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One Way to Invest in Your Leadership Development with Billy Burnett

A Commitment to Leadership and Learning

If you are a nonprofit ministry leader, what are you intentionally doing to invest in your own leadership development?

Enrolling in the Christian Leadership Alliance (CLA) premier experience known as the Credentialed Christian Nonprofit Leader (CCNL) program is one way to invest wisely in your leadership growth.

Designed to promote biblical principles and professional standards in Christian ministry leadership, the CCNL program possesses a proven multi-disciplinary understanding of nonprofit leadership that traverses critical areas of professional practice.

CLA President and CEO Tami Heim recently interviewed Billy Burnett, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Joni and Friends.

Burnett has contributed significantly to Joni and Friends’s financial success and workplace environment. His leadership helped to result in Joni and Friends being ranked as the number one “Best Christian Workplace” in organizations having less than 120 staff. They also rank in the top six percent of best fiscally managed nonprofits in the country.

As a Christian Leadership Alliance’s National Advisory Council member, Burnett serves in the Financial Management track. He has also been designated CLA-credentialed Christian nonprofit leader (CCNL). In this interview, Burnett shares how the CCNL program has transformed his leadership. Here he answers the question:

What does becoming a CLA-credentialed Christian Nonprofit Leader (CCNL) mean for you?

Here’s what it does for me and for anyone serious about lifelong learning. I call them the four C’s: capacity, confirmation, connection, and convenience. I’m intentional about finding themes like that; it’s my industrial engineering background coming through.

(1) Capacity

It increased my capacity to lead. It’s not enough to be compassionate and desire to be a good leader. Being equipped to lead effectively is critical. That requires practical tools. Through CLA I build capacity. One of the most powerful and impacting courses I have taken in any educational platform is Dr. Randal Dick’s CLA Online Academy module on governance. I use it every day. It taught me about aligning mission, vision, and values with what you’re doing. That is critical for good leadership.

(2) Confirmation

The next is confirmation. CLA classes have confirmed for me that Joni and Friends is utilizing best practices in leading across generations, in engaging donors, and in teaching our staff at each stage of their leadership.

(3) Connection

And then there’s a connection. I’ve developed a lifelong network of friendships with other learners through CLA. I’ve been able to help friends gained through CCNL. I’ve gone back to my office and shared processes we’ve learned to assist them. That’s what we should be doing. That networking has helped us.

(4) Convenience

And then, finally, there is convenience. We live busy lives as leaders. For me, the convenience that CLA’s Online Academy offered was awesome. I had a busy life, yet I completed courses to reach my credential. At CLA, we’re providing great ways for people to learn to lead for today and tomorrow.

What are you currently doing to invest in your leadership effectiveness?


This is an excerpt from the 2013 Summer edition of Outcomes Magazine.

Learn more about the CLA-credentialed Christian Nonprofit Leader (CCNL) and the Enhanced Certificate Programs (ECP). Together, these programs translate into academic credits at select universities!  Explore these opportunities to keep growing and thinking higher for greater Kingdom gain.


What is Christian Leadership Alliance?

Christian Leadership Alliance equips and unites leaders to transform the world for Christ. We are the leaders of Christ-centered organizations who are dedicated to faithful stewardship for greater kingdom impact.

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