Trust is Critical for Successful Board and CEO Relationships
It is critical that a trusting relationship with mutual respect exists between a board of directors and the paid operating head of an association. Whether it be the CEO, executive director or whatever the chief staff executive title is, this person is the link between the board and staff. If the partnership between the board and its CEO is solid, the board can focus on its fiduciary and overview obligations with a trust-but-verify approach.

Huffington Post columnist and professor Eugene Fram emphasizes several factors that signify a trusting partnership is in place. For example, the CEO should be an equal partner in fundraising efforts, have a good professional relationship with all board members, feel comfortable in disagreeing with them and accept that there will be a rigorous examination in place to evaluate his or her performance. In addition, he or she must feel comfortable with the processes the board uses when holding executive sessions without the CEO present. It is also important that the CEO never make decisions as if his or her job is at risk. Fram explains that board members should view the CEO as a peer and not as a board servant, and they should rely on the CEO's knowledge and experience. Finally, board members should also never discuss the executive's professional limitations outside of the boardroom.
Huffington Post (12/26/14) Fram, Eugene
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