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Priscilla Rosenwald: When Leaders Leave
Your CEO has been recruited away for a dream job. Where does that leave you? Priscilla Rosenwald, co-author of “When Leaders Leave” wants you and your board to plan for leadership transition long before it’s announced.
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Hello and welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. I’m your aptly named host it’s friday, the first of november twenty thirteen oh, you know that i hope you were with me last week. I’d be forced to endure falik yah leitess if i came to learn that you had missed dr seuss stories, what khun green eggs and ham teach you about digital storytelling? Kelly jarrett with blackbaud had tips for each step of the story arc and lots of great storytelling examples and fraud protection. Melanie morton, manager of blackbaud forms, explained where you may be vulnerable and had a limit your liability for nefarious deeds like check fraud. Both of those were recorded at bebe con this past year. I just last month this week when leaders leave your ceo has been recruited away for a dream job. Where does that leave you? Priscilla rosenwald, co author of when leaders leave once you and your board to plan for leadership transition long before it’s announced she’s with me for the hour on tony’s take to roughly halfway through my thanks to two very loyal listeners we are sponsored by rally bound software for runs, walks and rides they are at rally bound dot com it’s. My pleasure to introduce priscilla rosenwald. She is the co author of when leaders leave she’s an executive recruiter. She and her co author have the site transition works dot com where you’ll find their book. Priscilla has a long history in executive recruiting and board recruiting. Priscilla rosenwald, welcome to the show. Dying. I’m delighted to join you. I’m glad you could thank you from philadelphia, right? Are you in philadelphia now? Yes. I love philly. Um, leadership changes these thiss can have a very big impact on on staff, on boards, on organizations. What? What was the impetus for your book? The evidence for the book was all the experiences that my colleague and i were having being called into organizations when the crisis already occurred. Either a long term leader had given notice on the organization was not prepared for that. Or really, there was a lot of turmoil with a founder and no ability to think about how to have any staff step up and run the organization when the founder exited. So we kept hearing these stories again, and again and again on i thought that if we gave people from guidelines in some steps tow, walk this difficult road, we could make it a lot easier and a lot of scary. As you mentioned, this could be not only a founder, but also along longstanding leader absolutely it’s really about ah, high profile leader who’s really so identified with the organization that everybody thinks of that leader synonymous with the organization, so it may be somebody who didn’t the role ten years, sometimes it’s someone that’s in the roll twenty years and often it’s the founder who certainly the respected respected leader who’s been there a long time, and nobody can imagine the organization without that person. What are some of the other symptoms that we find when there’s one person who had who has this disproportionate power over the organization? Well, often there’s a board that they’ve selected often the board to firms to that leader? So the board often step up in terms of governance, often the talent the organization has not been cultivated, so really it’s, not often a strong leadership pipeline, and the other piece it gets a lot of organizations into trouble is that high profile leader is often the face of all the thunders, so everybody’s terrified that if they leave, the funders really don’t know the organization and won’t fund projects, it won’t fund a mission, and when we have this board that was put in place by the founder or longstanding leader, then the decision making is all pretty much centralized around one person, right? And the board is like rubber stamp pretty much like that. The board doesn’t often ask enough questions are also get enough information there. They’re thinking that they’re being very responsible, but they’re often missing a lot of information to help them be more strategic. You talk a lot about aligning the organization legacy and the leaders legacy and, you know, of course we have the full hour, so we have time to flush these things out. But but what? What what do you thinking, their organizational leadership legacies kapin way think that’s a conversation that rarely happens. So when i when i talk about legacy, i really mean where the leader is thinking, they want to take the organization what impact they wantto have on the organization and then what impact they want the organization tohave so it’s really the impact, their personal impact and really the organization’s impact during their tenure. Okay, so aligning these things and that sounds like it involves a strategic planning process. Haha it does involve a strategic planning process. Um, however, i’d be curious to know how often in strategic planning these issues are actually discussed. So certainly legacy comes up rarely on the other piece that i wanted talk about that ties in with legacy is also succession planning. Yes. Okay. And you also make the distinction between succession planning and transition planning? Yes. Okay, you make that okay. Why don’t? Why don’t you just generalize that and we’ll have time to go into that detail also. Okay. So succession planning if it’s working well for an organization is an ongoing process, succession planning can actually even start as soon as a new leader is in place. Because it’s really continual planning and it’s really about talent management. It’s really growing the talent of the organization and making sure that the organization, um, is growing in line with the challenges