Prepare, Pivot & Thrive - Succession, Strategy, Sustainability & Search


The Board's Guide to Chief Executive Transitions


cet_cvrChief Executive Transitions: How to Hire and Support a Nonprofit CEO
by Don Tebbe, published by BoardSourcemcadam

Chief Executive Transitions is a comprehensive guide to help boards navigate the hiring process and oversee a successful leadership transition. It includes checklists, key questions board members will need to answer as they go through the process, and practical real-life examples. 118 pages with an accompanying CD-ROM that includes 13 helpful documents, including a resume scoring sheet, sample timeline, sample interview questions, and a sample 90-day entry plan to help ensure the success of the newly hired chief executive. Winner of the 2009 Terry McAdam Book Award - best of the nonprofit management literature.

Available from BoardSource:


The Nonprofit Leadership Transition and Development Guide


ldr_guide_cvrThe Nonprofit Leadership Transition and Development Guide: Proven Paths for Leaders and Organizations
by Tom Adams, published by Jossey-Bass

Great nonprofits seem to hum. Passionate staff, dedicated board members, sensational outcomes, satisfied clients, and devoted donors tell the story. That story is leadership. But over the next five years, more nonprofit leaders will leave than ever before. Great nonprofits will need to sustain their success, while emerging ones will face wonderful new opportunities.

The Nonprofit Leadership Transition and Development Guide shows you how to seize the moment. Author Tom Adams shares secrets used with over 400 organizations over decades of experience as a leader and consultant. He'll teach you to harness the power of emotions in transition, how great founders lead stellar transitions, and how to diversify leadership. You'll see how to capitalize on the three critical stages of transition, how strategic succession plans lift the organization, why you must prepare today for emergency leaves, and what to do when the leader says, "it's time for me to retire." Finally, you'll learn how to apply proven Fortune 500 talent management methods that help even the smallest organizations grow their own great leaders. The result: A better-run, better-prepared nonprofit—the kind of humming organization that inspires ongoing success.

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     Kindle Edition, Immediate Download Price: $27.49
     Paperback Price: $44.21

What They're Saying About The Nonprofit Leadership Guide

"Tom has taken the very practical advice that helped us and our grantees and has translated it into essential reading for the entire nonprofit field...Any reader of this guide will come away with the hard but certain realization that underinvestment in and lack of attention to leadership transition and development makes a fool's errand of even the best work in this field...Tom has illuminated the path to a better day. It's up to us to follow up and follow through." Ralph Smith, Executive Vice President, Annie E. Casey Foundation



Sustaining Great Leadership


sustaining_cvrFree Download

Sustaining Great Leadership: Succession Planning for Nonprofit Organizations
by Tom Adams

This free guide, compliments of the First Nonprofit Foundation, offers a 10-step approach to sustaining leadership in your nonprofit.

Click here to download


Monographs on Executive Transition Management


The Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund have developed a series of monographs on executive transitions management. Portions of this series reflect a joint effort of TransitionGuides and CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, except Ready to Lead, which is a joint publication of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Meyer Foundation, and CompassPoint Nonprofit Services.


Capturing the Power of Leadership Change: Using Executive Transition Management to Strengthen Organizational Capacity
by Tom Adams, TransitionGuides

This report highlights the challenges associated with executive transitions and describes the model of executive management transition that has been used in the last decade. It also details opportunities for funders to further develop and implement strategies to better cope with executive management transitions. View PDF

aecf_founder Founder Transitions: Creating Good Endings and New Beginnings: A Guide for Executive Directors and Boards
by Tom Adams, TransitionGuides

This guide examines the unique challenges presented by transitions involving founders or long-term executives. It provides clear advice for executives and their boards in confronting the complex issues these transitions present. View PDF

aecf_interim Interim Executive Directors: The Power in the Middle
by Tim Wolfred, CompassPoint Nonprofit Services

This paper explores the benefits and basics of using an interim executive director during a leadership transition. It also highlights some considerations that organizations should take into account when deciding whether or not to use an interim executive director. View PDF

aecf_ready Ready to Lead? Next Generation Leaders Speak Out
by Marla Cornelius, CompassPoint Nonprofit Services; Patrick Corvington, Annie E. Casey Foundation; and Albert Ruesga, Meyer Foundation

A skilled, committed, and diverse pool of next generation leaders would like to be nonprofit executives in the future, but concerns about insufficient work-life balance and lack of earning potential may keep them from it. This national survey of 6,000 emerging nonprofit leaders, produced by the Meyer Foundation in partnership with the Annie E. Casey Foundation and others, presents challenges and recommendations for training and supporting future nonprofit executives. View PDF

aecf_stepping Stepping Up, Staying Engaged: Succession Planning and Executive Transition Management for Nonprofit Boards of Directors
by Tom Adams, TransitionGuides

This publication focuses particularly on board leaders. It provides a set of practical perspectives, hands-on tools, brief case studies, and useful resources to help board chairs, officers, and members take a proactive approach to preparing their organizations for a transition. View PDF

aecf_succession Building Leaderful Organizations: Succession Planning for Nonprofits
by Tim Wolfred, CompassPoint Nonprofit Services

This publication presents emergency succession planning tools, an important risk management practice. It offers executive directors guidance on when and how to leave an organization, and includes suggestions for boards to assure the sustainability of their organizations. View PDF

aecf_upnext Up Next: Generation Change and the Leadership of Nonprofit Organizations
by Frances Kunreuther, Building Movement Project, Demos

Research indicates that leadership transitions from the Baby Boom generation to Generations X and Y will become more common within the nonprofit sector. This report delivers a series of recommendations on how a variety of stakeholders can improve the hand-off from this generation of leaders to the next. View PDF

aecf_nextshift Next Shift: Beyond the Nonprofit Leadership Crisis
by Patrick Corvington, Annie E. Casey Foundation and Frances Kunreuther, Building Movement Project, Demos

This is the second monograph in a series on generational shifts in the non-profit sector. In this monograph, the authors counter a variety of proposed interventions from infrastructure organizations and present an alternate to the current crisis framework. The authors posit that by applying a crisis framework to the transitional trends in the non-profit sector, leadership ignores the rich opportunities that lay ahead. The authors make suggestions as to how the non-profit sector can embrace this time of change and have positive outcomes. View PDF


Download the Podcast


fcFoundation Center "Philanthropy Chats" with Tom Adams

The Foundation Center of New York has a free podcast of a talk given by Tom Adams, president and co-founder of TransitionGuides, on May 12 and June 23, 2010. Tom addresses key leadership topics from his book, The Nonprofit Leadership Transition and Development Guide: Proven Paths for Leaders and Organizations. He discusses several topics including the special challenges related to founder transitions, diversity in leadership development, the "ugly truths" of nonprofit leadership, and other issues. Click here to download the podcast.



We Wrote the Books on Nonprofit Leadership Transition



The Nonprofit Leadership Transition and Development Guide: Proven Paths for Leaders and Organizations      
by Tom Adams

Chief Executive Transitions: How to Hire and Support a Nonprofit CEO        
by Don Tebbe
Click Here for More Information
Chief Executive Transitions:
How to Hire and Support a Nonprofit CEO
by Don Tebbe