Oh how many times have I heard that? My short answer is, “so do I and I probably stand a better chance!”
But can we just all be realistic for a moment. It’s simply not that straightforward, so before you apply to be CEO of a charity, think carefully. Is your belief in the charity and your desire to be CEO clouding your judgement a little? Do you really have the knowledge, skills and experience required for the role? This is crucial, especially for the smaller charity who cannot afford to take a risk and be recruiting again in twelve months’ time. You need to read and re-read the job description and personal specification, understand what is really important to the charity, not what you think they need. If you only tick two thirds of the boxes, my recommendation is to leave it there. Take advice, ask others what they think about your application, but ask someone who is going to be honest. We all have valuable experience and networks of contacts but how relevant is this to the charity you are applying to. And finally, please don’t sulk or bad mouth the charity if you are unsuccessful in your application, this is simply childish and damaging (mostly to you). Trust me I meet many candidates who have applied for CEO roles, some know very little about the work of the charity, have never worked in the third sector before and have little idea of the challenges facing many small charitable organisations today.
So think carefully, if you were doing the recruiting would you recruit you?