For more than 110 years Water Street Mission has been serving the Lancaster community by fulfilling its mission: “to advance the kingdom of God through the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to do missionary, relief and rescue work of all kinds.” Water Street offers hope to those experiencing poverty and homelessness by providing their guests with meals, shelter and access to medical, dental, behavioral health, spiritual and career support. In addition, the Mission serves children and youth through the Wonder Club Early Learning Center, Teen Haven (a program designed to mentor teens to become leaders), and various children’s ministries.
As the Lancaster community has grown, so has Water Street Mission. Water Street now encompasses an entire block on South Prince Street. Approximately half of the guests served are from Lancaster County and the other half from Lancaster City itself. The Mission focuses its efforts on life transformation by working to build relationships with each guest from the start. Through individual coaching, personalized programs and developed relationships, Water Street Mission restores lives.
As the Board of Directors of Water Street Mission worked to install Jack Crowley as President, they recognized that as a new leader of a complex nonprofit organization, stepping into the executive leadership role would bring daily challenges both personally and professionally. In particular, they thought it could be easy for Jack to get caught up in the day-to-day operations, causing him to overlook strategic initiatives, discount the importance of work-life balance and neglect setting aside time for personal and leadership development.
Even though Jack was part of the Senior Leadership Team for over ten years, the Board of Directors invited him to participate in executive, one-on-one coaching with North Group Consultants as a way to intentionally provide an opportunity for leadership growth and support.
North Group began by working to identify which Consultant would be best suited to work with Jack. We quickly identified Craig Schloneger, Senior Consultant and Partner, as a fit because of his many years of experience as a CEO leading multifaceted organizations and working with numerous Boards of Directors.
Craig’s first step in developing a successful coaching relationship was to create an environment of trust and a culture in which he could encourage, challenge and hold Jack accountable for agreed upon next steps. Craig and Jack continue to meet once a month. Through this sustained relationship, Craig works to support Jack in reaching his highest potential by:
- Caring for his overall well-being
- Increasing self-awareness
- Discovering behavioral tendencies
- Identifying strengths and opportunities for improvement
- Increasing organizational productivity
- Setting goals and action plans
- Providing accountability
For Jack, coaching provides the space to be intentional – to step back and evaluate questions such as “Am I being the leader that I intend to be? Am I using my gifts in the best ways? How am I building up my team? Have I done what I said I would do? Am I leading with integrity?”
The sustained relationship between Craig and Jack has provided an environment for crucial conversations that have resulted in increased self-awareness and leadership competencies. As a new leader, Jack has successfully strengthened the Leadership Team at Water Street Mission and continues to strive to lead with integrity, accountability, and an others-centered focus. Jack works effectively with the Board of Directors and efficiently carries out the strategic goals and initiatives of Water Street Mission.