Work with boards

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

Managing a CEO transition 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 a routine job – at least for most boards.

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

  • Your departing executive will be a hard act to follow. He/she is a long-term executive, maybe a founder or otherwise transformational leader. 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 challenging task of terminating your current executive. Or maybe your executive has already left and there’s been a messy departure.
  • You’re wondering how to maintain the momentum of a highly successful organization.
  • Or, 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.” Your level of concern is high regardless of the situation you face.

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 in all three seats at this table — multiple times as a board member, executive, and consultant. I have been a member of nonprofit boards as they have gone through an executive transition. As a former chief executive and five-time interim CEO, I’ve experienced transitions up close and personal. 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 meeting directly on my calendar.