CEO Management of the Executive Team
The executive team is the charge of the CEO. As head the head of the nonprofit organization, CEOs are accountable for results and responsible for determining what the executive team must do to achieve those results. Specifically, CEOs set expectations and define the executive team's work, steer meeting agendas, and support team members to grow while holding them accountable for performance. CEOs also maintain ultimate decision-making authority over what the team focuses on and how they do their work, while fostering strong relationships with team members.
Besides being clear on the CEO’s role, determining whether an executive team is even needed is important. Not all organizations need a group of senior leaders to come together to collaborate on leading the nonprofit organization. It is the responsibility of the CEO to determine whether or not an executive team is needed, and, if it is, to form the team that is best suited to the organization’s needs.
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The following considerations could indicate that your organization would benefit from an executive team:
Is an executive team needed?
If you’ve said “yes” to these considerations, then you may be ready for an executive team.
Tools for Managing Executive Teams
In our research, every high-performing team we identified was led by a CEO who intentionally managed the team. This checklist highlights a number of steps nonprofit CEOs can take to more effectively lead their executive teams. Use it to assess your approach to executive team management and where it might need improvement.
Download the CEO Checklist for Managing Executive Teams | PDF >>
It’s important for any nonprofit CEO to maximize executive team effectiveness in service of the organization’s impact. Yet, inspiring high performance of the executive team isn’t easy. We spoke to three CEOs, Kirstin Chernawsky of Erie Neighborhood House, Eric Robbins of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, and Dorri McWhorter of YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, to learn how they approach leading their teams and which efforts have been particularly powerful.
How to Lead High-Performing Nonprofit Executive Teams
When the Change Needs to Be You
Roxane White, former CEO and president of Nurse-Family Partnership, shares approaches used to encourage nonprofit executive team effectiveness.
How to Integrate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion into Everyday Operations
This article by Maria Hernandez, practice leader for Global Consulting Solutions at InclusionINC, discusses the practices and behaviors that nonprofit leaders need to adopt in order to live into the commitment of integrating diversity, equity, and inclusion into their organizations.
This column by leadership consultant Nicki Roth helps leaders assess their need to change and offers guidelines for changing leadership behavior.
Build It and They Will Lead
The River Group, a leading consulting firm for for-profit executive teams talks about what CEOs must do to actively develop their executive team into a higher performing unit.