Nonprofit chief executives and board chairs share the desire for their organizations to thrive. Developing a strong working relationship is essential to making this happen. Leading by example – as a cohesive team – you set a tone that can resonate organization-wide. […]
Leading a nonprofit is hard work. Internal and external issues arise that demand attention, and the solutions may not be easy. When issues go unattended, they may become so significant that they potentially endanger the organization in some way. But this doesn’t need to be the case. With a strong leadership and skillful use of board meeting agendas, nonprofit executives and their boards can have the important conversations so they may be proactive and responsive and not caught off guard. […]
This post is adapted from a white paper I wrote several years ago. The topic continues to be relevant.
A nonprofit executive director’s performance review is about more than just how well she/he is doing the job. For the chief executive it is about leadership, professional development, sharing accomplishments (personal and organizational), receiving feedback, and goal setting. For the board, the chief executive’s performance evaluation is about leadership, fiduciary responsibility, being a responsible employer, goal setting and achievement, and success – success for the organization and the individual. […]
Earlier this fall, an executive coaching client introduced me to the following quote by Existential psychiatrist Viktor E. Frankl, which continues to resonate in my mind:
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
I can’t get it out of my head! It is relevant and important every day, for all of us. It helps us think before we speak. It keeps us from reacting in habitual ways. It affords us opportunity to shape our lives, to do our finest work, to tackle seemingly insurmountable obstacles, to continually strive to be our […]
You have just hired a new senior executive. Congratulations! Now what?
When the search activities conclude, the transition continues and a well-planned onboarding process is critical. In the best scenario, a transition task force (which might be the search committee) will have contact with the new executive in the period from offer acceptance to first day on the job. Having a plan for this “in-between” time will make onboarding go more smoothly. It will also permit the transition task force to discuss onboarding with the new executive to learn what she/he would like included.
Onboarding a new nonprofit executive may seem daunting. Depending on the size and complexity of an organization, […]
Welcome to Your (New) World!
It’s 7:00 p.m. on Saturday night. The doorbell rings. You open the door and greet your dinner guests. You say, “So glad to see you! The coat closet is over there (pointing). Make yourselves at home. Just go in the kitchen, I think there’s some wine and some food. You’re smart, I know you’ll figure it out and cook up something. I’m going to run upstairs and take a shower. Back soon.”
It’s difficult to imagine inviting guests over with such little forethought. What would Miss Manners say about this inhospitable “hello”? […]
As the adage goes, the only constant in life is change. When a transition occurs at the top of any organization, it needs to be managed with good judgment and planning for the future success of the organization and all its stakeholders. In a nonprofit, it is the board’s role to handle this process.
Why Conduct a Needs Assessment?
Indeed, the stakes are high for a nonprofit board of directors charged with the responsibility of managing an executive leadership transition. Among the many questions that loom are:
- What is the scope of the chief executive’s job?
- What are the necessary skills the next chief executive must possess in order to lead the organization […]
It was not necessarily my intention to mine any further the situation put forth in my August 2016 blog post, Executive Transition: Cautionary Tale #1 – Settling for Less. I had a completely different topic in mind for the December blog post. However, it turns out that the last lines of the August post are haunting me now. […]
Last month I shared a cautionary tale about what can go wrong when an organization compromises in their choice of a new executive director due to search fatigue or poor preparation.
This month, I present a tale about what can happen in an executive transition when there is lackof good will among the board of directors and a lapse in honoring one’s role as a trustee of an organization.
Often in the case with significant decisions, a board of directors will agree up front to emerge from its deliberations in unanimity. This desire to present a united face to […]
This post is the first of two that discuss what can go wrong when hiring a nonprofit executive.This month I’ll talk about what happens when a board of directors settles for less and the downside of fatigue with the process. Next month I’ll discuss what can happen when a board member undermines the transition process.
Hiring a nonprofit executive is too important to do with anything but the utmost of care. Even with strong planning something can go wrong. That’s real life. What is truly unfortunate is when an executive transition is not successful when, with more attention to the […]