-By Consuelo Meux, Ph.D., CEO
You may have noticed a recent flood of executive directors leaving their positions for new opportunities. Whether they are leaving after many successful years at the helm or because of a board decision, the departure of this key leadership position can result in a stressful time for nonprofit board members and staff.
While hiring an executive director is one of the most important board of director duties, it can be quite challenging. It requires much more work than developing and advertising a job description and conducting interviews to identify the best candidate. When an executive director leaves, the board first needs to understand the executive director’s present and ongoing duties and assess whether that job description still applies to the current organizational needs. It may be a good time to explore questions related to the organization’s future goals.
- Were the status quo operations successful, or does the organization need a change-maker who can lead the organization in a brand new direction?
- Should the person reflect the community the organization serves and if so, in what ways?
- What professional skill sets are required to have the best potential for success?
Understanding the role and expectations of an executive director will help an organization operate more effectively and create a balanced atmosphere of leadership. Check out Spokes’ Resource Library for sample executive director responsibilities and job descriptions.
If you need extra support, Spokes Executive Director Search Services assists members with the whole process. Our consulting team is able to guide your organization in identifying and securing executive leadership. We offer a variety of services including candidate recruitment and identification. For nonprofits who need an interim Executive Director to maintain operations, Spokes consultants can serve as interim executive management or coach and train your board of directors to serve in this capacity during the search process.