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Top 10 Characteristics of an Effective Board of Directors

1.  Remain consistently dedicated to refining and fulfilling the mission.

2.  Develop and adhere to a clear and engaging board selection, recruitment and orientation process.

3.  Organize responsibilities, set goals and measure the performance of the Board as a whole and its individual members.

4.  Define and execute the processes and expectations for hiring, evaluating and compensating the CEO.  

5.  Understand and act with the belief and knowledge that the Board governs while the staff manages and these are separate, yet fully aligned functions.

6.  Build a leadership pipeline for Board officer positions and offer mentoring/training and other supports for to enhance the success of all Board members.

7.  Create a cycle of respect, trust and candor among all members and an environment where generative questions are welcomed. 

8.  Act as an ambassador for the organization and its ‘work’ while upholding the duties of care, loyalty, and confidence. 

9.  Actively build relationships with individuals outside the organization that advance the organization’s overall mission, vision, and constituents.

10. Embrace change while being willing to take risks that can lead to rewards.

References:

Mize, J.W. (2005).  The 8 Principles of Effective Governance: A Handbook for Directors of Nonprofit Organizations. Clark, Mize, Linville, Chartered.

Sonnenfeld, J.A. (2002). What makes great boards.  Harvard Business Review, pp. 106-113.

Tuti Scott