In the last few weeks I have had the opportunity to work with wonderful Chairs. These Chairs are amazing leaders. They have a secure sense of self and are very collaborative in their style. They ask the board members and Chief Executive their views, they listen well and they are extremely good at letting people know what has been decided, the actions that need to be taken, by whom and by when.
Governing with Intent, Onboard’s recent inquiry into trustee board effectiveness, board members who said the Chair was effective said s/he
(i) creates a safe climate when issues can be openly discussed (board members rated this 74%. Chief Executives rated this 72%)
(ii) effectively manages board meetings
(iii) plays a facilitative role in acknowledging the contributions of members of the board is a critical factor in strengthening the board. (board members rated this 74%. Chief Execs rated this 72%)
(iv) plays a strong role in boosting the confidence of board members and strengthening morale (board members rated this 65%. Chief executives rated this 67%)
(v) effectively handles disagreements, playing an important role in facilitating the resolution of tricky issues
(vi) effectively utilises chairs action
(vii) are good listeners and exercised wisdom in achieving balance.
(viii) Candour exists between the board and the chief executive and this is enhanced by the role the Chair plays (37% rating was given by board members and 87% was given by Chief Executives).
Chief Executives agree with these ingredients for effective chairing. They add one more – “At the moment we have an excellent chair who is focused and brings no hidden agenda” (Chief Executive).