During the non-profit management seminar, we had a terrific presentation by Larry Mandel, former president of Woodbury College. Larry discussed the relationship between the board, board president and executive director. Here are my notes …
Almost all problems within a NP can be traced back to conflict between a Governance and Leadership. “that’s my job!”…. ” No that’s your job!”
Systems as policy: This works both ways. Good systems can foster good policy. Sclerotic systems can thwart good policy. There is always a danger of sacrificing one on the alter of the other.
It is almost impossible for an ED to outperform their board.
It is almost impossible or a board to outperform their ED.
The two are locked in a symbiotic embrace; failure of one will guarantee failure of the other.
The ED needs to spend schmooze time with individual board members.
Mentor the executive director … Or the board.
Board needs to be asked to engage.
The person who has the biggest stake in success in the board is the ED.
What happens if there is a problem, How can we talk about it, it shouldn’t be personal .
You will have duds on your board. (the bell curve).
With 4 or 5 people who really are being leaderly and being role models and set up the expectation will help make it work.
Executive Director = transient = focused on the organization
Board = permanent = connected to the community
Liability Insurance for the Board
If you can possibly afford it, then get it!
Directors and Officers costs about $1000 per year.
Magic number is six years before you rotate off the board.
The board should create its own work plan.
You are three board members away from a great board to chaos. Often the best composition of a board is 1/3 wealth, work and wisdom .
Different stages of board development.
The board really has only one staff member. The ED.
You want to have a board that makes the ED successful.
The ED wants the board to be successful. If this trust isn’t in place, then you are doomed.
The board protcts the assets tangible and intangible, of the stakeholder, client, donor, funder, public ownership —- community good-will.
Develops and monitors policies and a future stratigic direction
- Duty of Care
- Duty of Loyalty
- Duty of Obedience – operate within laws, bylaws, etc.
There should be a conflict of interest policy, signed by the board members. The conflict is Ok…..it just has to be disclosed.
Board chairs must have the time to perform their duties.