The Definition of a Good Chairman
The role of a chairperson has become well recognized, and the expectations are consistently growing. Stakeholders expect to have an engaged, energetic Chairman who does more than managing corporate governance. For a chairman to be effective in his duties, he should have a good relationship with all the directors. These two offices should be able to have confidence in each other through means such as open conversations. 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 chair needs to know the mission of the board and how to measure the progress of the company. While still helping the organization by offering guidance, he should be able to acquire resources that would be of use within the organization. The position of the chairman does not allow him to run the company and he should be able to recognize that. Support to the organization is his primary role.
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. He should be able to think about the long-term goal of the organization while bearing in mind the mission of the organization. A good chair should always be selfless when problems arise until they are well resolved.
When a chair is ready to step down, he should always know how to do it and when. He does not wake up one morning and decide not to carry out his duties anymore. The chair makes sure to effectively communicate with the shareholders and stakeholders about his decision to resign a few months before he leaves. This gives the organization to start looking for a replacement. Also, the resigning chairperson gets to meet the new chairman like Hussain al Nowais and gets to introduce him to major team players within the organization.