that it’s facing so it’s a much more strategic approach. There is something that we call emergency. Succession planning and every organization needs tto have an emergency plan in place if the ceo is the chief executive, it’s called away for a project, has a personal reason to be away for three to six months. So you do need an emergency succession plan, but that’s not the strategic succession plan. Okay, and then, you know, i mean, you’re laying out different long term plans. We’re going to have time, you know? I don’t want you to go too much detail now because we’re going, going, going to come back to you, but try to get a bunch of things, just lay some, lay some ground for for for everybody, all right now transition planning. What is that? Ha ha! So transition planning is put in place once the leader give notice that they’re leaving or decides to leave, some leaders decide that they’re going to retire in a year, and then the transition place the transition planning get started sometimes there’s not a lot of lead time, but that’s really how the organization is going to manage through the transition to search. And then what happens when a new a new leader is hyre okay, and so that’s the that’s what we’re going to execute when we know that there’s going to be a transition great. And we have the plan in place. That’s transition planning. Okay, so we have succession planning. We have transition planning. Um, you, uh you have ah, terrific example in the book of a, uh a phoenix arizona charity, having having done this successfully, the alignment of the of the legacies, right? Can you share that? Yeah, that was that was really a unique situation in that there was a founder who new they were ready to step aside but didn’t want to completely leave the organization, and they were really highly identified with all the thunders. It doesn’t often work. Tohave a founder stay involved with the organization and a new executive come on board. But with some work on the on the part of the board and on the part of my firm, we were able tio positions the founder tohave a narrowly defined role in terms of funding and cultivating the donors, and allowing the executive director to really take over the leadership of the organization in terms of the mission of the organization in terms of their eyes. That can see in terms of their they’re patient work on dh it’s been two years and now, yep, the founder is gradually and gracefully exiting. Okay, now we have just about a minute before a break. Can you just give our overview before we go to break? What? What? That process was between the oncoming ceo and the founder. So what made it work was a lot of very transparent conversations with the founder board meader ship and the incoming executive director in terms of being very clear about rolls and expectations for each of those people. So the founder that was stepping aside and the new executive director that was coming in very clear expectations that we constantly revisits about how they were communicating and who was responsible for what and having the board step up. The board also had a move from being a founder board into growing members of the board who weren’t all selected by the founders. So all these things were happening parallel and it’s really been it was really to your process. Yeah, and it sounds like some difficult conversations we’re going. We’re going to go to a break when we come back. Priscilla rosenwald. And i will keep talking about this will flush out some of these difficult conversations and and help you get these long term plans in place. Get and get at least get started. Stay with us. Talking alternative radio twenty four hours a day. Do you need a business plan that can guide your company’s growth? Seven and seven will help bring the changes you need. Wear small business consultants and we pay attention to the details. You may miss our coaching and consultant services are guaranteed to lead toe. Right, groat. For your business, call us at nine. One, seven, eight, three, three, four, eight, six zero foreign, no obligation. Free consultation. Checkout on the website of ww dot covenant seven dot com are you fed up with talking points? Rhetoric everywhere you turn is last. All right. Spin ideology. No reality. In fact, its ideology over in tow. No more it’s time for action. Join me. Larry shot a neo-sage tuesday nights nine to eleven easter for the isaac tower radio in the ivory tower will discuss what’s important to you society, politics, business and family. It’s provocative talk for the realist and the skeptic who want to know what’s. Really going on? What does it mean? What can be done about it? So gain special access to the ivory tower. Listen to me. Very sharp. Your neo-sage tuesday nights nine to eleven new york time go to ivory tower, radio dot. Com. For details. That’s, ivory tower radio cop everytime, was a great place to visit for both entertainment and education. Listening. Tuesday nights nine to eleven. It will make you smarter, buy-in. Hey, all you crazy listeners looking to boost your business, why not advertise on talking alternative with very reasonable rates? Interested simply email at info at talking alternative dot com. Welcome back to big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Priscilla rosenwald is co author of when leaders leave and that’s, we’re talking about leadership transition planning for leadership transition, priscilla, we’re not talking about bad, bad, bad happenings the leader get it gets hit by a bus, how come we don’t use don’t come you don’t use that in the book that’s such a doom and gloom scenario that whenever that expression comes up, people usually get scared, and i don’t want to continue the conversation, so i know it’s very popular. It’s not a conversation starter for us, so we don’t usually begin discussions about succession planning or transition planning with that expression. Okay? So on the positive, it could be that, as i said in the intro, your leader gets recruited away to a