The chairman of a board is the highest ranking director in a company’s board of directors. Some of the main responsibilities of the Chairman include presiding over board/committee meetings and providing general leadership and direction to both the board and the company. The position of a chairman is therefore pivotal and requires the board to critically consider the individual to be chosen to chair a board.
Some factors to be considered in selecting the chairman of the board are:
1. Integrity: The chairman of the board must be honest, reliable and committed to the position he holds and the company he serves. A board chair must always do the right thing, and have the right conversations, even when this is difficult.
2. Influence: The chairman is responsible for ensuring that board members use their unique skills for the good of the company. To this end, a chairman must effectively communicate with board members, identify their strengths and weaknesses and respect each director’s perspective. Overall, he must be able to influence them to overcome their weaknesses and channel their strengths towards the greater good of the company.
3. Intellect and Experience: A certain level of intelligence and experience is required to lead a board. It is in the best interest of a company to appoint a chairman who has extensive knowledge and experience in the sector in which the company operates or has previously served as director or chairman in a company carrying on similar business.
4. Decisiveness: A good chairman knows what to prioritise, when to take action, and what judgement to make in difficult circumstances. He must also know how to use the best information to make decisions which balance the needs of stakeholder groups.
5. Ability to chair meetings: A chairman must be able to effectively chair meetings. Most of the crucial decisions that affect a company’s operations are made at board meetings. The ability to prudently manage board meetings for effective decision making is an important attribute of a chairman. Skills such as formulating agendas, ensuring balanced contributions from each board member, ensuring clarity of decisions taken and following up to ensure that such decisions are implemented are essential for a chairman.
A good chairman is without doubt invaluable to the company and will automatically become a company secretary’s ally.
The contents of this news alert are meant for the general information of our clients and friends and do not amount to legal advice. All enquiries on the subject may be made to: email@example.com
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