How to Strengthen the Nonprofit Board Chair – CEO Relationship

nonprofit board chair ceo relationship

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My wife quit her job once and forgot to tell me.

I had a sense she was unhappy, but quitting wasn’t something she had mentioned. And it wasn’t like a gig at Home Depot. She was our primary breadwinner. A big TV executive.

And it’s not like we didn’t communicate – we did. Well and often. Several times a day. About grocery lists and weekend visits to see my mom. The typical “weeds” of running a household. But that big tree in the forest? We never actually made time to talk about that.

We both learned. I learned to ask more. We both learned about the value of longer, big picture conversations.

Except for the dog she sprung on me, there haven’t been surprises since.

I bet something like this has happened to you at some point. You overhear your significant other telling somebody something monumental and think, “How could I not know this?”

What we have here is a failure to communicate. It happens. Even in the best of relationships.

And when it comes to nonprofits, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it until I’m blue in the face. The single best sign of a healthy nonprofit is a strong relationship between the Board Chair and the CEO.

If you’re not sure you agree, go click on the link above and then come back here. Perhaps I’ll have convinced you.

But either way, I think we can agree that every nonprofit wants a strong partnership between the staff and the board. And that starts at the top.

I help nonprofits in a lot of different ways. One of those ways is to help the Board Chair and Executive Director set a standing agenda that facilitates strong and productive communication.

Today, I’d like to share my standard agenda structure with you. Even if you think you’re already communicating well at the top, take a look. Perhaps you’ll learn something you can add.Continue Reading

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