Succession Consulting & Coaching

I help nonprofit executives and boards navigate CEO succession.

CEO succession is one of your most important responsibilities and probably your least understood job.

This isn’t surprising. Executive transitions happen infrequently. And managing them requires skills that fall far outside the day-to-day role of governance and management.

Plus, succession projects are complicated and time-consuming. There are lots of challenges, lots of risks, and big changes for the organization and its people. And like it or not, transitions provoke emotional and political undercurrents.

For the executive, choosing to leave the role, and possibly one’s career, can be a wrenching decision. And, that decision is accompanied by lots of questions ranging from “What should I do next?” to “How should I prepare my organization?”

What’s more, many executives have deep concerns about their board’s ability to choose their successor wisely, provoking all sorts of questions about the fate of the career investment they made in building their organization.

Managing turnover in the CEO role is one of the most complicated projects that a board can face. Transitions require unique skills far removed from the usual governance role. Even the best boards aren’t ready to manage the process well without some serious preparation.

You need a plan, and you deserve an expert guide. I’ll give you both.

My approach is based on deep experience — 25 years’ experience helping boards and executives navigate the transition process. First-hand experience as a former nonprofit executive director and five-time interim CEO. Experience coaching hundreds of soon-to-retire nonprofit CEOs through dozens of executive retreats since the early 2000s. As an author, co-creator, and contributor to many of the executive transition, leadership succession, and organizational sustainability planning practices in use today.

Here’s how I help…

Executives who are planning to exit the CEO role. They’re planning to retire or leave their position within one to three years. I help them develop an exit strategy and related plans to prepare themselves and their organization to flourish in life’s next chapter. The approach is based on the exit strategy concept from my book, The Nonprofit CEO Succession Roadmap: Your Guide for the Journey to Life’s Next Chapter. Click here for more info on how I work with executives.

Boards who are facing a CEO transition within the next 18 months. I work with boards to plan the CEO transition — to avoid the pitfalls and capture the opportunities. I help them recognize that a CEO transition is more than a hiring exercise — it’s a long arc of events and a significant organizational change. Then I help them develop a plan to manage the entire transition process, including the executive search and selection. Together, we assess their needs for external support and identify search firms or other advisors that best fit their requirements. Also, I’m available to coach their team throughout the project. My approach is based on the “Six Transition Tasks” framework outlined in my BoardSource book, Chief Executive Transitions: How to Hire and Support a Nonprofit CEO, Second EditionClick here for more info on how I work with boards.

For more information about how I can help you and your organization plan for CEO succession and ensure leadership continuity, please call (240) 813-4681, send me an email, or book a free, no-obligation call.