20 lessons from a hiring debacle
August 4, 2014 The NonProfit Times
In his book “The Board Game” William R. Mott illustrates lessons that were learned due to the resignation of the head of a private school. Mott wrote that these have wider nonprofit implications.
- The search committee must be unanimous in its hiring decision.
- Executive sessions are destructive to the CEO-chair relationship.
- Trustees in conflict with administration regarding operational issues must recuse themselves or leave.
- Bullying by board members is a disease the chair must address.
- Serious discussions are necessary, but severe, abusive criticism is usually unwarranted and often destructive.
- Secret board meetings demonstrate the worst possible behavior.
- Allowing board members to badly treat the head and other administrators suggests a lack of leadership by the chair.
- Once a process has been established and decisions made, reversing a decision because someone simply disagrees is unacceptable.
- No board member is exempt from giving something to fundraising efforts.
- Board term limits are useful and vital.
- It is critical that the head be part of selecting new trustees.
- Always remember why you got into this profession.
- Trust and respect must be at the core of all relationships.
- It is not the board’s responsibility to address concerns parents bring to them.
- Staff members who complain to a board member without trying to resolve an issue internally might be committing insubordination.
- Trustees who expect special treatment or make intrusive requests do not provide proper leadership.
- Effective, enlightened leadership makes all the difference in the world.
- The head or appropriate staff should always make personnel decisions.
- There are essential characteristics that must be present to ensure a healthy relationship between the chair and the head/CEO.
- The chair should not represent extremes in philosophy or action.