Insights from Starboard: Leadership Transitions

We are happy to share what we learn, and we do this as workshop instructors, by developing curriculum for the Maine Association of Nonprofits and individual clients, and by offering advice on our Starboard blog. Take a look. You just might find the guidance you need!

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Preparing for Nonprofit Leadership Retirements

For more than a decade, demographers and nonprofit experts have been sounding the alarm about an enormous wave of leadership retirements poised to sweep through the nonprofit sector as baby-boomers reach retirement age. This “wave” is sure to change, and is changing, the nonprofit leadership landscape, but how it impacts the sector will depend greatly …
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When it’s time to go – guidance for long-time leaders

My New Year’s resolution in 2005 was to step-down from my job as president of our region’s United Way. After 11 years in what I still describe as “the best real job I’ve ever had,” it definitely wasn’t an easy decision. I had too much regard for the organization, the people, and my community to …
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Nonprofit Leadership Succession-Passing the Baton

Community based nonprofits function most effectively when they build a culture of shared leadership, where the development of new leaders on both the board and staff levels is ongoing. Since long term mission impact should be the goal of every nonprofit, it’s important to explicitly acknowledge that key board and staff leaders only serve the …
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Why you need a transition committee AND a search committee

Searching for a new leader and ensuring a smooth transition from one leader to the next are two different things. While some search committees end-up being called the “transition committee,” and may even find that their work extends beyond the search, we recommend nonprofit boards consider having one committee for the search and a separate …
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Start Your CEO Succession Planning with an Easy Conversation

While most nonprofit board members appreciate that one of their core responsibilities is, as they often put it, to “hire and fire” the chief executive, they usually work very hard to avoid doing either. Leadership transitions can be traumatic moments for organizations, especially if they aren’t carefully planned. Yet, when I ask board members if …
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Mission Driven Leadership Transitions

A significant generational leadership transition is already taking place in the nonprofit sector, which will continue to accelerate over the next decade. This presents both challenges and opportunities to a nonprofit’s ability to sustain and enhance mission impact and creates a powerful incentive for departing nonprofit CEO’s and boards to develop mission driven processes that …
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