dream job or some some fellowship or research opportunity that they just can’t pass up, right? Or what we find also is that a lot of leaders find it there’s still another career left to them, you know, they run this organization, they’ve enjoyed it, but it doesn’t have to be the only success they have in their lives, so they’re starting to think about another way that they could do something different some people want, oh have an academic teaching roll. Some people decide they want to leave and have a consulting practice. So planning for that and having the conversations about that are often what’s really challenging and isn’t the case that some some leaders don’t know how to get out, and then they may have these desires exactly as you’re describing, but they don’t know how to make the move. That’s correct? One one thing that we did here in philadelphia is my colleague and i had an ongoing round table with executives that had been in their roles for a minimum of ten years to talk about how they were positioning the organizations and, you know, having succession conversations, and it was an ongoing group. A lot of the leaders did decide that they were ready to step aside from the organizations, and some of the leaders decided teo reevaluate their role and really reposition the organization. So not everybody decided that they wanted to exit, but everybody used it is a launching pad to think of their legacy and how they wanted their organization to drive. And also how to engage their board differently? Yeah, okay, that exactly. So then i was going to ask you. So what were the next steps whether whether they had decided to leave or or or not, but they were reevaluating what’s the next step after they’ve done the introspective work? Ha! Next step is really looking at two things. One is looking at the board talent and the other one is looking at professional talent, so really making sure that the board has a pipeline of talent there really a succession planning its board level so the board is really engaged in a strategic way and very knowledgeable about the needs and challenges to the organization and ways that other board leaders can step up and work with new people, said it’s, a very tight partnership between the board chair and the high profile leader. So it’s a way to really get boardmember to be more involved in the leadership on the staff side it’s really looking at hell, they’re cultivating talent, so making sure there’s opportunities for staff to grow their skills have more visibility and the other piece it’s really critical that i don’t want to overlook. It thunders that’s often the place where the organization’s really run into difficulty when there’s a transition and that’s it. They haven’t really allowed funders to really need other staff in the organization, and they don’t have a transition plan for how the ceo is going exit and the funders will remain engaged. Okay not-for-profits report, okay, now we’re crossing over into but when we’re talking about the board and the staff and cultivating leadership within that’s, the succession planning, right? Isn’t that part of really kicked into high gear when the transition planning? Right? Right. Okay, but i’m trying to segregate the two so well, so we don’t confuse people. And so i wantto we want to deal with the succession planning part first that’s where we were that’s where you were, you were leading with the board and the staff is that is we’re trying to cultivate leadership and talent from within. Is that right? Okay, how do we do that? How do we identify the right one people? Is this picking one person? You’re going to be the successor? How is this done? My favorite question. No it’s. Not about selecting the successor. It’s really looking at? The people that are in leadership roles, from mid management through senior management and looking to see if people are really having enough opportunities to coach, too. Teo delegate to really move into some of the leadership aspects that the ceo is having, and it’s also incumbent upon them to pass down some of their leadership opportunities so that more people can step up and share leadership with them. So it’s also promoting more transparency around decision making in the organization. So everybody really feels like they’re engaged in the leadership. So it’s, not one person, um, pipeline down to the team in and down to the frontline staff, and this is bored and staff working together in this process, right, absolutely bored working together, okay, we have to put some ego aside. This is. This is very difficult stuff, isn’t it? This is hard stuff. All right? How do we how do we get the founder? Our longstanding leader to start toe advocates? Um, responsibility delegate on dh put that ego side what’s what’s that gonna circle back to what we talked about before. And the conversation that we find most valuable is getting go, the founder of the long term leader to really think about their legacy. And if they start to think about the legacy, their own legacy and the legacy they have for the organisation, it sometimes triggered them. Think about planning and what they want to put in place. Because then they have to put a long range perspective on, you know, if they’re looking thing more short term or more tactical, they’re not off. You’re thinking about their legacy, how they want to re remember. You know what impact they want the organization tohave what credit they want to get for it, okay? And that’s that’s all wrapped up in their in their in their ego but it’s a way to support their ego but helps them think about how their ego translates into the sustainability of the organization. Excellent, excellent. And where does this conversation originate? Is it with the board bringing it to the ceo? It actually does originate at the board level. I mean, sometimes the ceo will start that conversation because you had your because you had your group in philadelphia in our group that was theo’s issues, but it’s really at the board level where that