Good governance is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Once you have been hired as the CEO, you will want to make sure that the organization has a governance model that is appropriate to its size and scope. It is important to articulate this model to your board, staff and stakeholders to ensure buy-in and support. This model includes the structure and size of the board and its committees; roles of the officers, directors, and members; and reporting and decision-making procedures.
Congratulations, you got your first CEO job! Now, what do you do?
First, avoid the temptation to make promises and set strategic goals in the first few weeks. This is a common impulse for new leaders, especially first-time CEOs with heroic notions. They run the risk of setting expectations that are too high, making promises that are unrealistic, or acting before thoroughly understanding the organization.
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.