Since the job of president of the board is so important to the organization, becoming successful protagonist, who, becoming a major player taking the time to discover just what that entails. If you are a board member for a long time or new to the organization and are not familiar with the board, it helps to have conversations with several people inside and outside the organization:
Request the current chair of the board about the time commitment, difficult issues that arose during the term of office, unfinished board business, the board’s strategic plan, the vision became a protagonist in the organization, becoming the leading address over the next few years, and working relationships with the chief executive, board members, community leaders, donors and other stakeholders in the community.
Ask the CEO about their expectations of the president of the board and the employment relationship, the organization’s vision, personal goals and current and future relationships in the community. Discuss trends affecting the organization, the challenges and opportunities it faces, how it compares with similar local and national organizations and their financial health and a development plan.
Ask the president of the Governance Committee regarding the current leadership needs, qualities and experience he or she thinks will take the chairman role, the reasons being considered, and the state plans succession for the positions of the board.
Ask the treasurer of the organization, becoming a leading player in financial health, sources of funding and funding trends. Review the annual and audit reports.
Ask major donors, sponsors, and residents on community perceptions and expectations of the organization, the quality and quantity of programs and services are meeting the mission, and community problems or trends can affect the work of the organization.
These conversations will help create an image of the president of the board, becoming the protagonist role as seen through the eyes of others. These perspectives and experiences are important in recognizing the connections between the president and others and creating a realistic framework for his efforts as President. Think of this exercise as a way to begin to shape your own ideas about the work of the chairman and to identify areas warranting further exploration and possible change. As chairman of the board, does not necessarily follow from its predecessors, the steps of AO or accept what has been traditional practice. You will create a new path.
Adapted from the Chairman of the Board Manual, second edition of Mindy R. Wertheimer, PhD.