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Management report to board

Your manager is your Chief Executive Officer, whether called that or not– hence I use he term ‘CEO” throughout. (And since these Coos often are women, I’ve used the female gender throughout. ) Assumption one: As a board member, I work for my CEO. While it is true the board of directors hires its chief executive officer, I believe the job of an individual board member is actually to work for the CEO. If this is indeed the case, it is very important for the board to have a chief executive officer they believe in and want to work for.

For this to happen, the goals of the CEO must be the same as the goals of the board, as articulated in the corporate mission statement, and the road must have complete confidence In the ability of the CEO to achieve these goals, as demonstrated by past and current performance. Assumption two: If you do not like your CEO, you will fire her. This seems obvious. In reality, many boards choose to fight with their CEO instead. You won’t catch me on one of those boards. Antagonistic personal relationships are not something I volunteer for. Change the CEO or change the

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board member.

If your board as a whole only has wavering support for your CEO, the issue can be made clearer by giving her a $10,000 raise. I call this a win/win raise. If she is good he deserves it, she will appreciate it, and she will produce more because of it. If she is bad, it makes firing her a whole lot easier. Remember: Just because you give your CEO a $10,000 raise does not mean you give her permission to reduce net income by that amount. In fact, to justify her high wages you should now demand that she produce more net income than before.

Assumption three: Being a board member is a volunteer position. With why you are serving on this board. As a volunteer, your generosity should not be exploited. Your board work must be structured to allow you to make the greatest Seibel contribution with the least amount of time spent on your part. Boards are not training campus for martyrs. Assumption four: My major responsibility is to assist my CEO in making good decisions. Note that this is not the same as making good decisions myself.

Since I trust my CEO, my role is simply to provide, during the decision making process, as much insight and critical appraisal as my training and experience allow. Timely, I let my CEO make the actual decisions. If the end results of the Coo’s decision are good I am glad I let her do it her way. If the end results are bad we fire the CEO. Assumption five: All the important decisions have been made before the board meeting starts. I am a rubber stamp proponent. A good CEO will not bring important proposals to a board meeting unless they are going to pass: why waste the time?

All the passionate arguments have already been made before the meeting starts, and everyone is fully aware of all the pros and cons. People have made up their minds. Now is the time to tolerate brief discussion, vote, and accept victory or defeat graciously. Board meetings can be a pleasant experience. Once we have structured a board/management relationship we can live with, it is mime to ask the question: as a board member, what reports do I need from management in order to do my Job well?

In order to maintain an overview of the business I want a regular management report in a standard format. Since board members are busy people and your CEO is an effective manager, our board only needs four regular meetings a year shortly after each quarterly financial statement is released. For each meeting I want two to five written pages of comprehensive management commentary. The contents of the written management report should answer seven fundamental questions for every key area of the business. What happened (during the last quarter)?

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