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.