In chapter five of his recent book, Horseshoes vs Chess, Dave Adkisson, makes the statement that reporting to a board is so different than reporting to a boss. So true!
He talked about getting your board members involved in something they want to do to support the chamber and the community.
He talked about finding a unique way to get each board member involved, which could be:
- Financial support;
- A go between with the mayor on a sensitive topic;
- Use a personal connection to secure a key speaker at one of your programs; or
- They might lend their marketing department to run a special membership campaign.
He went on to talk about the complexities of having a new boss each year (i.e., a new chairman). I’ve talked about the important role you as the CEO should play in the nominating process so you can have input on who will be going up the chain of command.
His approach is more nuanced than that since he never wanted to be in a position to pick one person over another. He would give background information that might be helpful in steering the conversation and ultimately picking the person he thought would be best, but not always.
I have written in the past that a Memorandum of Understanding might be worth sharing with your incoming chairman. It lays out who is responsible for what throughout the year. This can be shared at an orientation meeting you conduct with your incoming chairman just before they take the reigns of the organization.
The last thing I wanted to comment on in chapter five (there’s so much more) is the “No Surprises Rule.” This is true for everybody no matter your status in an organization. Always inform your boss if there is something they should know so they don’t get blindsided (manager to director, director to vice president and yes CEO to Chairman). I think you get the idea!