The Nonprofit CEO Succession Roadmap: Your Guide for the Journey to Life’s Chapter is now available on Amazon!
This is the first book ever to…
- Look at CEO succession through the executive’s eyes.
- Focus on flourishing in life’s next chapter – for the executive and the organization.
- Clarify the departing executive’s role in leadership succession and define the three jobs of a leader-in-transition.
- Help executives manage the personal and professional – and the emotional – challenges of the transition into post-career life.
It’s based on practical experience gleaned from nearly three decades of helping hundreds of nonprofit leaders prepare for and manage turnover in their chief executive position, plus a ton of fresh information based on extensive research from fields ranging from the neuroscience of change to successful aging.
For a limited time, Kindle Unlimited subscribers can read the book for free!
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The circumstances surrounding most CEO terminations are usually more complicated than they appear. I’ll leave the termination process to the legal experts. Instead, this article covers how to put the organization back on track after the inevitable trauma of a CEO termination.
When a board fires or forces out its CEO, two human tendencies come into play: heap all the blame on the departed executive and rush to hire a new one.
When a board fires or forces out its CEO, two human tendencies come into play. The first is to heap all the blame on the departed executive—to link the organization’s problems to the perceived deficiencies of the former CEO. This attitude can blind the board to the other very real underlying problems that helped to precipitate the termination, including the board’s potential complicity in creating some of the circumstances that led to the departure.
The second tendency is to rush to hire a new executive. Lulled by the idea that the problems can all be traced back to the “flaws” of the former executive, the board often scrambles to hire their next CEO. Many begin by looking for someone who is something of a mirror opposite of the departed executive. Fresh off the heels of the termination, the board usually starts seeking candidates who have strengths where the departed CEO had weaknesses.
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I pre-ordered this book as soon as I heard about it. I was expecting a sequel to Zimmerman and Bell’s earlier book, Nonprofit Sustainability. But The Sustainability Mindset is actually a successor to that important, earlier work.
My first impression is awe at the authors’ ability to pack so many rich ideas and useful tools into just 200 pages. Beyond the sage advice, I counted no less than 43 figures, 7 tables, 4 sample exhibits, 3 case studies and 23 templates.
The book walks you through a six-step sustainability planning process. As in their earlier work, the central tool of this book is the “matrix map,” a 2-axis, 4-quadrant table that plots the dual bottom-line of a nonprofit: mission impact and financial viability. The idea is that the leadership team assesses the organization’s programs and determines each program’s “profitability” and mission impact. The results are plotted on the matrix map, using circles that are scaled according to each program’s expenses. The composite map provides a comprehensive picture of the organization’s business model. See the example below.
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