Paired Project Leadership (Teams of Two)


Traditional teams have a singular leader responsible for setting the objectives and tasks for a team of three or more members. Nonprofit organizations- especially small to mid-size-have limited resources to manage and execute projects. Further, members of the Board of Directors often have excellent inputs and skills for projects but have limited time to participate. The employment of paired leadership (a team of two) is well suited to a range of projects (size and scope) and in particular to projects supporting Strategic Plan Goals. Paired leadership has been successfully employed in the private sector.

The Advantages Paired Leadership:

  • Focus
    • Minimal debate about project objectives
    • Obstacles cleared away efficiently
  • Load Sharing
    • Project continuity
    • Back up
    • Moral support
  • Creativity
    • Friendly competition of ideas
    • Synergy
  • Productivity
    • Communications efficiency
    • Decision making ease
    • Shared risk taking
  • Personal Growth (similar to traditional teams but to a greater degree)
    • Learning
    • Teamwork
    • Trust
    • Flexibility
    • Belonging
    • Encouragement
    • Commitment
    • Consensus Building
    • Leadership
    • Satisfaction

Selecting Teams:

 A typical team would be comprised of the Executive Director or Senior Staff member and a member of the Board of Directors. After setting a clear project objective, the team would agree on team member responsibilities and communications. A simple task and due date approach will usually suffice to manage the project. Project management software is available:

Expanded Teams:

 Often, additional resources will be needed for specific project tasks. The paired team will retain overall project leadership and one of the team members will coordinate the additional resources- a singular resource or a small task force assembled for a short, specific assignment.