conversation has happen. Here’s here’s one of the problems so i don’t wantto in any way make this sound like it’s easy. The whole conversation of succession often raises a lot of red flags, and ceo thinks that it’s a race, the conversation, then the board thinks they’re ready to leave on the board, thinks if they raise the conversation than they’re telling the ceo that they, you know, they want them to exit if it’s done on a regular basis of succession, conversation is happening at the same time that strategic planning it’s happening, then it’s not a one time conversation, and then it takes some of the sting out of the conversation. It normalizes it. So then we’re continuing to think about developing the ceo and how they’re developing the staff of what it looks like for the organization going forward. It’s not a one time oh, my god, we haven’t thought about what’s gonna happen. Excellent. Yes. That’s. Very good. That’s. A very good point to make and see. This is this is why i love non-profit radio. Because if we were giving you fifteen or twenty minutes, well, everybody gets at least twenty. But we’re giving you twenty minutes. You know, we wouldn’t be able to get to that to that point of of how difficult, how it’s perceived when either party raises the conversation, but because we have an hour together we get we get to flush this out. So excellent. Thank you. All right, so i want can i point out an example, there’s an example in the book. Okay, well, first of all, every every case study in the book is actually based on our work, but i hope so. I hope he’s not made up my god of dramas don’t know they’re all real, but i worked with a young ceo and they’re sitting there’s a case study about her in there. And from the time she walked into the organization, she talked about succession planning. She said to them, you know, i’m still early in my career, i’m not going to stay here my entire career. I want to be very clear about that, but i’m going to say for a long time and i want to put things in place. So starting with the beginning of her tenure, she constantly talked about succession planning and constantly looked at her legacy and what she was going to do for the organization made amazing things happen. They made some financial decisions, they made some facility decisions, she actually positioned the organization, so when she left, they supported her, they applauded her, they were ready for her successor and she’d been there under ten years. That’s that’s got to be rare with ceo talks about succession planning at the beginning of their tenure, but but it sounds brilliant. It worked for her, and she continues to have a really high profile career in the reason and that’s, another way of, i guess, securing for the board that this isn’t because i’m ready to leave. I just got started, you know, i’m in my first couple of months here, but but we have to plan for when i do leave, right? So how does that make it easier for the board, tio tio here. Well, if if the conversation is less about the person and more about the organization, then it’s much easier conversation have. Okay. Okay. You know, our ideal is to take it away. You asked about egos. We don’t want this to be ego driven. We wanted to really be driven by what’s. Good for the organization. And i don’t want to leave people with the thought that well, i’m the executive director on i’ve been here two years and i didn’t start the succession planning discussion when i started. So it’s too late now, it’s tze not too late, but later. Yeah, okay. And as you point out, make it about the organization. Okay? Is there a is there a committee of the board that should be dealing with this? O r? Is this a full board activity? How do we implement this success in planning process at the boardmember? Great question. So it’s usually may have different names, but on the board it could be the governance committee. Could be the strategic planning commitee. Yeah, sometimes it’s rolled into the nominating committee. But it really is at a committee level. And at that committee there really should be at least one member of the executive team involved, okay? And our succession plan is this this’s a written document that, of course, like a strategic plan. We keep revisiting it’s, not like you put on a shelf. Forget it, but is this is this a written document? It is that the outcome. It is a written document that exactly get revisited along with the strategic plan. So it’s continually revisited in terms of where we’re going, with success in how are the rolls changing of the senior leadership? How is the role changing of the ceo? You know, maybe they started with everything on their plate. Maybe they’re starting to share responsibility, maybe they’re starting teo grow their team. Maybe they’re sending more people out to be the face of the organization, so constantly revisiting that and i want to get back to how important it is for that also happened at the board level, the succession planning it’s really happening concurrently with the board and with staff? Yes, and that i wanted to move to the staff right now. Perfect, because they’re they’re an integral part of this. Um, are they are they involved beyond the it sounds like they are beyond the cultivation of their talents? How is staff involved in this succession planning? Well, they’re really constantly involved because they’re constantly involved in coaching. I say that again and again could supervising and coaching or not one in the same so it’s their role to be coaching talent. Um, it’s really up to them to be part of joining in the decision making, it gives staff the opportunity. Tohave more transparent conversations with chief executive it. Really changes the tenor and the tone of of the leadership of the organization because it means that all the things that could never be talked about publicly now could be talked about. You know, what happens if and let’s think about this and, you know, talk about worst case scenarios, planning for success, planning for