At AH, we wanted to delve deeper into aspects of association leadership, with the goal to learn what leadership practices nurture great boards as well as the skills association leaders need to be most effective.
We conducted a survey, both qualitative and quantitative along with Smooth the Path, to learn from current association executives, what makes up a good leader (both staff and board leaders).
This is the 3rd in a series of posts that explores the findings and highlights some of the statistics found through this research.
Respondents were asked, when an effective board is assembled, what are some of the qualities that are required to shine through, whether it be per individual or the board as a whole.
To be an effective board, board members must be trusting of their CEO and staff, supportive of the CEO, focused on advancing the industry/profession and the overall mission of the association, ethical, and engaged. To respondents, the definition of an “engaged” board means being prepared, responsive to membership, involved, and committed.
When effective boards are assembled, the outcome is more interest in volunteering, the profile of the association improves or grows in the industry, and committees and task forces reach their goals.
When an association has a high-functioning board, the relationship between the board chair and the association’s CEO/president/executive director is strong. More than 43.18% agreed that the board is co-led by the board chair and the association’s CEO/president/executive director. Only 13.64 percent thought the association’s CEO/president/executive director could lead a highly functional board alone and only 15.91 percent thought the board chair could lead a highly functional board alone.
Common themes from respondents on the effectiveness of a board chair are an engaged board chair supports the CEO and also assists in making decisions so that initiatives can move forward. They inspire the rest of the group to action and keep them on task. In addition, a good chair is one who has been a good member. They are vetted and respected; they know how to serve, support, and lead.
What other outcomes do you see coming from an effective board?