20 Mistakes When Making A Hiring Decision

September 6, 2017       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; and,
  • The chair should not represent extremes in philosophy or action.