The board and the chief executive – the perfect match.

Are the board and the chief executive the perfect match?

Yes! AccordiThe board and the chief executive – the perfect match.ng to Governing with Intent (An inquiry into trustee board effectiveness Onboard/BWB 2015).

  • 74% of board members believe the chief executive’s performance is enhanced by the role of the chair compared to 87% of chief executives who believe the chief executives  performance is enhanced by the role of the chair.
  • 65% of board members thought the chief executive supported the board to govern effectively compared to 35% of board members who did think the chief executive supported the board to govern effectively.
  • 81% of board members thought there is candour in the relationship between the chief executive and the board, compared to 19% of the board did not think there was candour.

These statistics speak to the importance of the role of the Chair in maintaining board effectively and demonstrating leadership.   The Chair has to be adequately equipped to perform this role.

Worryingly that the Association of Chairs (AoC) has published a survey that shows that Chairs are not receiving the support they need to perform their role as efficiently and effectively as needed.   According to AoC:


  • 34% of Chairs had an induction (the most basic form of support).
  • 37% accessed training (two thirds were funded by their organisations and a third paid for themselves)
  • 16% had any mentoring or coaching.
  • Fewer than 50% had assessed any kind of development support in the last 12 months.
  • Many Chairs restricted themselves to any free sources of support.
This pessimistic picture has to change if there is to be high performing governance. Chairs must be able to access the support they need and their organisations have got to invest in their performance. It is only with fully equipped Chairs that Chief Executives can be matched with the perfect partners to support effective leadership.

Thinking, Doing & Behaving…Your Ingredients for Board Success

Thinking, Doing  & Behaving…Your Ingredients

Tesse Akpeki Boards Success1.Set Mission-Based Goals  for board meetings
2.Make sure board time is put to good use. Utilise new technologies where appropriate
3.Ensure your intellectual & social capital is tapped
4.Periodically assess “How are we doing?” ask “What are we doing?” & “Why”?
5.Optimising  opportunities (quicker OR better decisions)
6.How often are our brilliant ideas put into play?

Lessons on Leadership – learning from the Ebola Crisis

Tesse AkpekiWhen the Ebola epidemic broke out in West Africa, a man tried to enter Nigeria for  treatment. He was held at the International airport by a leading doctor and her colleague. The gentleman was never allowed into Lagos. Their action saved millions of lives. In densely populated Lagos, millions of people could have died.

The act of the woman doctor and her colleague cost them their lives. Her son said his mother knew what the risks were and she was prepared to die for the greater good of mankind. If this is not authentic leadership what was is? This was about decisive action, swift controls, firmness, commitment to a vision (of saving lives), a clear path forward and cultural change. The Nigerian Government swung into action and eradicated Ebola from its shores.

Behaviours changed leading to a different outcome. The path of leadership can be lonely, but these heroes leave a legacy behind which outlives the years they walked on this earth.

Time to Think For More Effective Decision Making

Tesse AkpekiIn today’s fast moving environment we hardly have time to think or even breathe!  Decisions can be made quickly with very little discussion, deliberation or debate.  However decisions that have a big impact and long term consequences need more space for consideration, intentionality and purposefulness.   Mindfulness demonstrates the importance, in fact the necessity of slowing down to speed up.

Nancy Kline’s work aptly called ‘Time to think’ provides a valuable framework to create a thinking environment.   .    I had the opportunity of spending three days with Nancy Kline practising the skills required for the thinking partnership and sharing experiences of approaches that work.   Consider the meeting you would not want to miss it.   People listen to each other without interrupting, attention is 100%, information is shared, diversity is honoured, people feel appreciated, encouraged and valued.    There is a palpable sense of ease in a place that says to everyone, ‘you matter’.   In the thinking environment, there is  space for resolving differences should they arise.    In this environment, everyone wins!