As soon as you have accepted the CEO position, you should plan to have a conversation with the person who is responsible for good governance and sets the tone for the board — the board chair. A key question to ask is why you were chosen over the other candidates who were interviewed for the position.
Interviewing for a CEO position must be a two-way conversation. The organization is interviewing to determine if the candidate is suitable. As the potential CEO, you must be strategic and use the interview to learn if the organization is one you want to lead.
Networks, both formal and informal, will help meet different needs, and you will find that having a collection of people whose talents and ideas you can count on will prove invaluable. The actual networks that will work best for you depend on the needs of your organization, your current skills, and the missing experience.
When deciding whether or not to take up an opportunity to lead an organization, the obvious place to start is with the mission. You need to have an affinity with it. A successful leader is one who believes in the organization’s goals, is passionate about advancing the cause, and has the credibility to sell the cause to the outside world.
Networks spark ideas, lead to partnerships and collaboration, and can accelerate impact. They are essential to any leader. It is your responsibility to develop and nurture them, not only for the sake of the organization’s work but also for your own development.