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Frequently Asked Questions

Have more questions about the CEO Onboarding Program? Contact Dena Shoenfeld at dena@leadingedge.org.

What is the CEO Onboarding Program?

The CEO Onboarding Program is a 15-month intensive leadership development opportunity for new (in their role 24-months or less) American Jewish leaders designed to lay the strategic groundwork for their success. Cohort members work directly with expert consultants, elite leaders and thinkers, and leadership institutions to take their competencies—and organizations—to higher levels.

Why was the CEO Onboarding Program created?

Thousands of Jewish nonprofits in the United States will hire new CEOs in the next 10 years. At the same time, many of these organizations already face challenges that test their mission and strategies, and strain their human and financial resources. These challenges, combined with a new CEO’s transition period, can create significant organizational risk and uncertainty. They can also create a unique window of opportunity to empower incoming leaders and support organizational excellence. The CEO Onboarding Program was established to drive better outcomes for Jewish organizations and the community by investing in the leadership development of new CEOs during their first 24 months transitioning into a new organization. Cohort-based, the program is tailored to the needs and interests of participants, and provides exceptional executives with tools to leverage professional opportunities and success.

Why should I apply to participate in the CEO Onboarding Program?

The CEO Onboarding Program includes professional development valued at over $40,000 per participant. The components of the program include:

• Fifteen months of support from an experienced, accomplished executive coach

• Training at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), a leadership development institution ranked among the world’s “top 10 providers of executive education” by Bloomberg Business Week and The Financial Times

• A confidential 360-degree evaluation as well as other assessments designed to give you the critical self-knowledge needed for professional improvement

• Skill-building in developing your organization’s culture and in leading through change

• A trip to Israel that offers a deeper understanding of issues facing the country, and will support CEOs as they facilitate key conversations with volunteer leadership and staff about Israel

• An opportunity to develop deeper relationships with your lay leaders

What are the components of the CEO Onboarding Program?

The CEO Onboarding Program is a 15-month intensive leadership development opportunity for new (in their role 24-months or less) American Jewish leaders designed to lay the strategic groundwork for their success. Cohort members work directly with expert consultants, elite leaders and thinkers, and leadership institutions to take their competencies—and organizations—to higher levels. 

Who is eligible for the CEO Onboarding Program?

The CEO Onboarding Program is open to senior professional leaders in the American Jewish community. To be eligible, you must be the most senior professional leader of your organization, and you must have been with your organization for no more than 24 months at the time of application. Your organization must be a registered nonprofit operating in the United States or Canada. Applications are welcome from leaders of well-established nonprofit institutions, as well as new organizations that have been in existence for at least three years.

Who is the ideal candidate for this program?

• At the right moment in their trajectory to fully engage in and benefit from this program;

• Ready to lead their organizations through bold change;

• Self-aware, eager to learn and open to new ideas;

• Working in strong partnership with their lay counterparts;

• Interested in seeing themselves as chief culture officers of their organizations;
• Striving to lead an organization that is diverse, equitable and inclusive;

• Excited about the mission of Leading Edge and building a strong talent pipeline for the Jewish nonprofit sector.

What is the length of the CEO Onboarding Program?

The CEO Onboarding Program is 15 months long. Cohort three of the program will run from September 2019 to December 2020. During that period, there will be approximately 15 days for in-person cohort programs. In addition, there will be web-based sessions every four to six weeks, as well as regular coaching sessions.

How much does the CEO Onboarding Program cost?

The cost to participate in the CEO Onboarding Program is $5,000 per organization, plus the costs of domestic related travel to and from in-person convenings. All travel costs to, from, and within Israel are included.

How many people will be accepted into the CEO Onboarding Program?

We anticipate a cohort of about 15. The number of people accepted to the CEO Onboarding Program will be determined by the applicant pool to ensure that optimal cohort-based learning can be achieved. The application process is highly competitive.

Is there any pre-work required for the CEO Onboarding Program?

Readings, case preparations, and other assessments will be required by both the program directors and individual coaches throughout the 15 months of the CEO Onboarding Program prior to all convenings.

What are the important dates for the CEO Onboarding Program?

Participation in the four in-person gatherings is a requirement of the CEO Onboarding Program. The in-person gathering dates are:

• October 27-29, 2019 in Warrenton, Virginia

• March 16-18, 2020 in La Jolla, CA

• September 8-16, 2020 in Israel (specific dates to be announced as Program is finalized)

• December 2020 in location TBD (together with your board chair) All other group program components will be conducted via webinar. Individual coaching sessions may be conducted in person or via telephone.

What information will I be required to provide in my application to the CEO Onboarding Program?

You will be required to provide your:

• Contact information • Organizational information (including staff size and budget)

• Resume

• A two-minute video explaining why you want to participate in the CEO Onboarding Program

• A ranking of potential program outcomes that are of the greatest significance to you

• Contact information for two references able to speak about your leadership experience

• Contact information for the representative from your organization to affirm its commitment to the program

Will I be interviewed for the CEO Onboarding Program?

Yes. Finalists for the CEO Onboarding Program will be required to participate in an in-person or webbased interview. Interviews will take place Monday, May 13 and Tuesday, May 14, 2019.

What are the requirements for participating organizations in the CEO Onboarding Program?

An organization’s board of directors is an essential component of an effective CEO transition. Your organization’s board, or its designees on the search/transition committee, will be required to support you and the CEO Onboarding Program in a few specific ways.

• Members of your board and/or senior staff must agree to be available to meet with your executive coach.

• Your Board Chair must agree to participate in your 360 review process and also share feedback about the program with Leading Edge and its evaluation partner.

• Your organization must agree to contribute $5,000 to help defray a portion of the program’s cost. In addition, your organization will be responsible for all domestic travel costs, including airfare and nonprogram meals.

• Your organization must value the program as an essential component of your professional development.

• Participation in the program will not be considered “leave” of any type.

• Finally, your Board Chair should plan to join the fourth convening in early December 2020, together with CEOs and lay leaders from all CEO Onboarding program alumni.

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