The CEO Performance Appraisal

by Tom Giella

A Vital Ingredient in Building & Sustaining a Trustful Board/CEO Partnership

The uncertainty and complexity of today’s rapidly transforming health care environment requires dynamic CEO leadership more than ever. A sound and steady relationship between the board and CEO helps support the CEO during this turbulent time and, in turn, a close and productive partnership between the board and CEO helps ensure the board’s vision and strategic direction are carried out.

The board’s evaluation of CEO performance is the foundation of this important partnership. A purposeful and productive CEO evaluation should do more than simply substantiate board decisions about the CEO’s performance. More importantly, it sets clear expectations, ensures a consistent focus on the board’s most urgent and critical priorities, strengthens CEO leadership, and contributes to success in achieving the mission and vision.

The CEO evaluation process ensures opportunities for productive, two-way board and CEO communication that work to eliminate unwelcome surprises. The evaluation should confirm the board’s goals and the CEO’s essential functions and leadership responsibilities. Further, it should identify the personal attributes necessary for CEO success and draw attention to specific areas requiring increased focus by the CEO. In addition, it should ensure the board is successful in carrying out its legal responsibilities, strengthen and solidify the board/CEO partnership, and advance the CEO’s leadership skills and effectiveness. Finally, the evaluation process should ensure that the CEO is appropriately rewarded for his or her performance in meeting the board’s expectations.

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