Connections - Fall 2015 - (Page 19)
Is the incoming chief elected officer, AKA president or
chairman of the board, ready for the job?
BY BOB HARRIS, CAE
TRANSITIONING FROM VP or
president-elect to the office of the
president requires preparation. He
or she assumes responsibility for
advancing the mission, serving the
members, protecting the assets,
solving the problems, addressing the
media and inspiring the leadership,
among other duties. The more one
prepares - the better the results.
Use this self-paced diagnostic
tool built upon three governance
foundations: Purpose, Plan and
Performance. Finish the assessment
then schedule a meeting between the
incoming president and executive
director to discuss each person's
image of success for the term ahead.
Purpose: The reason for existence.
Duties - Do I understand the
responsibilities of the chief
elected officer? Is there anything
I don't feel comfortable with
for which I should find help, for
example rules of order or finances?
Am I able to inspire others to
fulfill their volunteer roles?
Organizational Purpose - Is the
mission statement understood by
everyone, including myself, my
leadership team and stakeholders?
Am I ready to ensure that all
efforts and resources are directed
to advancing the mission? Can
I recite the mission, realizing
that it should frame nearly
every action and discussion?
Governance - Have the governing
documents been provided to the
leadership team, including bylaws,
budget and strategic plan? Is the
distinction clear between the
principles of board governance and
Plan: The intent or roadmap to
Intent - Am I able to communicate
a clear vision of a successful year?
Have I communicated my vision
to the leadership team and staff?
Am I confident that everything I
suggest, say and do will advance
the organization, leaving it in better
form than when I started my term?
Strategic Plan - Am I conversant
about the strategic plan? Is the
leadership fully versed about the
plan? Will it need to be updated or
drafted during by term?
Business Plan - Are assignments
tracked with a program of work or
business plan? Will progress on the
strategic plan and program of work
be reported at board meetings?
Agenda - Do I understand a
well designed board agenda is a
collaborative effort between the
president and executive director?
Will the format lend itself to
efficient, effective meetings?
Will re-crafting the agenda
Committees - Committees
supplement the work of the board.
Have I inventoried them, aligned
them with the strategic plan,
appointed chairs and assigned
current-year assignments? Do
committees have board and staff
liaisons to champion their efforts?
Performance: The process and
behavior for carrying out the plan.
Personal Performance - Am I
prepared for my role, able to inspire
and readily share the credit with
others? Is my leadership style
authentic? Do I have the support of
my company and family for the time
and resources required personally?
Organizational Performance -
Am I focused on outcomes and
members' needs? While many
ideas will arise, do they lend
themselves to the broader good of
the organization? How should we
assess our performance?
Results - Will results be
achieved throughout and by
the end of my term? Are there
sufficient resources to support the
work at hand? Am I able to think
beyond my term of office to lay a
solid foundation for future leaders?
Succession - Though I am
just beginning my term, am I
able to identify future leaders?
Can I maximize the role of
the incoming president to
help him or her prepare?
Preparation pays off. The
three Ps: Purpose, Plan and
Performance, keep the chief
elected officer focused.
Bob Harris, CAE, provides free
governance tips and templates
at www.nonprofitcenter.com. He
facilitates strategic planning and
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Connections - Fall 2015
Message from the Chair
GSAE News & Events
Thank You, GSAE Volunteers!
SAO Leadership Program Strengthens Association on Multiple Levels
Purpose, Plan, Performance
Member Perspectives: The Undeniable Significance of the Handwritten Note
GSAE Summer Events Wrap-Up
Destination: The Outer Banks
Choices: There’s No Debating Our Leaders
Index of Advertisers
Connections - Fall 2015