Chairperson offers

 Balance, Stability, an Independent View

In today’s world the proper corporate structure can be confusing, even for businesses that have been around for decades or more whatever your industry or niche might be.

Ensuring that your business has the ideal means to move forward, reassure investors and actually experience positive growth requires splitting the CEO and chairperson roles for the best corporate governance. You may ask yourself questions like ‘Why does your firm need a chairperson?’ and ‘What does a chairperson offer?’. There are many reasons, and following the “Combined Code” is just one.

A Counterweight

The primary role of a chairperson in any business is to act as a counterweight to the CEO. They are a buffer, keeping your company on track through the shifting, harsh seas of the modern business world. As such, it’s vital that the chairperson not become one of the CEO’s followers. A good chairperson needs an independent spirit and outlook, and the ability to rein in a headstrong CEO.

Additionally, they will act as a safeguard between the CEO and investors  to help resolve the inevitable disputes and stresses that arise between executives and investors. Because the chairperson is independent and holds a neutral position, he or she can offer constructive resolutions to pressing disputes and keep the firm on course.


Empty Conference Room
Regular, Efficient Board Meetings

Another role that the chairperson will fill within your business is that of board overseer and diplomat. If left strictly up to the CEO, board meetings would be rare. However, those meetings are vital, despite the distaste with which many executives view them. A skilled chairperson will ensure these meetings are scheduled regularly. They must  also act in a diplomatic capacity to make sure that all board members are able to have their say. Good listening skills are essential here, as are excellent organisation skills.

As board meeting manager and director, the chairperson must also make sure that all meetings last only as long as necessary. This involves much more than simply sitting with a stopwatch in hand. The chairperson must organise the meeting and keep it on track. To do that, they will often have refocus others when the topic veers too far from the agenda.

Part of the organisation effort here is to provide board members with proper management accounts ahead of time, and not to bombard them with last-minute information which does nothing but muddy the waters. This keeps the discussion on track, while minimising confusion on the part of the board members.

In short, the chairperson wears many hats, including those of navigator, mediator, diplomat and manager. A skilled chairperson brings deep understanding of the business to the firm, excellent insight and the independence necessary to counterbalance potentially disastrous decisions on the part of the CEO.

To discuss if your company could benefit from a chairperson, please mail us today at micheal@mentors.ie or call 01 8058053