Smart Ideas: Companies Revisited

The Definition of 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 success of a Chairman like Hussain al Nowais depends on how good his relationship with the chief executive is. These two offices should be able to have confidence in each other through means such as open conversations. They both need to recognize that they have different duties for them to work harmoniously.

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. He should be able to offer guidance to the organization while still helping to secure external resources outside the organization. It would be very disappointing if the chairman does not realize that it is not his job to run the business but to ensure that it is running well. Support to the organization is his primary role.

A chair is required to just put in a few hours if his time to carry out his duties. He should not be involved in too much of the organization’s work either. 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. An experienced chairman should be able to understand other people’s feelings and also the company. Running the organization, bringing together the senior management team and other members of the organization are what describes an effective chairperson.

In case there is a big issue in the company, the chair should be able to dedicate his time to trying to solve it. He should be able to think about the long-term goal of the organization while bearing in mind the mission of the organization. He should be able to set aside his interests for the benefit of the organization; which includes helping to solve any of the problems around.

A good chairperson knows when and how to step down from an organization. He does not step down abruptly without any previous 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. Also, the resigning chairperson gets to meet the new chairman like Hussain al Nowais and gets to introduce him to major team players within the organization.