The Definition of a Good Chairman
The role of the chairman has become high in profile and the expectations multiplied over time. Stakeholders expect to have an engaged, energetic Chairman who does more than managing corporate governance. The success of a Chairman like Hussain al Nowais depends on how good his relationship with the chief executive is. The two should be practice candor and transparency for them to be able to rely on each other. For the two parties to work in unison, they need to perceive that they hold contrasting positions in the company.
For a chairman to be effective, he should have good knowledge about the business he is in. He should be able to provide a constructive level of challenge to the senior management team. Whenever he needs information on particular issues, he should be able to ask the right questions. A good chairperson is always aware of the long-term vision of the company. He should be able to offer guidance to the organization while still helping to secure external resources outside the organization. The position of the chairman does not allow him to run the company and he should be able to recognize that. He should mainly offer support to the management team.
A chairman, however, should make sure that he devotes just the right amount of time to the roles he is supposed to take care of. He should not be involved in too much of the organization’s work either. From time to time, he can walk around the organization and see how the employees are progressing and enquire about any challenges they may be facing. Like Mr. Hussain al Nowais, an excellent chairman can develop empathy with the business and engage with the people and any ongoing issues. The ability to run an effective board and make sure there is a good relationship between the shareholders and stakeholders is what defines a good chairman.
In case there is a big issue in the company, the chair should be able to dedicate his time to trying to solve it. The mission of the company is the most important detail; hence the chair cannot afford to forget it. A good chair should always be selfless when problems arise until they are well resolved.
A great chairman should follow the right procedure when he is ready to resign from his duty. He does not wake up one morning and decide not to carry out his duties anymore. He is careful enough to hand in his resignation letter and inform the management team at least six months earlier. This will allow the company to have enough time to look for a successor. The outgoing chairperson gets an opportunity to hand over his roles to his successor.
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