"This way of evaluating senior leaders allows boards to set long term goals so that if they execute them, they'll have a lot of dollars they don't want to leave [by moving on to a new job]," says Chastain.
With consolidation increasing, he says boards are becoming more and more savvy about evaluating their leadership. They don't just defer to the executive's judgment and perceived expertise anymore.
Chastain relates a story about a health system with about $3 billion in net annual revenue that engaged him in an executive search. The chair of the finance committee, who serves on several other boards, told him there's not a lot of difference in terms of board focus between the health system board and the ones he serves on in other industries.
"I used to be on a hospital board," says Chastain. "Historically, the discussions were around which surgeon was upset about his or her block time," he says. "Now they are having discussions around quality, and whether to buy, sell, build, or merge. This is corporate board stuff."