Board of Directors
Evaluation of Chief Executive
© Copyright Carter
McNamara, MBA, PhD
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Evaluating the Chief Executive is a primary responsibility of the Board. There
are several key benefits from this evaluation, including that the process:
1. Ensures the Board is meeting its duty to effectively lead the organization
2. Ensures organizational goals are being met
3. Ensures continued development of the Chief Executive to more effectively
conduct his or her role
4. Ensures a formal and documented evaluation process that meets standards of
fairness and practicality
5. Ensures the Chief Executive values his or her role, is benefiting from it
and therefore is more likely to stay (finding good Chief Executives is increasingly
6. Leaves written record of the Board’s impression of the Chief Executive’s
performance in case this record is needed for future verification, e.g., for
salary increases, probationary activities, firing, etc.
A Sample Schedule
Note that, more important than doing an evaluation at a certain scheduled time,
is doing an evaluation at all, so do the evaluation when the Board believes
is the best time for its members.
Approx. # of months before
start of next fiscal year
Evaluate the Chief Executive, by referencing
his or her progress towards last fiscal year’s organizational
goals and responsibilities on their job description
Board retreat to address results of
Board self-evaluation, conduct any team building and begin strategic
Strategic planning to produce organizational
goals and identify resources needed to accomplish the goals
Establish Chief Executive’s goals for
the next fiscal year, by referencing goals produced from strategic
| Establish next year’s revenue goals and budget by referencing
resources needed to reach strategic goals
|Meets revenue goals||
|Fiscal year begins||
1. Don’t worry about specifics of the process as much as being sure that the
evaluation is conducted yearly.
2. Be sure the process is fully documented in a procedure so the process is
well understood and carried out consistently year to year.
3. If staff members are involved in evaluation of the Chief Executive, be sure
this procedure is clearly specified and understood by the Chief Executive.
4. The evaluation should be carried out by a Board committee, not by one Board
member. Committees might be the Executive Committee, a Personnel Committee or
an ad hoc committee.
5. If the Board perceives the Chief Executive to have performance issues, Board
members can initiate an evaluation. DO NOT initiate evaluations only when there
are perceived issues — this is abusive. Be sure these perceptions are based
on seen behaviors rather than on personality characteristics.
For the Category of Boards of Directors:
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