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Strategic Planning and Management Insights

Strategic Board Leadership & Understanding Your People - Interview with Vivian Smith

[fa icon="calendar"] June 18 / by Anthony Taylor

In this episode, we were joined by Vivian Smith who is the Executive Director for the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation. Vivian has worked with the not-for-profit sector for the past 30 years and has held roles such as the Director of Development, Chief Fundraising Officer, and as a consultant, working with small grassroots organizations as well as major universities within BC. Most recently, she joined the team at the Langley Memorial Hospital, and currently volunteers on the Board of Directors for the Langley Chamber of Commerce as well as the Association of Fundraising Professionals.


As a leader, Vivian strives to hone her empathy skills. Through working with boards, she works to understand what they, their volunteers and their stakeholders want to see as their outcome. She takes time to understand the needs and values of each volunteer, donor and team member, such as recognizing those who value public recognition and those who prefer private acknowledgement. Vivian explains that through understanding and supporting what each member’s needs and values are, you can help keep them engaged in the organization.

Throughout our conversation, Vivian also shares strategy and leadership tips, such as:

  • Best practices for board management, involving: recruitment, orientation (or onboarding), and evaluation (two-way) as an ongoing cycle.
  • The importance of having a diverse team through: age, gender, field of expertise, skillsets, ways of thinking, and ethnicities.
  • Ways to help your team fully understand your organization’s history, mission and strategic plan through a two-way communicative process.
  • Recognizing possible risks to avoid when working with board members and leaders.


Learn more about how to keep your board running smoothly & listen to the full interview below:



Topics: Strategic planning, Leadership, podcast

Anthony Taylor

Written by Anthony Taylor

Anthony Taylor is thought leader on strategy and leadership. He's a published author on the subject of entrepreneurship and strategy, Anthony can be found doing keynotes in both French and English. You can connect with him on Twitter @anthonyctaylor and have him work with your team on your strategy and organizational development.

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