TO DO UNTIL THE NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR COMES
executive director just announced he/she is going to retire or take
another job. There are 3 ways to react to this situation. Which
of three that follow do you think is the best way?
Look for a clone. Our executive director has been absolutely
perfect. We need to find another just like him/her. We know that
will be difficult, but we will try.
know what we dont want. Our executive director had
a couple real weaknesses. We need to find someone who does not have
those weaknesses. Lets get going!
look at this as an opportunity for growth.
This is the time for the board to get involved. Lets
review our strengths and weaknesses and our strategic plan. Then
lets design a profile and search for the executive director
with the qualities we need to implement our plans for the future.
The person we had was great (or at least fine for yesterday) but
we have a challenge and opportunity now to find the person who will
be right for tomorrow.
(3) is the way to go. If you go with (1), you will be disappointed because
you will dangerously restrict your vision of the future. Besides, no
two people are exactly the same and searching for a clone doesnt
If you go with number (2), you will also be disappointed because you
will limit your search by living in the past rather than in the future.
You will confine your search to two or three qualities and lose the
big picture. You will probably end up with someone who may not have
the weaknesses you worry about but who also may not have the strengths
Its important to remember that change is a constant, and boards
need to focus on what has changed and how to deal with the opportunities
and challenges that those changes offer. An executive director search
is an important time to do this. It involves the board constructively
and brings themtogether to envision an even brighter future. This will
empower them to work with the new executive director as full partners.
Remember, no matter how good an executive director is, he/she cant
do what needs to be done without the help of the board!
bookstore for Jeanne Bradner's book on boards: "The
Board Members Guide: A Beneficial Bestiary", "Leading
Volunteers for Results: Building Communities Today" and
of MBA Publishing All materials copyright
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