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Preparing for Your (the CEO’s) Departure
Tuesday, July 5, 2016 6:30 AM

Yvonne Evers, Owner, YME Coaching and Consulting, LLC

You’ve been at the credit union for a number of years, and you’re thinking about either retiring or leaving for a new opportunity. What responsibility do you have to prepare the credit union for your departure?

Do your part to ensure that the CEO succession plan is complete and that the board is aware of which senior manager could serve as CEO during the interim search, if necessary. This is something you should discuss with your board chair and/or the full board on an annual basis, even if you're not planning to leave. Also, remember that it's your job as the CEO to develop the individuals who report to you using the leadership competencies developed by the board for the CEO role.

Ensure that there is a solid strategic plan in place. Obviously, a new leader will bring some new ideas to the position, but having a solid strategic plan in place may give your board and staff some reassurance of stability when you announce your departure.

If you're planning to retire, it's respectful to give the board of directors 12–18 months' notice. Finding a new CEO is not something that happens quickly, especially when the people doing the search are volunteers who may have full-time jobs and other commitments outside the credit union.

Of course, this goes without saying, work hard to ensure the credit union’s success right up until your last day. Thankfully, I know of very few CEOs who aren’t deeply committed to their credit union and wouldn’t do everything possible to ensure its success.

Yvonne Evers is owner and CEO of YME Coaching and Consulting, LLC, located in Madison, Wis. The mission of YME is to help executives and board members drive organizational success with confidence and ease. This mission is accomplished by ensuring that organizational leaders and board members have the knowledge and resources that they need to be successful.