challenges, it’s all on the table. Excellent. Okay, as you said earlier, open open conversations, transparent, but but difficult conversations. How do we how do we execute these conversations at the staff level? We having having meetings about succession planning? We’re doing this. I know it’s. I know in general it’s ah it’s ah, conversation with the board. But we’re doing it at board meetings and having staff come. How do we execute this for the staff on nice question you love my questions. I’m i’m pretty pleased myself. So people do it’s not our world, to tell people how to do strategic planning, but usually success full strategic planning, engaging staff as well as the board. So the staff for part of the conversation at the strategic planning level and then and it may cast k down, so it may not be the entire staff, but it may be representative to the staff, but if the staff are engaged in the conversation and it’s easy for them to be part of the follow through and part of the planning if it’s just handed down from the board, it’s really much more challenging for the staff to take a role in it? What if? What if we already have our strategic plan in place? We just we just wrapped it up earlier in twenty thirteen, and we didn’t include succession planning as a part of it. Another good question you wrapped it up, but you wrap it up as a couple of year plan. So it’s a it’s a three year plan, for instance, so the first time you revisit it, so you’re going to revisit a tier one that’s a perfect time to then have the succession plan in conversation. So there’s always windows to commit and have this conversation. And i want to say that i don’t expect that every organization can do this by themselves. It’s all facilitated process, you often need an outside consultant help you have some of these challenging conversation, so i don’t expect the ceo of the boards here to be able to easily step up and lead this. But once the consultant comes in and get the process going, i think the organization can can take their cues and manage it from there. And that’s, typical of strategic planning, generally that’s, the way it’s done. All right, we have to go to another break when we come back. Tony’s, take two. I have two very loyal listeners to thank, and then priscilla and i will continue talking, and we’ll move from succession, planning to transition planning. Stay with us. There e-giving inventing the tubing, getting dink, dink, dink, dink. You’re listening to the talking alternative network waiting to get in. Nothing. Cubine are you suffering from aches and pains? Has traditional medicine let you down? Are you tired of taking toxic medications, then come to the double diamond wellness center and learn how our natural methods can help you, too? He’ll call us now at to one to seven to one eight, one eight, three that’s two one two, seven to one eight, one eight, three or find us on the web at www dot double diamond wellness dot com way look forward to serving you. Hi, i’m ostomel role, and i’m sloan wainwright, where the host of the new thursday morning show the music power hour. Eleven a m. We’re gonna have fun. Shine the light on all aspects of music and its limitless healing possibilities. We’re gonna invite artists to share their songs and play live will be listening and talking about great music from yesterday to today, so you’re invited to share in our musical conversation. Your ears will be delighted with the sound of music and our voices. Join austin and sloan live thursdays at eleven a. M on talking alternative dot com. You’re listening to the talking alternative network. Duitz durney i’m chuck longfield of blackbaud. And you’re listening to tony martignetti non-profit radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Tony’s take too. There are two people that i want to thank very much. I met high energy judy i dubbed her when i hosted a breakfast panel a couple of weeks ago for the association of fund-raising professionals here in new york city, the subject was creating a culture of philanthropy throughout your organization, in business offices and program department’s way beyond just the fund-raising office and, um, judy is a high energy judy, a trustee of a nationwide charity, and she does what i really hoped that boardmember listeners will do. She shares the shows with the staff of the organization when she thinks they’re relevant to their work and that’s that’s what i have in mind as as i’m producing this show for our boardmember listeners that everything isn’t relevant to your organisation, but what is i hope you are passing on, and if you’re in the organizations which most of our listeners are, i hope your your board members are filtering things to you and obviously that you’re thinking on your own that different topics are relevant to your work. But judy was just a perfect example of what i hope boardmember sze are doing as as you are listening, she was also very generous with her compliments of the show, and she had great passion for the charity registration work that i talk about sometimes and that i do in my own consulting. So judy, i didn’t you didn’t have a card, but i always have car. I gave you one of my cards. I offered you half a dozen, but you only took one. Please get in touch with me. I’d love to be in contact with you, judy. And it was a pleasure to meet you. Also eric anderson, eric blog’s at donorsearch reems dot wordpress, dot com and eric wrote a very complimentary post aboutthe show it was called have you discovered non-profit radio yet? He loves the show. He included links to some recent shows linked to the itunes paige. And in his blogged he asks, who is this martignetti guy i love that it was it was very sweet and it was really also very complimentary of the show. And eric, i thank you for introducing the show to your followers on your block and his block again is donorsearch reems dot wordpress, dot com high energy judy eric anderson i thank you very, very much. I’m grateful for your support and regular