Drawing from more than 70 interviews with intersector leaders, The Intersector Project has distilled six characteristics that define the leaders of intersector collaborations. A further discussion of these leadership characteristics can be found in this article, published by The Intersector Project in the Harvard Business Review.
A desire to create public value in a professional or a personal capacity; the ability to reconcile the drive to foster social good or work on a particular social or environmental issue with competing considerations, such as financial needs or holding influence.
A set of hard skills and professional competencies received from training or work experience from one or more sectors; possession of practical skills in areas such as quantitative analytics, strategic planning, and stakeholder management that are valued across sectors.
The ability to assess the differences and recognize the similarities between sectors, stemming from exposure or experience; an understanding of each sector’s individual culture, values, constraints, and key performance indicators which allows leaders to navigate within and between sectors.
The ability to use one’s legitimacy and credibility among contacts across sectors, earned from a history of leadership positions; the capacity to leverage networks across sectors in order to advance one’s career, build teams, or convene stakeholders on an intersector issue.
Deliberate career planning across sectors; a willingness to seize new opportunities and an openness to pursue a flexible career path.
A leader’s subject-matter expertise on a particular issue – based on work experience in the discipline, formal education, and professional training – practiced across sectors.