Working With Executive Directors

An E.D. is like an orchestra conductor. Tough, lonely but when effective, what beautiful music.

An E.D. is like an orchestra conductor. Tough, lonely but when effective, what beautiful music.

An Executive Director gig is a lonely job. I know, I’ve been there.

But think about it, you are getting paid to do something that matters. I’m not naive; the work can be hard, painful and sometimes feel like too steep a climb. But make no mistake: it’s also one of the most rewarding and transformative jobs you will ever have.

Nonetheless, life as an Executive Director can be difficult. You’re constantly surrounded by people, but you have no peers. You have no real boss, but you do have a boss-like person, who’s actually a volunteer, with a day job. This boss-like person may be a micromanager, or absent, or both, depending on the day or the project, or the wind direction. Tough stuff. Significant, specific challenges that most people don’t get.

We get it. We help ED’s and CEO’s untangle the unique knots they face. Every day.

For New ED’s

If your ED or CEO hat is a new one, we can help you…

  • get started; starting off right can save you a ton of headaches
  • establish an effective partnership with Board leadership
  • build a strong leadership team
  • learn the skills to be comfortable hiring and managing staff
  • know when it’s time to let someone go, we’ll also teach you how to say goodbye

For Experienced ED’s

ED’s and CEO’s who have been in the trenches for a while have hired us to:

  • assist them in establishing effective relationships with Board leadership*
  • identify what to look for in a Development Director
  • find out what their staff or board thinks of them, but not as part of an annual review
  • help them with serious infighting among direct reports
  • plan and facilitate an effective staff retreat
  • learn how to start or manage a board Development Committee
  • prepare for a public speaking gig
  • help them plan an exit strategy
  • assist them with succession planning

*Here’s where my skills as a certified mediator often come in handy.  

How Can We Help You?

If you would like to inquire about hiring Joan Garry Consulting to work with you or your Executive Director, please fill out this form.

Maybe You Don’t Need That Much Help?

Alternatively, some issues can be resolved in a very focused hour or so. Sometimes a leader just needs a sounding board. Or a kick in the pants. For these kinds of issues,  Joan offers individual online 50-minute coaching sessions which you can book here:

>> Book a One-Time Session With Joan (NOTE: THESE ARE CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE)

Or Maybe You Just Need Some Free Advice?

There’s a ton of valuable advice for Executive Directors written by Joan and available for free by clicking here.

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