Leadership Transitions: How to Avoid the Mess

I am delighted to be this week’s guest on Joan Garry’s podcast “Nonprofits are Messy” on the topic “leadership transitions, how to avoid the mess.” Join us for a lively discussion that covers:

Nonprofts Are Messy Episode 29
  • Recent trends in leadership transitions in the nonprofit sector
  • How to create a WRITTEN succession plan (and why it’s critical)
  • The single biggest mistake boards make in succession planning
  • The three things a board needs to do when confronted with a transition
  • Pros and cons of hiring internal candidates
  • What to do if you think you made the wrong hire

Here’s the link: Leadership Transitions: How to Avoid the Mess

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Developing Leaders, Developing Successors

Interview with Allison Bogdanović Executive Director, Virginia Supportive Housing

There are two pervasive myths – false assumptions – that are holding back the development of leaders in the nonprofit sector.

The first myth is that leader development is too complicated and too expensive, which makes it the exclusive domain of the “big guys.” In other words, it’s for those mythic “other” nonprofits. You know, the ones with unlimited resources, lots of staff and plenty of time to do things… Just, not us.

The second myth is that organizations develop leaders. Behind this myth is the idea that leader development is something that the organization provides or does to its people. Unfortunately, this myth is causing many people to postpone leadership development actions that they could be taking today because they’ve bought into the false belief that it’s up to their organization to provide some sort of program or send them to a course that will magically turn them into a leader.

This case study interview dispels both of those myths. We will be talking with Allison Bogdanovic, who is executive director of Virginia Supportive Housing (virginiasupportivehousing.org) in Richmond, Virginia.

Allison was an internal candidate who was promoted to the CEO position in 2013 after a competitive search process that involved internal and external candidates. Allison shares her experience of developing as an emerging leader, her perspective on the hiring process, and the realities of transitioning from a senior leader into the CEO role. 

Whether you’re a CEO or senior manager who wants to do a better job of developing leaders in your nonprofit, or you are a nonprofit staff member who wants to move up the career ladder, Allison shares wisdom and insights that can help you.

Many thanks to Allison and the folks at Virginia Supportive Housing for sharing their experience with us. To learn more about Virginia Supportive Housing, please visit virginiasupportivehousing.org.

Below is a guide to the topics covered in this case study.

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Exits From the Top Episode #1 – Welcome

Welcome to Episode #1 of Exits From the Top. This is a short welcome to the Exits From the Top podcast and YouTube channel and overview of future episodes. Our goal is to help soon-to-retire executives  to take charge of their exits and prepare themselves and their organizations to thrive in life’s next chapter.

Watch the Video Version

What We Cover

The episodes are going to be organized around four themes.

  1. Strengthening the organization before and during the leadership transition. We will start off with a series of six interviews with national thought leaders who are experts in various aspects of organizational sustainability and capacity building.
  2. Succession tools and strategies. We will continue the interviews with subject matter experts and cover topics ranging from late career salary negotiations to managing transition communications. And many more nuts and bolts topics like that.
  3. Preparing for life’s next chapter.  This series will look at life on the other side of the retirement threshold, covering topics such as creating a magnetic post-career project – something that draws you into life’s next chapter. And many other post-career lifestyle topics.
  4. Succession Stories. This will be an ongoing series of voice of experience interviews with colleagues – former executives who have made the transition to post-career life. They’ll be sharing with us succession and transition tips as well as advice about life beyond the leadership role.

We hope that you find Exits From The Top to be more than just a podcast – that it’s a master course on executive succession planning.

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Is Your Nonprofit Ready for the Boomer Retirement Wave?

The wave is here and building

In 2011 we witnessed the beginning of a major social phenomenon that received very little attention in the media — the leading edge of the Baby Boom generation began to turn 65, the traditional age for retirement. This age cohort, born in the 19 years between 1946 and 1964, added nearly 80 million* residents to the US population. By contrast, the 19 years following the “Boomer generation” saw only 66 million births, including the 12 years between 1965 and 1976 that are commonly characterized as the “Baby Bust.”

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