In reality, the Chairman spends most of the time on future issues and the commitment and efficiency in the Boardroom. Considerable time is also spent in holding the key rols as the principal link to owners and de facto boss of the CEO. Therefore the matchmaking of a Chairman and an company is a delicate matter.
Make sure you get yourself a Chairman with a wide windshield and a smaller rearview mirror.Because the main task of the Board is to set the strategic direction in a manner which creates long-term and short-term results.
The Chairman should complement, and co-operate well with, the owner(s) and the CEO.
The views on whether or not the Chairman should have industry knowledge or not diverge. There might be advantages of having a Chairman who is not too “prejudiced” about what the “right” answers are. For example, the members of the Board are encouraged to think outside of the box, discuss and navigate different routes through the competitive landscape. On the contrary the Chairman might have concluded on the decision and outcome too fast, which might hamper the strategic views and decisions of the organisation.
In general terms, a good Chairman often has:
- Leadership talents
- Ability to evalute own and others businesses, in financial and other terms
- Facilitation skills
- Business knowledge (not necessarily industry knowledge)
- Preferably CEO/business development experience
- Financing/funding competency
- Clear communicator skills
- Business sense