F18 CEO Selection

How to choose the best of the best

At Lon­er­gan Part­ners, we have devel­oped the F18 process to help Boards and CEO can­di­dates increase their lev­el of rel­e­vant engage­ment pri­or to a CEO hire, test align­ment issues, and improve the suc­cess rate of new CEOs. It is our belief that through F18, we ensure a much high­er like­li­hood of a smooth tran­si­tion and a pos­i­tive outcome.

What Is F18?

F18 is a work­ing ses­sion of the Board where the top 3 CEO can­di­dates each out­line a strat­e­gy for the First 18 Months” (thus F18). Can­di­dates are pro­vid­ed a list of gen­er­al ques­tions as a guide, but are encour­aged to lead the Board in a dis­cus­sion in the direc­tion of their choos­ing. Board mem­bers take an active role by chal­leng­ing ideas, rais­ing ques­tions and inter­act­ing from a Board per­spec­tive. F18 as prac­ticed by Lon­er­gan Part­ners has been a pos­i­tive process for both Boards and the can­di­dates involved.

Andy Cunningham Portrait

Your team did an excellent job of finding CEO candidates and vetting them and giving us the space we needed to come to a decision. I think we made the right one. I love your F18 practice. Brilliant way to weed things out.

Andy Cunningham, Board Director, Motiv Power Systems
George Lauro Portrait

I was very impressed with the F-18 Process. It helped all of us on the board understand what we could expect from our top candidates if and when they became the CEO. It was also a great indication of the commitment of our top candidates, based on how they prepared for this event.

George Lauro, Board Director, Sensera

F18 - A Product of Our Experience

F18 Benefits the Board

  • Engages the whole Board in its most fun­da­men­tal respon­si­bil­i­ty – the selec­tion of the new CEO — and ele­vates the dis­cus­sion; the deci­sion is then not sole­ly the respon­si­bil­i­ty of the nom­i­nat­ing com­mit­tee mem­bers who have spent the most time inter­view­ing candidates
  • Tests for can­di­date com­mit­ment — since the can­di­date must pre­pare and must spend time with the whole Board, it rep­re­sents real skin in the game”
  • Approach­es a real world test of lead­er­ship: can the can­di­date work with the Board on shar­ing a vision and cre­ate a forum for a healthy dis­cus­sion of its merits?
  • Is actu­al­ly a strat­e­gy-lev­el dis­cus­sion for the whole Board — who they select is a vote on where the com­pa­ny will need to go

F18 Benefits the Candidate

  • The select­ed can­di­date will enjoy across the Board sup­port, with a high lev­el of com­mit­ment from the Board for their choice of leadership
  • Sets the stage for CEO/​Board part­ner­ship on an ini­tial approach to run­ning the com­pa­ny, because an ear­ly vision for the approach has been aired, test­ed, and the major­i­ty of the Board is behind it
  • Cre­ates an ear­ly forum for active engage­ment with the Board on busi­ness issues fac­ing the company
  • Lifts the basis of CEO eval­u­a­tion beyond resume and ref­er­ences, which are very impor­tant and nec­es­sary, but do not well approx­i­mate a real world” test of the CEO’s leadership
  • Allows the CEO can­di­date to see the Board in action