Ep 92: The Lonely Nonprofit Leader (with Glennda Testone)

nonprofits are messy

You’ve probably heard of “Imposter Syndrome”. But have you heard of “Loneliness Syndrome”?

Today I tackle the case of the lonely nonprofit leader.

The stakes are high and so much rides on your shoulders. High stress and low resources plus the need to not share your vulnerabilities with certain audiences. Herein lies a perfect recipe for Loneliness Syndrome.

My guest, Glennda Testone, has found the cure. Glennda joined New York City’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center as its first female Executive Director in 2009. We discuss her experiences as a nonprofit leader, including empathy, trust, and the root cause of loneliness.

What kind of toll does loneliness take? How can we overcome it and find like-minded people that can really help? What’s the antidote?

Tune in to hear more.

About Glennda Testone:

Glennda Testone joined New York City’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center as its first female Executive Director in 2009. Since then, she has strengthened The Center’s programs for adults, youth and families, ensuring all LGBT New Yorkers have an opportunity to live happy, healthy lives. Testone recently helped launch a new Center brand and website, celebrated 30 years of service by the organization and completed a $9.2 million capital building renovation to transform the LGBT community’s home on W 13 Street. Testone also spearheaded the launch of innovative and groundbreaking programming at The Center for LGBT youth, transgender community members and LBT women.

Testone came to The Center from The Women’s Media Center (WMC) where she served as the Vice President for three years. Prior to the WMC, Testone was the Senior Director of Media Programs for the national Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).

Testone has appeared on CNN, FOX News and MSNBC, and has been quoted in outlets including Vogue, The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Time Out and W Magazine.

She is a member of the Ending the Epidemic Task Force, which works to implement Governor Cuomo’s plan to end the AIDS epidemic in New York. Testone also sits on the CenterLink Board, the Executive Board of the City University of New York Institute for Health Equality and is a member of the Bronx Borough President’s LGBT Policy Task Force. In 2005, Testone won Syracuse University’s LGBT Foundation Award for Outstanding Alumni. In addition, she has served on the NYC Commission on LGBTQ Runaway and Homeless Youth and was a Tenenbaum Leadership Institute Fellow at Milano, The New School for Management & Urban Policy.

Originally from Syracuse, New York, Testone has a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism and Philosophy from Syracuse University and a Master’s degree in Women’s Studies from The Ohio State University. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her partner and two French bulldogs. Follow Testone on Twitter @Glennda_Testone.

In this podcast

  • How loneliness is affected by the level of trust you have with your peers
  • How can a nonprofit leader overcome Loneliness Syndrome?
  • When you’re small, how do you find peers groups? Where can you build connections? How can peer groups help you test out ideas?
  • What is an E.D. group?
  • How to avert difficult transitions
  • How to handle confidentiality
  • The role and value of coaching