The proof of a CEO search is in the post-selection “pudding”

Serving on a CEO/presidential search committee is a weighty assignment. Constituent hopes are high. Inquiring minds want to know.  And employees wait impatiently for a messiah, or at the least, a Moses. So much rests on the shoulders of a few. If ever there was a reason to pray, this is it. And all the […]

When selecting a leader, be careful for what you wish.

Leadership is on my mind a lot these days, probably because I’ve missed the submission deadline for a chapter I’ve been asked to write on the topic. (Whew, I got the confession over and done.) Then there’s my role on a presidential transition team on behalf of an organization with which I’m a board member. […]

Announcing your new leader with fanfare

When asked to serve on the transition team for the newly selected head of a ministry organization, I said “yes,” but with more than a little fear and trembling. I worry that hovering will annoy or worse, dis-empower the appointed one. On the other hand, I’ve lived through messes caused by a too-hands-off approach by […]

New leader, you thought the board wanted what?

Nonprofit boards are prone to seek a change-agent as their next CEO. You know, a visionary who can inspire the masses and kick a few strategic asses. A “savior” who, without breaking a sweat, rights all wrongs, separates wheat from chaff, and sets the organization on the path to success.  Within the first 90 days […]

Servant leadership and rugged altruism

Just when I thought servant leaders had gone the way of the dodo bird, three such extraordinary individuals showed up in a David Brooks New York Times column. In this gorgeous piece of writing, he differentiates the “many Americans who go to the developing world to serve others” from “the smaller percentage who actually end […]

Bagging a different kind of CEO

My recent involvement in three CEO searches (one as counsel and two as a member of the search committee) has given me a new appreciation for Flannery O’Connor’s lament about a good man [woman] being hard to find. It’s no small task for faith-based nonprofits — and especially those with modest budgets — to fill the seat at the top.    For several years now, the average tenure of nonprofit […]