Leading To Action


The single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus on leadership development.  There is almost no limit to the potential of an organization that recruits good people, raises them up as leaders, and continually develops them.  John Maxwell 

Sue Neustrom

Sue Neustrom

Leading to Action

Consulting for organizations that want to change the world

Coaching for people who want to change their world

Consulting, leadership coaching, and training for nonprofit organizations that aspire to high performance, innovation, and success.

Nonprofit organizations play a critical role in the community in providing important services to a diverse population including families, adults, children, teens, seniors and to anyone who has a specific need. The important work that is undertaken by nonprofits is getting significantly more difficult to manage because of greater demand for services, more culturally and ethnically diverse population, and decrease in government funding. In addition, funders are not only demanding data but measurable outcomes and results, more effective programs, and a new, innovative approach to services. Organizations that seriously address capacity building are becoming an increasingly significant factor in the competition for funding dollars. For that purpose, Leading to Action specializes in working with nonprofit organizations for:

  • Capacity Building-Develop strong management practices and principles that support high performance and improve systems to operate effectively and efficiently.
  • Leadership Development-Create a culture of empowerment, learning, and innovation developing a strong leadership pipeline.
  • Strategic Action Planning-Aligning strategy to action and transforming the organization’s vision to reality.

The nonprofit external environment is changing rapidly and what worked well in the past, may not work now. The solution cannot be discovered by changing what you do. Increasing services, or social media presence, or even developing more fundraising events and campaigns will not address the changes. The problem is not what you do. Instead, the problem is how you do it. Most amazing is that changing from a “what we do” approach to a “how we do it” approach actually creates a ripple effect of change on the organization. Therefore, when the “how we do it” approach is applied, the “what you do” approach has greater meaning and purpose aligned with your mission and values leading to high performance, best practices, and nonprofit role model qualities.

Leading to Action moves an organization from “what we do” to “how we do it” approach.

The value of changing the approach is:

  • Connect all aspects of the organization to a common goal.
  • Build strong leadership throughout the organization.
  • Improve what is not working effectively.
  • Increase capacity to serve more people with greater efficiency.
  • Develop measurable action steps for short and long term success.

Leadership Coaching

Lead yourself and success will follow.

Leadership coaching is a one-on-one relationship that focuses on your strengths and values, organizational goals, and building short and long term strategies that move you and the organization to the next level. Through reflections, assessments, and exercises, coaching can identify blind spots that can limit your effectiveness, discover hidden strengths that lead to greater impact, and break down obstacles that hinder high performance.

The benefits of leadership coaching:

  • Influence others by understanding how to adapt your behavior.
  • Greater awareness of what truly motivates you to lead.
  • Develop a strength based action plan for a positive outcome.
  • Increase effectiveness by developing higher emotional intelligence.
  • Leadership guided by meaning and purpose of who you truly are.
  • Discovery of personal leadership style for leading yourself and others.
  • Open your mind to new perspectives without leaving your comfort zone.

Workshops for Leaders, staff, Boards, Volunteer

Ongoing training increases productivity, adds value to the organization, and is the heart of leadership development. Using the ADDIE model of training, a variety of topics is offered and can be designed for your specific needs. Some of the topics include:

The changing role of the board of directors

Becoming an authentic leader

The emotional intelligent leader

New board member introduction to roles and responsibilities

Leadership succession

Board of Directors and Executive Director Relationship

Creating a high performing board

Backward vision planning

Volunteers as leaders

Nonprofit leadership in a changing environment

Leading a multigenerational organization

Leadership Curriculum

Perhaps you want to conduct training on a leadership topic. We develop organizational leadership curriculum designed specifically for you and applicable to your unique situation. Curriculum includes goals, objectives, and evaluation for measuring learning and transfer of knowledge in the organization.

Need a Speaker on Leadership?

Susan Neustrom is a inspirational and motivational speaker. She shares personal and professional stories on a variety of nonprofit and leadership topics.

Leading to Action–Transforming a cause to a solution

For more information Please visit my websites at: http://www.leadingtoaction.com and Blog posts: http://susanneustrom.com/

Contact information:

Phone: 630-408-4038

Email: sue@leadingtoaction.com

Please Enjoy my Blog Posts:

