Assessment of the Chief Executive (ACE)
Assessing the chief executive is one of the board’s primary governance responsibilities and is critical to the success of the chief executive and to the organization as a whole. According to Leading with Intent, chief executives who have formal, written performance evaluations are more satisfied with their jobs.
Assessment benefits both the chief executive and the board by providing you with the opportunity to clarify expectations, set organizational goals, and improve weaknesses or build on past success.
BoardSource’s easy-to-use Assessment of the Chief Executive (ACE) tool aids in the growth and development of your chief executive and provides your board the opportunity to evaluate the chief executive’s performance in four key areas: annual performance goals, core competencies, leadership qualities, and accomplishments and challenges.
NOTE: During the survey set-up, you will be given the opportunity to provide our team with your chief executive’s unique goals, which will be added to the first section of the survey.
The ACE gives both board members and the chief executive the opportunity to provide feedback on the strengths and limitations of the chief executive, thereby helping to ensure that everyone shares common expectations for performance. Participation by the chief executive is important to help in the growth of a transparent relationship between the board and chief executive of your organization. The chief executive should expect to receive the same version of the survey as all other evaluators and be informed that their responses will be shown separately in the final report in order to provide a comparative analysis of the results.
Additionally, many organizations find that including select staff (such as senior team members) when conducting an assessment of their chief executive is beneficial to learning more about the chief executive’s work within the organization. BoardSource has found that the ACE can be a helpful tool for those purposes but has also begun to hear that some leaders, especially leaders of color, find this practice to be problematic. We are continuing to listen and evaluate to surface important considerations for boards inviting staff feedback in this manner. If your board has opted for a 360 approach, we suggest using the final results as a professional development tool rather than as a formal evaluation of your chief executive. This survey is not designed as a 360 tool, so some questions will not be applicable for staff. Staff (and board members) who do not feel informed enough to respond to a question are invited to select the “N/A/Don’t know” response. If you have identified staff in your participant list, please know that their responses to the survey will automatically be segmented out in the final report for optimal analysis. If three or fewer staff participate in the survey, we recommend reaching out to the individuals within that group to let them know that their responses will be segmented by role, and remind all participants that open-ended questions are reported verbatim.
Failure to adequately evaluate the chief executive can be costly, resulting in mistrust, strained working relationships, ongoing poor performance, and even turnover. In many cases, the outcome of the assessment is a strong endorsement of the executive’s performance, which serves to re-energize and affirm that they— and the organization — are headed in the right direction. Read here about how to conduct a chief executive performance assessment in 10 steps.
The Assessment of the Chief Executive (ACE) tool enables your board to evaluate the performance of your chief executive in four key areas.
Accomplishments & challenges
$699 Board Support Program Members | $899 Individual Members | $1,199 Nonmembers
Learn more about the Process & Timeline, after you purchase the assessment.
All assessments are valid for one year after the date of purchase.