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CEO Perspective

José Luis Castro on 5 Things You Need to Know to Successfully Lead a Nonprofit Organization

Be curious: Never accept what you see. Ask questions. I was always taught to learn more and to take initiative to learn about things I didn’t know. Even with a busy schedule, I have a habit of reading one or two books every week on diverse subjects. You must be hungry to learn.

We’re often taught that skills bring success in life, but as a Cuban political refugee growing up in America, my perspective is that it’s the values that emerge from our personal experiences that guide our lives.

My childhood emphasized learning and education. Growing up in Cuba under Fidel Castro, we were subject to frequent searches of our home to eliminate books. My parents kept a well-stocked library despite the risks. I grew up memorizing plays and poems in case the books were taken. And even as a young child I saw the danger of propaganda and control of information.

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