I am a founding executive director of a nonprofit in Michigan. I have been in this role since 2017. This week my board asked me to begin to develop a leadership succession plan with an intention of replacing me, which they understand will take time, but generally as soon as possible. Why am I being replaced you ask? The board wants the organization to be run by someone who is reflecting the majority demographic of the area, which I am not. I am generally in support of this, but call me a hypocrite, it's so painful to me to realize I am being asked to step down because of my racial background (I am white). I want to be gracious and supportive in the process, but the other of me just wants to find my next job and leave.
Honestly, I am crushed about this. It is not because I am not doing a good job, I built this organization from nothing had in the past few years have had excellent success with developing funders and programs. I have good evaluations from program partners and clients. Doing the work to replace me is draining me just thinking about it. Why should I be the one to put in all the work if I just going to have to leave? I love my job and my role. I am open to playing a different role in the organization, but I know this will also be very hard to see someone at the ED that is not me and probably have to help them in their role while I am doing something else.
If you have had to help plan your succession, I would love to hear your journey and learn how I can be helpful and best approach this so I can stay committed to the work and not be so sour about this.
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