Effective Board Leadership - Corporate Governance

Board Leadership

Every board faces a unique set of challenges and must be able to unite a unique mixture of backgrounds, talents, and personalities in pursuit of a common goal.

That’s no easy task for even the most talented leaders. The competing motives of founders, chief executive, shareholders, regulators, and other parties can create a hurricane of conflicting wills. It takes strong corporate governance to turn that hurricane into a force of relentless forward momentum.

Phillips | Kaiser

"A properly-governed company always knows what it “is”, and what it is trying to accomplish."

--- GREGORY L. PHILLIPS, HOUSTON BUSINESS ATTORNEY

The board has the most power to make decisions that result in true changes in a company's culture. The right principles and practices can mean the difference between a company that gets stronger, and one that is crushed by its own dysfunction.

5 Keys to Effective Board Leadership

1. Create stability and continuity with clear succession

It is every leader’s responsibility to ensure that an organization can carry on without them. An emergency may strike at any time, and if it does, the board members and the rest of the organization should already understand who is next in line.

Creating a clear line of succession isn’t something that only benefits the organization in a tragedy, however. Even without an emergency, a strong sense of succession fosters a sense of security and encourages trust in the leadership.

Create stability and continuity with clear succession - Houston attorney

2. Chart a clear path forward with a core idea

A properly-governed company always knows what it “is”, and what it is trying to accomplish. Defining that core idea is one of the principal roles of the board of directors. Once set, it can be used for inspiration for strategic planning by the executive directors and lower management.

The core idea can be defined by the niche the company wants to fill or the service that it wants to deliver better than anyone else. When a core idea is compelling, it can drive innovation at every level of the company.

Develop the core idea | Houston Business Attorney
Craig Kaiser, General PArtner, Attorney
Craig Kaiser, Founding Partner, Attorney

We made it easy to get a basic understanding of mergers and acquisitions. Our comprehensive guide will help you.

Craig Kaiser, General PArtner, Attorney
Craig Kaiser, Founding Partner, Attorney

Hiring some to be an inside counsel can be costly and unaffordable. General Counsel Services offers an alternative.

Gregory Phillips, Attorney
Gregory Phillips, Founding Partner, Attorney

Top 20 Reasons Startups Fail --- Yes, Legal Challenges is one of the top 20 reasons.

Gregory Phillips, Attorney
Gregory Phillips, Founding Partner, Attorney

6 reasons we should protect intellectual property.

previous arrownext arrow
Slider

3. Define clear separation of powers to reduce the risk of conflict

A chain of command is as essential to a company’s day-to-day operation as it is in a military organization. Power struggles are at the root of almost all dysfunctional relationships in a company, and they can be avoided or resolved more quickly if the command chain is crystal clear.

Boards of directors can show leadership by carefully defining which leaders or which departments have direct responsibility for a certain function. This makes it easy to define who is expected to yield when a conflict comes up that must be mediated.

Chain of command - Phillips | Kaiser
Phillips | Kaiser

"When the board maintains the highest standards, it spreads to the rest of the organization."

--- GREGORY L. PHILLIPS, HOUSTON BUSINESS ATTORNEY

4. Confront toxicity at the earliest stages

An effective board doesn’t enjoy the luxury of letting problems “work themselves out,” especially when those problems are fights between board leadership or management. Any conflict that can’t be resolved directly between the parties involved should be directly addressed as a group effort.

Being proactive about conflict will both offer insight about the weak points in an organization and insight into who is most likely to be involved when there are problems.

Confront toxicity - Houston Business Attorneys

5. Demand ethical excellence and set an example

Ethical practices in a company start with values that are established from the top down.  Absent a board setting a values-based culture, corruption is one of the biggest risks in any organization. Even when the risks of legal liability aren’t considered, the motives of the leaders are warped by any corruption. Good faith quickly becomes replaced by conflicts of interest. Good leaders with a strong moral sense are replaced with cronies who aren’t reliable for anything but keeping secrets.

Mission, Values, Vision - Houston Business Lawyers

When the board maintains the highest standards, it spreads to the rest of the organization. This is how a board of directors shows leadership and creates lasting institutions. Starting with these practices and principles will give any board the foundation necessary to execute the most ambitious projects.

Craig Kaiser, General PArtner, Attorney
Craig Kaiser, Founding Partner, Attorney

We made it easy to get a basic understanding of mergers and acquisitions. Our comprehensive guide will help you.

Craig Kaiser, General PArtner, Attorney
Craig Kaiser, Founding Partner, Attorney

Hiring some to be an inside counsel can be costly and unaffordable. General Counsel Services offers an alternative.

Gregory Phillips, Attorney
Gregory Phillips, Founding Partner, Attorney

Top 20 Reasons Startups Fail --- Yes, Legal Challenges is one of the top 20 reasons.

Gregory Phillips, Attorney
Gregory Phillips, Founding Partner, Attorney

6 reasons we should protect intellectual property.

previous arrownext arrow
Slider
#

Request a Complimentary Consultation