listening, and that is tony’s take two for friday, first of november forty third show of the year. I can’t give life listener love again, i’m i’m, i’m out of the studio, it will have been about three shows in a row out of the studio, but i will be back, but all the live listeners, you know, where you’re all from and if you’re not from one place, you know, while the other live listeners because i’m always sending so much live listener love, so we know we’re well represented in asia and all those very popular listening states throughout the country. I’m not going to regale you this this week and also, of course, podcast pleasantries very grateful to have all the podcast listeners. Thank you for listening, priscilla let’s, let’s go to yeah, you’re with me, right? I’m with you and i just wanna have mentioned a word that i think is very critical and we haven’t talked about in the first part of our discussions going that word has changed and that really underlies the reason that we wrote with leaders leave and that really underlying the critical issues. So it’s really about helping organizations constantly think about change, be prepared for change the position for change on dh no one knows what the change is going to look like. So it’s a matter of organizations being nimble and putting some of these systems in place. All right, we’re going to talk about the second recommended system or plan moving from the longer term succession planning to the transition planning. And why don’t you remind us? How is this different than the succession planning? So transition planning is put in place once it’s clear that the ceo chief executive is going to be deporting the organization whatever that time frame is, as soon as it’s clear that that train is in place than that the succession planning moved into actual transition planning. Okay. And to make sure that this train does not end up in a train wreck, right, we have a transition plan that’s in place long before we know that there’s going to be a departure. Okay. Right. What? How do we initiate this transition? Planning process so way mentioned this before we have a board committee that’s involved in the transition? Okay, same committee. So there’s a committee there’s a beginning of preparing which staff are going to have leadership will storing the transition? Um, you begin to do the communications about the transition of the chief executive, and you also start to stewart the funders. So the thunders air in place of the thunder start to understand that’s going to be a change in the organization. And i mean individual thunders institutional funders. Nothing is harder for an organization in terms of their long term growth that when a funder find out suddenly that the chief executive is exiting and they weren’t prepared for it, and they get very nervous about their support for the organization. So stewarding the thunder is an important component of your fund-raising professionals will agree those those fundez maybe individual or or institutional when you say fundez you just mean institutions, right? Ok, now you had made the the point. I’m a little confused the earlier that we’re not in the succession plan. We’re not naming the successor now by the time we have to execute our transition plan which again time stands it’s and it’s been in place for a while, but now we have to execute it now. It is time to name a successor. It is, isn’t it? Not necessarily. Okay, well, maybe that’s my confusion. Alright, no, i’m helen it’s a valid confusion success in planning doesn’t necessarily mean identifying a successor. That means identifying a talent pool that can manage the organization. Sometimes there is talent that emerges to be the successor, but it’s much harder to put that responsibility of one person through lots of reasons they might get recruit away in the process or sometimes there they don’t have the right competencies to move into the leadership role. What we see sometimes is the number two is offering operations person, and they do operations really wonderfully, and they get tagged to be the successor, and then they get into the role of being the face of the organization. They’re not comfortable being the things of the organization, they’re not comfortable doing the fund-raising and they may not be comfortable moving out of their operations roll so it’s much harder to identify successor didn’t let that process happen organically, through the transition and through the search process. What are we announcing then, as we’re executing our transition plan? We know there’s going to be a change in leadership. What are we announcing about the the successor or the plan to get to those? Thank you were announcing you love my questions. I’m sorry. I said you love my questions are great communication is about the stability of the organization during the transition. So that means there is a sense of timing for how long the incumbent is going to be there. And it also means often when they’ve been a long term leader or founder identifying an interim executive to be in place in the organization while the recruiting process is happening, it provides a lot of stability to the organization, and it also gives the staff and the board have time to deal with their issues of grief and loss. Because if there’s been a beloved leader, people need that time tohave, um, to catch their breath, to deal with their issues of law and then be prepared. Teo, accept and support a new leader. The role of an interim executive director now are you? Are you recommending that there be an interim person between the last day of the founder or longstanding leader on the beginning? The day the first day of the successor ceo. We always recommend that. D’oh. So so it’s. Not good, it’s. Not good for it in part of the transition. So it’s not good for the person to stay for the ceo to stay until the successor begins. It’s not ideal. Okay, it’s. Not ideal. And the other thing. And thank you for asking that it is. Boards often won the long term leader