leadership Impact Area: Charter School Business Network: Leaders hire people who they know, like, and trust.
      • Benefit to You: LBL and NCAPCS will be hosting quarterly Charter School Business Network opportunities to expand the list of vendor names, and beginning in October, we will host a Friday webinar series for “Corporate Leader Members” to promote their business.

Both Leaders Building Leaders and the NC Public Association for Public Charter Schools are led and staffed by former public charter school principals. We know and understand the challenge that you face daily. We know that the charter school principal position is one of the most interrupted jobs on the planet. That is why we are partnering to ensure you, your staff, and the governing board are equipped, resourced, and valued in the public charter school community. On behalf of the NCAPCS and LBL, we thank you for your sacrifice, dedication and service to your community.

Our charter school vendors want to serve you better. Please take five minutes to complete this survey to share your goals and needs.  Your information will be kept anonymous.

This blog was written by Katy Ridnouer, Leadership Coach, Speaker and Trainer with Leaders Building Leaders. If you found this content valuable, please share it.

If you want to explore the benefits of a leadership coach, then reach out to Katy at for a complimentary discovery session.

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