Leadership Qualities Needed to Develop the Role of The Chairman
Here are seven essential qualities for an effective chair:
1. Creating a safe space for contribution.
A chairman must create the space and motivation for contribution from all board members.
2. Supporting the CEO
A chairman must act as coach, mentor, active listener, and do whatever is required to support the CEO in fulfilling his responsibilities, which may sometimes include defending him against excessive criticism from the Board.
3. Supporting the management team.
Aligned with supporting the CEO, a chairman will seek to hear the concerns of the senior managers, without cutting across the CEO’s authority.
4. Art of conflict resolution
A chairman is responsible for the effective running of the Board, which can only occur if the stakeholders in the organisation are resolving the inevitable conflicts of interest or aspiration in a timely manner.
5. Watching the horizon
Major issues with governance and structure are likely to arise and a chairman can have time to look out for these and discuss with the CEO and raise with the Board when appropriate.
6. Resolving the big issues
Major changes may involve conflict, and at times the chairman will be tested in resolving these.
7. Choosing the CEO.
If the CEO resigns, the Chairman will take responsibility to find a replacement with the agreement of the Board.
In summary the work of an organisation and its CEO is made hugely easier with an effective chairman and Board.