Work with boards

I help nonprofit boards plan and manage the turnover in their CEO position.

Managing the turnover in your CEO position is one of the biggest, most challenging jobs your board will face. Where do you turn to for advice? That one sentence in the bylaws that says “the board hires and supervises the executive director” isn’t much help.

CEO succession is complicated – more complicated than most boards realize. These transitions take time – a lot more time than most boards think. There are lots of places for them to go wrong. And, they require unique skills that are outside the board’s everyday governance role. Hiring a new CEO certainly isn’t routine governance – at least for most boards.

Adding to the questions and challenges, you may be facing one of these situations…

  • Your departing executive is a long-term, beloved leader, maybe even a founder, and everybody’s worried about “filling those big shoes.”
  • Your executive didn’t give you very much notice, so you’re concerned about how to cover a potential leadership gap.
  • You’re facing the prospect of terminating your current executive. Or maybe your executive has already left, or there’s been a messy departure.
  • Your organization is highly successful, and you’re wondering how to maintain that momentum.
  • Conversely, your organization may be struggling financially or politically, and you wonder how that’s going to affect your ability to hire a new executive.

Whatever your situation, you want to “do it right.” But your level of concern, if not anxiety, is high. You may feel like the risk and complexity are conspiring to test you.

These are challenging circumstances for any board. Lots of risks. Lots of concerns. Lots of questions.

How do I know this? Because I’ve been a board member too. As a former chief executive and five-time interim CEO, I’ve been on the other side of the transition table, as well. And, since 1993, I’ve helped hundreds of nonprofit leaders plan for and manage turnover in their chief executive position.

How can I help you?

First, we’ll get a handle on your transition challenge. We’ll sort out all the particulars of your situation, and we’ll address your concerns – the executive’s and the board’s.

Second, I’ll help you break down the complexity into six manageable “transition tasks,” and I’ll walk you through those tasks step-by-step.

Third, I’ll help you map out a plan. A plan that outlines the major steps and a timetable, gets your committee in place, outlines their charge, and gets the process started.

Fourth, if you want, I’ll help you implement your plan, serving as your on-call expert.

Your peace of mind can begin with a phone call.

Sometimes a focused conversation is all that’s needed. An opportunity to talk over your plans with an expert. Get affirmation about where you’re on track. Discover the things you haven’t thought about but should. On the whole, get a clear eye on your situation and the road ahead.

For more information about how I can help you and your board plan for CEO succession and ensure leadership continuity, please call (240) 813-4681, send me an email, or book a Zoom video meeting with me.