Board and ceo relationship

The Board and the CEO Relationship - Better Boards Australasia

board and ceo relationship

Even a capable CEO is not really a solo act. CEOs get direction from the board and give feedback, so having a good relationship with the board. One of the “make or break” factors of nonprofit management is having a successful CEO and Board Chair relationship. However, how do we. CEOs and board members who help each other balance roles, responsibilities, and a commitment to lead will foster more resilient, ready relationships.

Our goal is twofold: To provide boards and CEOs with a clear understanding of the essential elements of an effective CEO-board relationship and to enable boards and CEOs to both assess and improve their current performance in delivering against each of these relationship attributes.

CEO Vs. Board of Directors

We have identified 25 essential elements of an effective CEO-board relationship, each with an actionable defining standard. We hope these prove useful in assessing the health and quality of the relationship dynamics in your firm.

board and ceo relationship

The chairman serves as a critical mentor and advisor to the CEO. Beyond an ability to advise on the content of strategic decisions, the chairman provides thoughtful, actionable guidance on how to effectively translate strategy into action.

Winning Over the Boardroom: The Unique Relationship Between CEO and the Board

The chairman maintains an open-door policy for the CEO to seek guidance. The chairman asks probing, penetrating questions on the logic of strategic decisions and the dynamics of organizational performance. The chairman consistently demonstrates the courage to ask tough questions. Maintains right attitude on strategy and succession: The chairman owns and embraces an active leadership role in CEO succession.

Demonstrates full commitment and engagement: The chairman brings a spirit of energetic teamwork to all interactions with the CEO. Collaborates with the CEO to establish expectations, agendas, processes and decision rules: The chairman sets precise expectations on the inputs upon which the board needs to make decisions. Proactively seeks to build professional relationships with management team: The chairman seeks to build professional relationships with key members of the management team.

board and ceo relationship

The chairman has keen insight into the profiles backgrounds, personalities, capabilities of these critical executives. Effectively communicates and facilitates: The chairman always is available and communicates openly, proactively and transparently with the CEO and directors.

CEO Vs. Board of Directors |

The chairman is uniquely able to facilitate useful discussions with the CEO and the board. The chairman encourages forceful discussions yet manages the dialog toward positive outcomes. The CEO proactively works to communicate and build relationships with the chairman and directors via regular, informal interactions outside of board meetings. Communicates openly, proactively and transparently: The CEO is fully and effortlessly transparent on the implications and risks of strategic decisions.

Proactively seeks board input outside of board meetings: Provides exposure to the executive team: The CEO facilitates informal introductions between members of the board and members of the management team. To facilitate succession planning, the CEO frequently brings members of the management team to board meetings, where managers play a substantive role.

board and ceo relationship

The CEO encourages board members to advise key managers on issues tied to their specific areas of expertise. Fully commits to the idea of an independent board: The CEO is fully committed to the concept of an independent chairman and board. The board usually only meets a few times a year, reviewing the company's performance and planning for the future. The CEO makes decisions daily, carrying out the board's directives.

CEOs make operational decisions and sets company policies.

Essential Elements of an Effective CEO-Board Relationship | Russell Reynolds Associates

They keep the board informed about corporate activities and make recommendations to the board. CEOs get direction from the board and give feedback, so having a good relationship with the board is essential. The board chair, if they are not the CEO, should be ready to provide guidance if the CEO is unclear about the board's wishes.

board and ceo relationship

A good chair may roll up their sleeves and assist the CEO if there is a crisis. If the CEO does not connect with the board or have a good rapport with the chair that can cause problems.

Board members are busy people, but when recruiting a new CEO, it may be worth meeting them in person rather than just reviewing their CV.

Startup Boards: Managing Your Long-Term Relationship

That gives the board a sense of whether they can build a partnership with the candidate. The ability for both sides to communicate honestly and openly is essential. Blurring Boundaries The dividing line between big, board-level decisions and day-to-day, CEO-level decisions and between drawing up plans and carrying them out, is not always clear.