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  • Tara Rethore

Boards: Match the Team to the CEO

Note: This article is third in a series talking about how Boards can position their new CEOs for success.


Hiring a new CEO is not an isolated event. By definition, the new CEO effects change in the way the organization works and the nature of relationships – just by being a different person at the helm. That change is particularly true for the leadership team. That’s also why Boards must consider the leadership team as a whole when positioning your new CEO for success.


External hires are often perceived as not truly understanding the organization. Internal successors shift from peer to chief, literally overnight. As you consider what’s needed for CEO success, review the collective capabilities of the leadership team, including those of the incoming CEO. If possible, make staff adjustments prior to the CEO’s arrival, so that he/she begins fresh with a team whose capabilities are complementary and suited to the future vision for the organization.


During the hand-off, the Board is often uniquely qualified to offer insights about the leadership team, including who has been most influential to date and who may have been passed over for the role. Use that to spark conversations by and with the CEO about what they’ll need to lead effectively. Working together, the CEO and Board incorporate those ideas into the leadership agenda.


Previously in this series: Hand-Off and next: Connections.


PS: Ask me about the Rethore Rapid CEO Assessment™. Identify a few key actions to enhance your new CEO’s success.


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