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2017 Board Leadership Summits Focus on the Importance of the Board Chair and CEO Relationship

Posted By SCANPO, Tuesday, December 6, 2016

SCANPO is pleased to present 3 Board Leadership Summits in the first half of 2017 for Nonprofit Board Members and CEOs only. These Summits will explore in depth the importance of the CEO and Board Chair relationship.

Successful nonprofits share two common qualities. First, they depend on a strong CEO with dependable executive leadership qualities. And second, they must count on a Board Chair committed to fostering a collaborative and engaged board. Thus, ensuring a healthy and communicative relationship between the two is often paramount to the success of any nonprofit.

The foundation of any productive CEO/Board Chair partnership is, first and foremost, characterized by mutual trust and respect. Oftentimes, a rigidly defined delegation of responsibilities between the two can be counter-productive. Therefore, building trust early by laying out the strengths and weaknesses of each, along with what they hope to accomplish together, will serve the relationship well. This way, the CEO and Board Chair can work out ways to complement one each other to serve the best interest of their goals for their nonprofit.

Not surprisingly, an open line of communication between the Board Chair and the CEO will go a long way to strengthen their relationship. One of the biggest challenges in this relationship can be that the two can feel like they’re getting in each other’s ways or stepping on the other’s toes. By encouraging openness and a sense of flexibility from the very beginning of their relationship, communication will be more effective and more frequent. In fact, many failed Board Chair/CEO relationships result from a lack of communication.

Both the CEO of a nonprofit and its Board Chair should act in-step as spokespersons for their nonprofit. By fostering a collaborative environment between the two of them, they are setting an example that others in the organization will surely follow. When trusting relationships occur from top to bottom, nonprofits are often most successful in achieving their goals. Indeed, establishing a strong relationship between a CEO and a Board Chair can be the most important way for a nonprofit to succeed.

Start 2017 on the right foot by attending one of SCANPO’s Board Leadership Summits. Register now.

Tags:  Board Leadership Summit  Kershaw County  Lowcountry  SCANPO  Upstate 

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SCANPO Announces Series of Board Leadership Summits

Posted By Debbie Nelson, SCANPO, Friday, July 29, 2016
Updated: Friday, July 29, 2016

Hi SCANPO friends,

The hundreds of nonprofits we work with in South Carolina – including you – all have powerful missions, dedicated staff and an engaged Board. Our focus at SCANPO is not only to support the entire sector working together but also to connect and strengthen each individual organization’s relationship between Board and staff.

Later this year, we will roll out a series of Board Leadership Summits in all parts of South Carolina, which are designed to provide learning opportunities and a platform to share experiences to your organization’s leadership. These Summits, for SCANPO members only, are exclusively for Board members and CEOs. They are available in four areas of the state: 

  • Midlands Board Leadership Summit
    • Tuesday, October 11, 2016
    • Location: United Way of the Midlands, 1818 Blanding Street, Columbia, SC
    • Time: 8:00 am - Noon 
    • REGISTER NOW  
  • Kershaw County Board Leadership Summit (Tentative)
    • Wednesday, January 18, 2017
    • Location: Central Carolina Technical College, Kershaw County Campus (1125 Little Street, Camden, SC)
    • Time: 8:00 am - Noon 
    • REGISTER NOW
  • Lowcountry Board Leadership Summit
    • Tuesday, May 23, 2017
    • Location: The Citadel, Mark Clark Hall Buyer Auditorium, Charleston, SC
    • Time: 8:00 am - Noon
    • REGISTER NOW
  • Upstate Board Leadership Summit
    • Thursday, April 20, 2017
    • Location: Furman University, Melvin & Dollie Younts Conference Center
    • Time; 8:00 am - Noon
    • REGISTER NOW

Please visit our Board Leadership Summit page to find out more about each Summit, including a sample agenda and details on registration fees.

SCANPO is dedicated to helping leadership within every organization grow (see our other training opportunities here). We hope your Board and CEO will take the opportunity to strengthen their relationship and in turn, your organization.

Thank you,

Debbie Nelson

Knowledge Network Services

SCANPO


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Tags:  board  Board Governance  Board Leadership Summit  governance  SCANPO 

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The Role of the Board Chair

Posted By Guest Blog: Ted Legasey, Monday, April 18, 2016

I have had the honor of chairing a number of nonprofit boards and have learned much in the process.  When I step in as chair, I typically write a letter to the board sharing my thoughts on my role as chair. Madeleine thought you might find reading my typical letter helpful.   Ted

Dear Fellow Board Members.Ted Legasey

To help you understand me, let me share a little bit of my philosophy regarding boards. 

My personal view is that a chairperson’s role is as a leader among equals.  A good chairperson should be a facilitator who brings out the best in every board member in building a consensus from what can be very different points of view.   

The chairperson has to be fair to all—a good listener and a good communicator.  A good chairperson should also be open-minded and should encourage all board members to voice their views.  To me this is critical because the whole concept of a board is based on the belief that the best decisions are made after full discussion and debate by people with different types of experiences.  

The chairperson also has to be efficient in running meetings and moving us quickly without discouraging board members from sharing their views.  The chair has to professionally interface with staff and various constituents and reflect the consensus of the entire board—even when it might differ from their own personal view on a matter.   

Also, the chairperson is not the CEO, and should not intrude on the CEO’s responsibilities. Even though the board does have a responsibility for oversight, we must observe a line of demarcation between the responsibilities of the board and those of the CEO. Indeed, if we work well as a board then we will serve as a resource to the CEO that will help enable her or him to be truly successful in carrying out assigned responsibilities.

Personally, my style is to encourage open communication and debate.  I prefer not to spend much time in board meetings on “transactional” matters that can be handled efficiently in advance or outside the meetings, so that we will have a much time as possible for substantive discussion.  You will undoubtedly see me trying to move our meetings in this direction. 

I believe that board committees are very valuable and should do their substantive work in advance of board meetings so that crisp reports can be made to the entire board.  And finally, I encourage each of you to let me know at any time if you have suggestions for better ways to operate as a board.  I look forward to working with all of you to accomplish this organization’s ambitious vision.

 Each of us has agreed to serve on this board and give of our time, talent, and treasure for our own special reasons.  In common, I suspect, is that we share a commitment to the broad mission area in general, and to this organization in particular.  Today, neither is without their fair share of problems.  This means our service can have great value. 

I look forward to working with each of you to ensure this organization achieves its full potential.

Ted Legasey

About the Author


Ted is the board chair of the Charleston Promise Neighborhood and a member of the boards of the USAFA Endowment, the Trident United Way (TUW) and the Tri-County Cradle-to-Career Collaborative (TCCC). He is also a member of the TCCC Executive Committee. Ted was a founding member of SVP Charleston, which is a social venture philanthropy organization, and a founder of Book Buddies, which is the predecessor organization of Reading Partners Charleston.

Ted’s passion is helping to bring about fundamental improvement in the public education of children from lower income households, and he is co-chairing the Movement for Effective Schools for All Charleston Children.

Find out about April 22nd Board Leadership Summit. 


 

Tags:  Board Governance  Board Leadership Summit  Board Training  Ted Legacey 

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