Coming Soon – Succession Planning Guide for Soon-to-Retire CEOs

The Nonprofit CEO Succession Roadmap: Your Guide for the Journey to Life’s Next Chapter

Written for soon-to-retire nonprofit leaders, it offers a fresh take on executive succession planning based on a “life course” view of the path toward post-career life. The book walks you through the last few years and months of an executive’s job tenure and explores how you can prepare yourself and your organization to thrive in life’s next chapter. The focus is on assessing your personal and organizational readiness for the big move, and then creating an exit strategy based on four core principles:

  1. Take charge of your exit
  2. Prepare your organization
  3. Prepare yourself
  4. Lead the organization through the transition

The book covers all the steps between first inklings about moving on to actually leaving the organization as well as the personal and professional considerations that you must confront along the way.

In The Nonprofit CEO Succession Roadmap, I’ve distilled over 20 years of experience advising more than 100 organizations, dozens of interviews with executives, insights from nearly two decades of leading workshops for transitioning leaders and their boards, and the results of extensive research.

Much has been written about executive succession and transition. But until now, almost all of it has focused on the board and organization’s points of view. The Nonprofit CEO Succession Roadmap is the first-of-its-kind guide to concentrate on the departing CEO’s role in their own succession. It explores their personal and professional opportunities and challenges in preparing themselves and their organization for this pivotal change. It offers concrete advice and tools to make the most of this unique time in the life of the executive and their organization.

To sign up for advance notice when the book is released, simply use the sign-up form in the right-hand column of this page.

Free CEO Succession Planning GuideThe Nonprofit CEOs How-To Guide for Developing an Exit Strategy

Free 20-page guidebook for soon-to-retire executives. Designed to help you create an exit strategy that prepares yourself and your organization to thrive in life’s next chapter. Covers the top-level points from my  forthcoming book, The Nonprofit CEO Succession Roadmap:

  • What’s an exit strategy and why you might need one
  • Timing versus readiness
  • Organizational readiness
  • Executive readiness
  • The departing executive’s three jobs
  • The evolving role of the departing leader
  • Preparing the organization
  • Preparing yourself
  • The six stages of executive succession
  • Managing emotions
  • Coming to closure

Free. Available when you sign up for updates. See the form in the right-hand column.

cet_cvrChief Executive Transitions: How to Hire and Support a Nonprofit CEO

published by BoardSourcemcadam

Chief Executive Transitions is a comprehensive guide to help boards navigate the hiring process and oversee a successful leadership transition. It includes checklists, key questions board members will need to answer as they go through the process, and practical real-life examples. 118 pages with an accompanying CD-ROM that includes 13 helpful documents, including a resume scoring sheet, sample timeline, sample interview questions, and a sample 90-day entry plan to help ensure the success of the newly hired chief executive. Winner of the 2009 Terry McAdam Book Award – best of the nonprofit management literature.

Available from BoardSource and

The Community Action Partnership Sustainability Toolkit

This toolkit is a three-part series of succession and sustainability guides published by the Community Action Partnership, the national association for Community Action Agencies and their leaders. Although the guides were written with Community Action Agencies in mind, the principles apply to all nonprofits. They were designed to help leaders strengthen the capacity of their organizations, especially those organizations facing a CEO transition in the near future. Each of the guides can be used individually, but they can be used together to help leaders strengthen their organizations and manage leadership turnover.

CAP Toolkit - Part 1 - Sustainability Planning CoverThe Organizational Sustainability Planning Guide is a tool for assessing and strengthening the areas critical to the organization’s long-term sustainability by conducting an organizational sustainability assessment and using the results to develop an organizational sustainability action plan. Click here for FREE download.



CAP Toolkit - Part 2 - Succession Planning CoverThe Executive Succession Planning Guide provides an overview of three approaches to succession planning and presents a detailed approach for developing “succession essentials,” a board-adopted succession policy for the chief executive position and a companion emergency backup plan for the CEO position, but it can be adapted to other staff leadership positions as well. Click here for FREE download.


CAP Toolkit - Part 3 - Executive Transition Management CoverThe Executive Transition Management Guide presents a three-phase approach for managing turnover in a leadership position, especially the CEO position. Click here for FREE download.