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Q & A With Jackie Bsharah
In the third installment of this monthly blog series, you will learn more about one of our staff members. Through these one-on-one interviews, we are pleased to share our career passions and philosophies—and some personal information, too. Below is an interview with Jackie Bsharah, Consultant and Executive Coach with Brighter Strategies.
What initially inspired you to embark on a career in the nonprofit space?
I believe a values-driven approach sets nonprofits apart from their for-profit and government counterparts. In 2012, Johns Hopkins conducted a survey and found basic agreement that seven core values guide nonprofits—being productive, effective, enriching, empowering, responsive, reliable, and caring. Those descriptive words sum up why I’m drawn to the nonprofit sector.
What is your philosophy for executive coaching?
My basic philosophy is that change is possible for anyone who wants it and is willing to do the work for it. There is nothing so gratifying as watching someone grow into the person she strives to be, or achieve the goals she has set for herself. I believe my role as an executive coach is to collaborate with my clients in pursuit of the personal change they desire.
I use validated theories and frameworks to guide coaching engagements, so my clients have the benefit of well-documented, successful research rather than junk science or the “fix of the day.” This is due to the fact that I am a skeptic by nature who needs to know the origin of information before accepting it.
The question I’m asked more than any other is whether or not people can really change. Research from neuroscience—and my own experience—tells us that people can, indeed, change. As an executive coach, I provide the necessary support and accountability for such change.
How do you envision the nonprofit field growing within the next decade?
In this fast-paced world of global connectivity and economic hardship, nonprofits are facing intense pressure to demonstrate their value and relevance to stakeholders. There are a growing number of nonprofits fighting for funding that is limited, so establishing metrics to prove their ability to follow through on their objectives is becoming vitally important. While some may see this as a problem or challenge, I see it as a great opportunity for nonprofits—one that can help to guide their strategic processes.
What do you enjoy doing for fun and relaxation?
Believe it or not, I enjoy reading about organizational leadership and psychology. I also enjoy playing sports, particularly tennis and volleyball. I used to play softball but gave it up after a dive-gone-bad left me bruised, battered, and dusty! I also enjoy travel abroad. I am endlessly fascinated by how different, yet similar we (people) all are. I believe travel is a necessity for anyone interested in human dynamics.