of founder to not just stay till their successor comes, but stay around and shepherd them through all the systems and policies and introduced him to everybody. Um, you know, i sometimes like in this to a marriage, um, and it’s really hard, if you know, if the husband gets married, has a new wife. And they think the ex wife really has to stay in the picture to talk about how everything happens. It’s something harder. So it’s much better that the high profile will well respect the loved chief executive founder gets a lot of accolades that there’s a public event to honor them, that they get a lot of support during their transition. So they leave feeling have be uncomfortable. And that their successor can come in with a clean slate and that the board looks to the new leader and doesn’t keeping deferring to the former leader. And you recommend that in between there there’d be an interim executive director or interesting in terms? Yes. I’m sorry. You said what i said. I recommend that and more. Okay, i recommend that with a caveat. And the caveat is that the interim executive director bia hyre professional and not the board chair and not usually an acting staff member. And i’m gonna tell you why, okay, but there are okay, we’ll get to the y in a sec, but i just wantto make sure people understand that there are consultants that act as interim executive. Director’s? Yes. There’s, always the pool’s consultant. Sometimes their former executive directors. Um, sometimes they’re people who had leadership roles, and they’re perfectly qualified to come in and serve in an interim capacity. Okay. And now the why you had mentioned a grieving and mourning process. What more you want to say about the why? There should be this interim person it’s partly to deal with the grief and loss. Sometimes, if there’s been a founder long term leader. They haven’t made tough decisions about staff rolls, and often the interim can come in and do the work in the organization prepare the successor to be successful. You don’t really want to hire the new leader to come in and have to do the dirty work that was left over from the former executive. They shouldn’t have to come in on dh deal with challenging employees that should all be done during the interim. The organization has a fresh perspective and is ready to move forward when the new leader comes in. Excellent, very inter treyz thing. And how long do you what what minimum do you recommend for the interim? So a minimum of three months, probably a maximum of six months. Okay, okay. And they have to they have to do some really dirty work, but we all know that they’re going to be leaving. So that legacy of dealing with the challenges which, you know, i think we’re talking about they’re firing people, reorganizing things like that. That, yes, looking scrupulously at finances right now, that’s all done by the interim person who is going to leave in three to six months, right? So they can make some of those hard decisions and ray’s heart issues that may not have happened during the long term leaders tenure. Excellent. Okay, now i don’t know. I don’t think most organizations planned this way. Do they have, isn’t it? Most organizations hyre an interim, and they’ll name someone probably internally, because the timing just works that way, they kind of default into it. Yes, okay, well, you could say in what happens, that’s, really, why we’re very big fans of planning. So if there’s a plan in place, then you can think about what happened, what they anticipate and that you’re never caught by surprise. Okay, okay. We’re going toe. Take a break. And when we come back, priscilla and i are going close this topic a little more on this. Very interesting, the interim, the interim ceo. So stay with us. Dafs you’re listening to the talking alternative network. Are you stuck in your business or career trying to take your business to the next level, and it keeps hitting a wall? This is sam liebowitz, the conscious consultant. I will help you get to the root cause of your abundance issues and help move you forward in your life. Call me now and let’s. Create the future you dream of. Two, one, two, seven, two, one, eight, one, eight, three, that’s to one to seven to one, eight one eight three. The conscious consultant helping conscious people. Be better business people. Have you ever considered consulting a road map when you feel you need help getting to your destination when the normal path seems blocked? A little help can come in handy when choosing an alternate route. Your natal chart is a map of your potentials. It addresses relationships, finance, business, health and, above all, creativity. Current planetary cycles can either support or challenge your objectives. I’m montgomery taylor. If you would like to explore the help of a private astrological reading, please contact me at monte at monty taylor dot. Com let’s monte m o nt y at monty taylor dot com. Talking alternative radio twenty four hours a day. Welcome back, priscilla. I’m really thrilled that we got this made this point about there being an interim person as part of the as part of the plan is part of the transition plan. Absolutely. And you brought in earlier the topic of the funders let talk about that. What should the interim person be saying to the individuals and the institutions that are supporting us? So that’s part of the communication plan? So there’s a communication plan that should go out so the head of development should be working very closely with ian from executive director and the board chair to really talk to all the donors. I’m very concerned about institutional donors because i see a lot of foundations often put funding on hold when there’s a leadership change, so talking to them assuring them about what, how smooth the processes so they understand that there really is a process that the organization is being will manage during the transition seems to make a big difference for funders talking to individual donors about the mission of the organization