Non-Profit Service: A Key to the Executive Suite?

Non-Profit Service: A Key to the Executive Suite?

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For business people with aspirations for executive positions, does volunteer service matter?
Thursday, March 18, 2010 - 12:15pm


According to Harold ("Terry") McGraw III, Chairman, President and CEO, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), nonprofit board service is a key qualification for any executive he might hire or promote. In a private interview with me, Terry McGraw explained that "If I don't see that [board service], I'm discouraged about the candidate. I want to see how complete a person is. Board participation tells me a lot about someone's interest and experience in teambuilding and openness toward coaching. A candidate who doesn't serve on nonprofit boards is underdeveloped."

McGraw also believes that as the CEO, he needs to be a role model through his own community service and nonprofit board participation. "Otherwise, no one will take this seriously." McGraw chairs the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP), and serves on the boards of the New York Public Library, National Organization on Disability, National Academy Foundation, Council for Economic Education, and Prep for Prep, among others. McGraw also serves on the boards of public companies.

Just like the CEOs I consult to and write about, McGraw's very first board of directors experiences...

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