Five Good Ideas about successful board-executive director relationships
Relationships between charitable sector leaders and their Boards require a significant investment of time, energy, and resources from all parties. Investing in Board-Executive Director relationships is a not a choice. Investing in successful Board-Executive Director relationships is one. Tim Penner and Medhat Mahdy believe that choosing to invest in successful relationships is an essential catalyst toward organizational performance and community impact. Using the benefits of trusting relationships as their departure point, Tim and Medhat drew on their experiences as Chair of the Board and President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Toronto, respectively, to lead this session on how to align charities around choosing, and building, successful Board-Executive Director relationships.
Five Good Ideas
- Start with a shared vision and values.
- Define the diversity and skills matrix needed to help you achieve your vision, and recruit Board members around it.
- Invest the time, and open yourself up to the vulnerability, needed to build trusting relationships.
- Play your positions. Like in any sport, volunteer staff partnerships work best when team members complement, rather than duplicate, each other.
- Measurement matters. Put in place a measurement system that will allow the Board to focus on strategic oversight over time (the big picture, long view) and not get lost in the weeds.
Example of a board evaluation template (MS Word document)
Five Good Resources
- Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action
- 20 Questions Directors of Not-For-Profit Organizations Should Ask about Board Recruitment, Development and Assessment by Dr. Richard Leblanc and Hugh Lindsay, Chartered Accountants of Canada
- Brené Brown: The Power of Vulnerability
- Guide to Good Governance by the Ontario Hospital Association
- Good to Great in the Social Sector by Jim Collins