and moving it from the profile. The leader to the work of the organization really sets the stage for the new leader to commence if you have these succession and transition plans in place, should you share them with institutional funders at the time that you’re making the proposal just toe say, maybe you’re just in a short paragraph that there’s there’s been considerable planning in case there should be a leadership change during the period of your funding? Is that worthwhile? That’s absolutely critical. In fact, thunders are starting to ask for it or that you’re seeing that, yes, they’re starting to ask, what kind of succession planning is in place often old they’re concerned about is the emergency short term planning, but they want to know that organizations, they’re starting to think about it, okay? And since you mentioned the emergency short term planning, let’s, let’s, talk a little about the emergency succession plan. What is that that’s? A new emergency plan for a temporary absence and that’s really, when i say temporary it’s really three to six months of an absence of the executive for a personal issue? Or again, you know, if they have to lead a major panel or a major project, but it’s really good to be short term, so we know they’re going. To be coming back quickly? Yes. Ok, i would just say that the expected contrast with the other planning we’ve been talking about the expectation here is that the person is going to return right here. They’re going to return. They may have left for a health issues they may have left from it, you know, pregnancy we’ve so we know it’s really interim planning, all right. And what should be the parts of our emergency succession plan? The parts are whose designated to assume leadership in the axe in the absence of the chief executive. What a story they have. Um, what the process in place to contact and inform staff how you’re going in for major stakeholders like your donors, who’s going to do that communication and what role staff will have in the absence of the chief executive of the rolls are clearly going to change temporarily. So it needs to be spelled it really clearly who’s going to do what and who’s going to manage and how decision making is going to happen. And then the last piece is very critical is who on the board is going to oversee this? It could be the board. Chair or it could be another member of the executive team that’s charged with overseeing the running of the organization during the interim absence of the chief executives. Can we hire one of these outsource interim executive directors to fill this role? Or is that is that not appropriate? For some reason, i not heard many organizations deciding to hire an outside if it’s just a temporary leave. Okay, okay, because there will be an opportunity for some of the staff to step up, step up knowing that it’s short term, sure enough, right? You’re right, that makes more sense. Let’s, let’s, go back to the to the institutional and individual funders. What is the well? Is anything more than the interim executive director needs to be saying aside from the that there is a plan in place and we’re managing transition carefully? No, because after that that’s really the responsibility of the inn from after that it really full to the development professional on the board chair to continue to have conversations with their funders and to continue to make them comfortable with the transition process. And again, you’re emphasizing the board is involved in this part of the communication actually, during a leadership change, i think that’s really the most critical time for the board to step up. That’s really their role, although they do fund-raising and they oversee policy, the board’s role in a transition is the most critical role they have. Okay, so it’s not only the board chair. Oh, no, no, really it’s really the board chair is leading it, and the executive committee is taking an active role. But it’s a really important time for the board. They’re also going to be involved in the search process for the new executive. So it’s, a very critical time for the board as well. Okay, we have just a couple of minutes left and i want to ask what it is that you love about the work that you do around transition. Oh, another wonderful questions. Um i think it’s exciting to help people think about change on embrace change and go towards change rather than running away from it. So it’s, always fun to watch the paradigm shift as people really get excited to think of that change. But people fear change. So why is it you write it’s? I’m envisioning you as a firefighter. You know, everybody’s running out of a burning building. And you’re the one running in with a hundred pounds of hose on your back. Why are you running toward on dh? So so in love with what people fear so much? Uh, mostly because it’s inevitable. Um, no matter how much you trying to avoid change, it’s the only constant we can count on. So we might as well embrace it and figure out how to use it in our favor. Very pragmatic. It’s. Very realistic. Brazil. Rosenwald, co author of when leaders leave, you will find that book at transition works. Dot com priscilla, you need to be one and thank you. Oh, soon to be on amazon. Okay, you’ll find it there as well. Honey, you’re a pleasure. Oh, thank you, it’s. You not to keep well, there’s, no more chances for your tio. Thank me for my great questions, but thank you for being so gracious and loving all my questions. Yeah, it’s been a real pleasure having you. Thank you, priscilla. Thanks. Take care next week. Getting to the next level. Lawrence paige nani is author of the non-profit friendraising solution based on his work as an executive director and fund-raising consultant, he has many proven strategies to get you to the next level of fund-raising revenue that ubiquitous question, how do we get to the next level? Lawrence has the answers next week. Rally bound is a sponsor, which i’m very grateful for. 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