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What Defines 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 relationship between the Chairman and the chief executive officer should be good to ensure the success of both of them. Their relationship should be honest, transparent and they should be able to trust one another. The two parties have to understand that they have different roles for them to work together successfully.

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. Since he does not run the company, he does not have much work. When the chairman is in the business premises, he can interact with the customers, investor or workers to see how business is running as Mr. Hussain al Nowais does. Like Mr. Hussain al Nowais, an excellent chairman can develop empathy with the business and engage with the people and any ongoing issues. Running the organization, bringing together the senior management team and other members of the organization are what describes an effective chairperson.

If the company runs in a crisis, the chair is supposed to intervene quickly and offer necessary guidance on how to deal with the menace. 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.

A great chairman should follow the right procedure when he is ready to resign from his duty. He suddenly does not step down from his position without any warning. 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.