Who is Linda Rich?
Linda Rich is a specialist in coaching, leadership, organizational development, and management consulting, and she has worked with synagogues, nonprofit organizations, large corporations, and small businesses. Linda has provided lay leadership in a variety of settings, including a cross-denominational study on the role of the rabbi, which resulted in the popular guide, “The Rabbi-Congregation Relationship: A Vision for the 21st Century.” Linda has co-chaired her own congregation, led a variety of congregational committees, and headed a synagogue strategic planning team working with the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of New York. Linda has been recognized with the Ansche Gevurah award from the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation, and the Kallat Breishit award from West End Synagogue. Before entering organizational consulting, Linda held line and staff roles in the business world.
Philosophy of Practice
In working with congregations, I combine my extensive religious training and multi-movement synagogue experience with significant professional expertise in management and leadership. I approach each assignment with curiosity, seeing it as an opportunity for mutual learning and growth. I help clients articulate clear and specific goals, and then flexibly choose from an extensive toolkit the tactics most likely to stimulate and achieve lasting change. I help clients focus and hold them accountable -- whether I work with an individual, a team, or an entire congregational system. I strive to go beyond the immediate issues, and build capacity that leaves clients more capable of handling future challenges on their own.
Leadership Development and Team Building
I tailor my approach to the client and the context: one size does not fit all. I strive to help congregational leaders reach consensus around vision, mission and goals, and to clarify the responsibility of board members, committee chairs and key staff and their expectations of each other as part of that team. I understand and raise awareness of the varied, and sometimes conflicting, roles that congregational leaders play, and help leaders and teams identify solutions and commit to next steps to maintain gains or promote further development.
One-on-one coaching creates space for reflection. Coaching enables growth through the consolidation of experience, and promotes the development of leadership skills. The time of clergy and senior leaders is one of the congregation’s most precious resources; coaching helps to focus and apply this resource to best serve the organization’s mission. My coaching approach weaves together the “doing” and “being” of leadership effectiveness in order to address talents and abilities, patterns of behavior, motivation, character, and habitual ways of thinking. Throughout the coaching relationship, I feed back to clients my experience of them, building self-awareness and serving as a springboard for examining how they might be experienced by others. I work both in-person and by phone, designing flexible schedules and programs to meet client needs.
Management and Supervision
All employees in all settings deserve to know what is expected of them and how well they are achieving those expectations. With expectations spelled out, organizations and individuals can achieve improved levels of performance and motivation. I help congregations identify necessary competencies and goals for various positions or group of positions. I can also help staff leaders develop feedback systems that will strengthen the staff team. I use seminars, reading groups, interactive sessions, roleplaying, and individual work to develop supervisory, managerial, and team-building skills.
Organizational Effectiveness and Organizational Development
I consult on identifying and addressing dynamics associated with achieving the congregation’s mission. These might involve volunteer engagement, congregational vitality, organizational culture, communications, operations, interpersonal relationship, management processes, or organizational design.
- B.B.A., Baruch College, New York City NY
- M.B.A., New York University, New York City NY
- Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Certification
- Coaching Accreditation, Association for Coaching (AC)
- Certified in a variety of assessment/feedback tools, includingVoices (Lominger); Benchmarks (Center for Creative Leadership); Compass (Right); Managing Personal Growth (Blessing/White); and AEM-Cube (Human Insight)
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“Through Linda’s consultation services, we were able to make tremendous strides forward. We continue to transition from being a small minyan for 12 years into a now- full synagogue and community center with an overnight quadrupled budget.” --Dr. David Sitt, Chairman, Magen David of Manhattan