  • Advice Overload-My Advice on Advice (7/3/2015) - As a rule, I very seldom ride the train on a weekend.  However, late one  Saturday afternoon, I boarded the train from the city to head home from an all- day marketing training session.  Surprisingly, the train was crowded and seating required everyone to double up.  Since the workshop began early in the morning, I […]
  • Accomplishments Never Found on a Resume (3/25/2015) - A question I always pose when teaching a resume writing class is, “What accomplishment makes you most proud”?  Since I never indicate that the accomplishment should align with professional experience, I am not surprised with the response to the question.  In fact, I can almost anticipate what everyone will say.  Without hesitation, many relate a […]
  • The Value in a Value-driven Resume (1/27/2015) -  Writing a resume can be a tedious, almost painful task as you decide how much or how little to share with a potential employer. Developing a resume becomes even more challenging if you are transitioning to a new career and need to demonstrate how your past experience aligns perfectly with the job description, even if […]
  • Three Important New Year Resolution Questions (1/1/2015) - Once again, it is time to resolve to do more of something, less of something, or break away from something.  More than likely, your intent is to change and a new year gives you an opportunity to have a fresh start.  As with every New Year, you know this will finally be the one to […]
  • Einstein Had it All Wrong (12/28/2014) - Like millions of people all over the world, I was glued to the TV last November watching Nik Wallenda break two Guinness World Records with his daring Skyscraper walks.  If his first attempt was not amazing enough when he walked across the Chicago River at an elevation of 588 feet and rising, he ramped up […]
  • Pitch the Elevator Speech for Something Better (6/13/2014) - Networking, everyone is doing it.  Networking can either be exhilarating because you have an opportunity to meet new people or networking can be a drudgery that saps your energy and leaves you ready to run for the door.  At one time, early in my career, the thought of entering a room full of strangers sent […]
  • Where is My Passion? (4/6/2014) - What an odd question, where is my passion?   I tried not to look puzzled as I was concluding my presentation about eliminating the fear of leaving your comfort zone.   A voice in the back of the room filled with job seekers and career changers was responding to my request to share their thoughts about following […]
  • Leading to Action with Susan Neustrom (3/9/2014) - Today on Community Voices with Carly Alyssa Thorne we Interview Susan Neustrom where we discuss “Leading into Action”. To listen to Podcast: Listen To Business Internet Radio Stations with LinkedLocalNetwork on BlogTalkRadio Leading to Action–Transforming a cause to a solution For more information Please visit my websites at: http://www.leadingtoaction.com and Blog posts: http://susanneustrom.com/blog-posts/ Contact information: Phone: 630-408-4038 […]
  • Leading with Chocolate (12/28/2013) - Want to build strong relationships, gain recognition, and influence people?  Try some chocolate.   I will admit that I really like, okay love, chocolate.  I know I am not alone with my love of chocolate.  In fact, Americans consume about 3 billion pounds of chocolate a year, almost half of the world’s chocolate consumption.    I always […]
  • Four Clues To Discover If You Are A Really Big Idea Leader? (12/18/2013) - I can’t help it.  I never stop thinking of ideas.  Ideas come in a flash when I least expect them and I need to write them down because I never know when a stroke of genious will hit and become the next big idea.  I have post-it notes everywhere, on my desk, on the refrigerator, bathroom mirror, […]

In her own words, by, Susan Neustrom, Ed.D :

Susan Neustrom, Ed.D. – For as far back as I can remember, I volunteered my time to work at numerous nonprofits assisting people who experienced domestic violence, teen pregnancy, homelessness, unemployment, and a variety of other issues. After spending 22 years in banking holding a variety of leadership roles, I longed to follow my passion of helping people overcome obstacles and lead an organization that shared my values but my fear of failure and fear of divulging that I was a high school dropout held me back from pursuing my dream. So, at age 48 I faced my fear and finally found the courage to complete my GED. That first step led to a journey of true self-discovery and authentic leadership. With a clear vision and a plan of action, I spent the next ten years pursuing my education and earned two associate degrees, business management and retail marketing, from College of DuPage, a Bachelor of Science in Management from National Louis University a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership with a concentration in Training and Development from Lewis University and a Doctorate in Education in Organizational Leadership from Argosy University.

In 2006, my dream came true and I transitioned from leadership in banking to leadership in nonprofit providing me an opportunity to work with multiple populations in various roles as Director of Day Programs, Director of Human Resource, and Executive Director leading organizational change, effective capacity building, and creating a vision of sustainability and continuous learning. While I am an Idealist (INFJ), a visionary, and a continuous seeker of knowledge, my greatest strength is creativity, allowing me to act upon ideas, develop unique approaches to achieving a goal, and be on an endless quest for innovation. What I see when faced with a problem are endless possibilities despite obstacles, harmony where there is conflict, organization in the midst of chaos, and solutions despite the complexity of the issue. My intuitive sense is keenly attuned with my moral compass and a “gut feeling” has dominated my life journey. I have spent much, 25+ years, of my career leading people, teams, and organizations. But the most interesting leadership role was and continues to be, leading myself by understanding my motivations, my leadership approach and style, and my vision for the future. My story has been featured in College of DuPage Impact, Daily Herald, and National Louis Alumni magazine, 30 over 30.

Presently, I am an adjunct professor of business at Benedictine University, National Louis University, and Argosy University and a speaker on leadership, change, and motivation at conferences, universities, and organizations. In 2013, I developed my company, Leading to Action for the purpose of developing leaders who want to change the world. With this in mind, my leadership philosophy is to lead by creating a clear vision, removing obstacles that limit performance, and empowering others to reach their greatest potential. My personal and profession mission is to commit 100% of my energy to every activity that I chose to engage and work aggressively toward positive outcomes. This is how I approach consulting, leadership coaching, and training because authentic leadership begins with developing complete self-awareness and high emotional intelligence for impact, influence, and action that produce successful results.






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