Things to consider when seeking a board chairman

By Jennifer Muntz, Andrew Keyt

An effective chairman encourages diversity of viewpoints and healthy debate.

(Related Story: How to develop a diverse board and select the right chairman)

  • The chairman must have the skills to work with management and facilitate an effective board process.
  • The chairman must be trusted by the family and by management.
  • The chairman’s values must be aligned with the family’s values. For example, if the family is conservative and the chairman is a risk taker, friction is likely to result.
  • The chairman must have the skills to foster family unity and cohesion.
  • The chairman must have high emotional intelligence. He or she must understand the complexity inherent in all family enterprises and the dynamics of the specific family ownership group.
     
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