Board Affairs

Your mandate on the board

“This mandate that I seek is about continuity and sustainability against disruption and stagnation, about moving forward versus regressing. We have to safeguard what we have already achieved. We cannot put at risk what we have; we cannot gamble away our future”, Anon (2014)

For the best governance practices, each business or organization must have a Board of Directors. There are two types of directors –executive directors (company employees with a seat on the board, e.g. managing director) and non-executive directors (non-employees or business associates of the company appointed on the board as independents).

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Different organizations name their boards differently. Non-government organizations (NGOs) and other community-based organizations (CBOs), for example, refer to their board of directors as Board of Governors or Board of Trustees. Regardless of the name, the board is a top decision-making body of the organization appointed by the ultimate owner or shareholders to represent their interests by providing technical oversight and risk management to ensure the organization’s sustainable growth.

Depending on your connections, an opportunity may knock, and you get appointed on the board.

What next? What exactly is your role as a board member?

Many would-be good board members never perform to their full potential because they do not take time to understand their mandate, responsibilities and stakeholder expectations, in the first place. You cannot execute effectively that you do not understand well. Take a minute to consider the mandate of the board. Jot your ideas on a piece of paper. Review it after reading the following personal experience.

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