Change Maker Moments with Allison Alley
Allison Alley is the President and CEO of Compassion Canada, a leading child development organization that is helping 2 million children in 25 countries learn the skills and receive the opportunities they need to overcome poverty. Allison has a strong track record of advocacy for children around the world and joined the non-profit world after a career in finance. Allison holds a Master of Arts in Global Leadership with an emphasis in International Development and Urban Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary’s School of Intercultural Studies and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario’s prestigious Ivey Business School.
In episode 004 and 005 of The Change Makers Podcast, Allison talks about her early years in ministry with YWAM (Youth with a Mission), her ground-breaking 16-month succession period, and the importance of balancing work and family. Listen to this episode and access the show notes here.
3 Insights From Allison
1. Take any chance to break out of your context.
As a young adult, Allison took a step out of her privileged North American household and into the missions’ scene through YWAM’s discipleship program. Upon being thrusted into a new cultural context, Allison’s perspective was challenged. While working in Thailand, Allison was confronted with the dire reality of people’s circumstances, but she also discovered the incredible depth of their faith.
When you break out of your own context, not only does your perspective expand – but you learn how to become a leader in real-life.
2. Leadership transitions don’t have to cripple your organization.
In any organization, changes in leadership can lead to disruption. Allison gives us insight into why this wasn’t the case for Compassion Canada when she became President and CEO in October 2019. Former Compassion Canada President and CEO, Barry Slauenwhite, treated his transition period as an act of worship by planning a strong departure through a ground-breaking 16-month leadership succession period to ensure the organization is protected. The best legacy a leader can leave is to transition well and set up their successor for success, which is exactly what Barry did with Allison.
3. Find balance between work and family.
A known struggle for driven leaders is finding a way to lead a thriving family and a thriving professional life – especially when technology makes it easier than ever to bring work home. Allison’s tip: turn off notifications on your phone. Don’t let your phone choose when it demands your attention: make that your choice. If that fails, then initiate plan B: ask your spouse to keep you accountable.
If you’re an employer, this is something to seriously consider. Lead by example and guard your employee’s time, too, so they’re not pulled away from their families.
Haven’t listened to this episode yet? Click here to check it out.