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December 16, 2013
By Beth Brooks, CAE

The month of December is usually performance evaluation time here at TSAE. I conduct the annual evaluations for our staff while the board evaluates my performance.

I’ve had a lot of conversations about performance reviews with other association executives, and I am surprised when CEOs tell me that they don’t get evaluations from their board. Most of the time those people fall into two categories: 1) They are pleased that they are not evaluated, or 2) They are frustrated that their board does not think it is important.

Personally, I think it is critical for you to have at least an annual evaluation. Speaking as a CEO, I cannot imagine working for a board that did not value my work enough to discuss how I could improve. 

For the CEO, working with a board is a partnership that starts with trust, and the desire to move the association forward. If those two components are present, the discussion should be one that you look forward to each year. Ideally, you might have an ongoing informal evaluation with the chairman in conjunction with each board meeting, then a more formal annual evaluation with input from the entire board.

When going through your evaluation, make sure to discuss goals as part of the process. It is an important part that ensures everyone is on the same page. Goal setting should be a collaborative discussion with realistic, specific, and measurable goals determined. 

A performance evaluation by your board ensures that everyone is agreeing on what success will look like. If you don’t have that roadmap, you leave yourself open to unfair criticism and confusion.

If you are not currently evaluated by your board, strongly consider adding it in 2014. There are many templates for CEO evaluations, but the one below is one I have found very helpful.

Download Sample CEO Evaluation Form 

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