Issue No. 207 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting highlights a new book on CEO selection. And if you missed my index and Top-10 book reviews of 2010, visit the eNews archives here. Plus, check out my Management Buckets website with dozens of resources and downloadable worksheets for your staff meetings.
The Bungler CEO
Wow. Few people are articulate at age 80. Fewer still at 80+ are both prophetic and practical. Many octogenarians speak, but few have an audience. Yet when David McKenna speaks—the room goes quiet.
I know this because 21 of us gathered for a roundtable conversation on board governance this week. Dr. McKenna ignited our thinking and inspired our convictions. President emeritus of three Christian colleges. Author of 32 books. Married 60 years. This guy is on a roll!
His latest thought-provoker is fresh and practical. The title: Stewards of a Sacred Trust: CEO Selection, Transition and Development for Boards of Christ-centered Organizations. Every organization, sooner or later (sometimes sooner than planned) experiences a CEO transition. Some boards do it well. Others mangle the process and damage the people. Help has arrived—with insights, a Christ-centered foundation, and checklists. Really good checklists!
What makes this book, published by ECFA, so timely, practical and readable? Who but an 80-year-old can get away with segmenting ministry CEOs into these six descriptive categories? McKenna says that boards:
The book features informative and accountability-focused checklists at the end of each chapter. Twenty-two chapters. Twenty-two checklists. The lists alone are worth the price of the book.
McKenna ably defines and balances the solemn duty and sacred trust of a board member. He writes, “Election of the CEO separates Christ-centered organizations from other organizations because it is a sacred trust. While the professional standards for the search process must be the same for all organizations, Christ-centered organizations have a spiritual dimension that cannot be denied. For good reason, ‘cookie cutter consulting’ should be vigorously resisted on presidential search in Christ-centered organizations. Likewise, attempts to spiritualize the process at the expense of professional integrity cannot be tolerated.”
Every board chair and CEO should order and read this book. You may not need it today, but unless your CEO is named Methuselah, you will need it eventually.
To order Stewards of a Sacred Trust: CEO Selection, Transition and Development for Boards of Christ-centered Organizations, by David L. McKenna, click on the Amazon graphic below:
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
1) McKenna used six memorable names to label different kinds of CEOs. Do you agree with those categories or have you observed other types?
2) In Ram Charan’s book, Owning Up: The 14 Questions Every Board Member Needs to Ask, (read my review) Question #4 is “Are we well prepared to name our next CEO?” So…if our CEO ended up in heaven next week (good news/bad news), is our board prepared?
Leverage Board Strengths - Insights from Mastering the Management Buckets: 20 Critical Competencies for Leading Your Business or Nonprofit
One of the big ideas in the Team Bucket, Chapter 9 in Mastering the Management Buckets, is to leverage the strengths of your boss, your direct reports, your key volunteers and your board members.
Pop Quiz! What are the Top-5 Strengths of your CEO and your board chair, according to the StrengthsFinder assessment? The Gallup organization says there are 34 strengths. What are you doing this quarter to leverage the strengths of your board members? For more details on the StrengthsFinder books and the assessments, visit the Team Bucket.