What New Executive Directors Have in Common with a TV Host

Last week, I wrote a bit to encourage new executive directors, especially those following a founder. On Sunday, I read the piece in Sunday’s print Washington Post Arts & Style section on current host of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah (similar but different story by same writer, WaPost online). What jumped out were the observations and[…]

Alignment from the Inside out

My goal was to start the day by centering the work around impact. From my pre-retreat survey of a community foundation board of directors and conversations with its leadership, I understood them to be facing a pileup of open program and policy issues with no clear path for making decisions. There was an underlying question about whether everyone agrees[…]


How Many Board Committees Should We Have?

Q: How many board committees should our nonprofit have? A: As few as you need.  Lots of Executive Directors and Board Chairs make what turns out to be a burdensome mistake by setting up a traditional board structure with lots of committees. There’s Finance, Development, the Executive Committee, the Audit Committee, and Board Recruitment and Development, and[…]

Principles for Productive Board-CEO Relationships

Today, I’m preparing to teach a class on Sustainable Leadership in its Center for Social Entrepreneurship program at George Mason University. A significant part of the lesson is about boards, a subject that often (and to be fair, usually) stymies the most capable and professionals. While there is a lot to discuss and debate on[…]