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Dreaming Spring Training, Mariano Rivera, and…… Interim Executive Directors?

Okay, by now you know I’m a Yankees fan – even you New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies fans who have vowed never to come to a Support Center event again.  Oh, those early childhood memories at the ballpark!

So, anyway, what do Mariano Rivera and Interim Executive Directors have in common? I want them both on my team!  Watching a few innings of baseball in March always wakes up my senses and helps me to welcome in spring. If only I could be at spring training in sunny Florida!

I always marvel at the precision of the game, a nuance only true fans of the game can appreciate. Not only does baseball have specialists for each position, but also for each situation. Take pitchers for example. We have starters, relievers, and closers. Each has specific skills to move the game forward and position the team to score.  While the purpose and duration of play of the different types of relief pitchers has changed over time, the benefit to their teams is clear-they help stabilize the game and (hopefully) kick-start it back into a positive mode-getting the team back on track to win. Of course, baseball and relief pitchers also make me think about one of our most critical programs here at  the Support Center – Executive Search and Transition Managementt(ESTM) and the role of our relief pitchers-our Interim Executive Directors.

Transitions of nonprofit chief executive officers – whether the position is called Executive Director, President, or CEO, can lead to one of the most challenging periods for a nonprofit.  Funder and staff concerns and community confusion often take the organization off-course and can stall out the success of even the best organizations.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.   When professionally managed, a chief executive transition can be one of the most valuable periods of time in a nonprofit’s life cycle.  Important new approaches and mergers or alliances can be explored, and the board can reconnect with critical stakeholders through the transition process. Increasingly, nonprofit board leaders are choosing ESTM services and the placement of a professional Interim ED to guide the organization through its transition period.  A stronger alternative to traditional search services, ESTM consultants and an Interim ED work to help an organization and its board seek a harmonious ending for the departing CEO and a healthy, focused beginning for the new one.

Similar to a relief pitcher, the Interim ED becomes part of the organization’s team of professionals –working to strengthen a nonprofit during a time of uncertainty.  An Interim ED not only stabilizes the organization through the transition, but also provides the board with the time needed to carefully examine the aspirations and direction of the organization so that the new leader can effectively move the organization forward. With the help of local and national foundations, the Support Center has helped to prepare a large pool of Interim EDs who stand ready to take the mound to help organizations navigate the potentially rough innings of executive transition.

No, I’m sorry, Mariano Rivera is not yet available in our bullpen of Interim EDs! But who knows, he may be available next year for a new career.  Learn more about our Executive Search and Transition Management services here and let me know your thoughts (about either ESTM or baseball).

Here’s to an exciting and fun 2012 season!

Don Crocker

Don Crocker

CEO

dcrocker@supportcenteronline.org

The Exceptional Interim Executive Director: Critical Strategies and Tools for Success!

Are you thinking of becoming an interim executive director, or do you just want to sharpen your existing skills?

Join us for this essential workshop with seasoned experts in the field!  

“There’s nothing like a new tool in the toolbox to reinvigorate your marketing efforts, stimulate your creativity and expand your horizons. The session was incredibly informative, well run and reflective of the general level of excellence that defines all the Support Center’s work.” – Frank Abdale


Leadership transitions are typically one of the most challenging moments in the life of a nonprofit. Our two-day Interim Leadership training outlines the environment during an executive transition, and what is required of an Interim Executive Director to serve more effectively and succeed.

Date: May 10 and May 11

Time: 9:30am – 4:30pm

In this workshop we explore:

  • The executive transition process (specific roles of the IED, board and transition consultant)
  • The reality of being an effective IED (challenges presented, the skills and perspective required)
  • How to handle the emotional aspects of dealing with staff and board dynamics of organizations undergoing an executive transition
  • How the Support Center’s IED referrals work

Our highly acclaimed two-day training program is aimed at current and former EDs, and others interested in the field.

Find out more HERE and apply today!

Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties Selects Carlos M. Rodriguez as Executive Director

The Support Center congratulates the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties on the selection of its new Executive Director, Carlos M. Rodriguez.  Rodriguez comes to the Foodbank from the Food Bank For New York City where he served as Vice President.  He is a recognized voice in anti-hunger and poverty and an accomplished advocate for integrating food distribution, income supports, nutrition education, and improved policies and delivery of services to serve those in need.  He has also held senior positions with the Children’s Defense Fund of New York and the Community Food Resource Center.  Carlos served on Feeding America’s strategic planning committee and as Treasurer of the Eastern Region Food Bank Association, and he is currently a board member of Legal Services of New York – Bronx.

 

The Support Center worked with the Foodbank to find a new Executive Director (through our ESTM services) and also facilitated the creation of their new strategic plan. Both of these activities have galvanized the board to the benefit of the entire organization. The board and  Rodriguez are now in an excellent position to jointly move the organization forward.

The Interim Solution: Nonprofit Boards Increasingly Embrace Interim Executive Leadership During Executive Transitions

October 18, 2011 1 comment

Transitions of nonprofit chief executive officers – whether the position is called Executive Director, President, or CEO – continue to cause nonprofit boards worry and anxiety.  A CEO transition can lead to one of the most vexing periods for a nonprofit.  Funder and staff concerns and community confusion often take the organization off-course aDon Crockernd can stall out the success of even the best organizations.  Recent research on nonprofit CEO transition indicated that in 2011 7% of current CEOs have given notice and 67% anticipate leaving within five years. But within that 67% there is also a large cohort (10%) who have not given notice but say they are actively considering leaving.

However, when professionally managed, a chief executive transition can be one of the most valuable periods of time in a nonprofit’s life cycle.  Important new approaches can be explored, alliances and merger opportunities can be investigated, and the board can reconnect with critical stakeholders through the transition process.  Increasingly, nonprofit board leaders are choosing Executive Search and Transition Management (ESTM) services and the placement of a professional Interim Executive Director to guide the organization through its transition period.  A stronger alternative to traditional search services, ESTM consultants and an Interim Executive Director can work with the organization and its board to seek a harmonious ending for the departing CEO and a healthy, focused beginning for the new one.

An interim not only stabilizes the organization through the transition, but also provides the board with the time needed to carefully examine the aspirations and direction of the organization so that the new leader can effectively move the organization forward. With the help of local and national foundations, the Support Center has helped to prepare a large pool of interims that stand ready to step up and help organizations navigate the potentially rough waters of executive transition.

What have your experiences with transition been like?  Let me know your thoughts below.