The Nonprofit Secret: The Six Principles of Successful Board/CEO Partnerships

Here’s a great resource for you.

It’s a powerful little book called “The Nonprofit Secret: The Six Principles of Successful Board/CEO Partnerships.”

I bought this book after hearing author Jonathan Schick speak at a conference in Dallas, and I was delighted.  It’s a quick read, and full of nuggets of wisdom.

If you’re trying to figure out how your Board and Executive Director should be working together, this book will give you a good idea.  Interwoven with the “how to” is an engaging story of a fictitious organization and the leadership issues they face.

 Here are the 6 principles Jonathan presents:

  1. The Board focuses on governance, not management.
  2. The Board has one employee: the CEO.
  3. The CEO has only one employer: the Board as a whole.
  4. The Board creates committees to help accomplish its own job, not the CEO’s.
  5. The Board evaluates its CEO through an Executive Support and Appraisal Team (ESAT)
  6. The Board conducts its own self-appraisal.

And here are some of the passages I highlighted in the book:

  •  When a person’s qualities and abilities are being used to the hilt, they will be most happy to engage in a mission they believe in. I totally agree! When Board members start to miss meetings, it’s a sign they are becoming disengaged. You have to act quickly to get them re-engaged or you’ll lost them.
  • Board committees are created to support the work of the board, not the work of the CEO or the staff.  Love this!  This could make a huge difference in the work of hundreds of boards across the world.
  • Know your role before you know your goal.  One of the biggest problems with nonprofit boards is that too many people are sitting on them who don’t know the first thing about being a good board member.  I think there’s a critical need for training for Board members, and this phrase points it out – know your role as a Board member before you engage in setting goals for the organization.


You can find The Nonprofit Secret on Amazon by clicking this link: The-Nonprofit-Secret-Principles-Partnerships.



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