The purpose of this exercise is to help your board transition seamlessly from one leader to the next by building trust. Whether using this activity with an incoming executive director or board president, identifying ways to capitalize on opportunities and culture changes will keep your board and staff on track to meet their strategic objectives.

Distribute a copy of this handout (available as a PDF here) to each board member at your next board meeting. Take 10 minutes and ask the board to thoughtfully answer the questions. After the meeting, compile and summarize the answers for review at the following board meeting.

Whether the incoming leader is already in place or is preparing to come aboard, provide them with the responses so (s)he may begin to understand what the board feels is important during the leadership transition.

Instructions: Answer the questions below to the best of your abilities. Your answers will be compiled for a discussion at the following board meeting.


What are the three most important traits of a leader to you?


What is your top concern about the change in leadership?


What opportunities do you see available to capitalize on with new leadership in place?


What do you think could hold the board back from meeting its strategic goals for the year?


What are you most excited about in the coming year at your organization?


What steps can be taken to build trust between the current board and the new leader?


Do you have other concerns that you would like addressed?



At the following meeting, take time to discuss the compiled information and set goals or develop an action plan for any areas that need attention.

You can download this exercise FREE as a PDF to distribute to your board. The exercise is from our workbook, Becoming a Great Board: 10 minute exercises to get your board galvanized!