Leadership Qualities – Part 2 Commitment

Leadership Qualities Commitment RelationshipModel.com Board Governance Management

This week we shall look at Commitment.

Commitment – the attachment a person has when the beliefs and values, vision and mission of a person or organization are aligned with his/her own.

Beliefs and values lie at the heart of individuals and organizations. They make a person or an organization what it is. Whether they are acquired subconsciously or deliberately, beliefs and values give an individual his/her motives and life goals and an organization, its raison d’etre, vision and mission.

Commitment describes the emotional attachment people have to an individual or organization and what it stands for. Christian commitment arises from belief and trust in God and is outworked in the church, where shared commitment is expressed. Read more

Leadership Qualities – Part 1 Accountability

Leadership Qualities RelationshipModel.com Board Governance Management

In this first in a series of six articles, we shall look at accountability.

Accountability – acknowledges the need to evaluate work relationships and performance, willingly giving and receiving feedback.

All leaders receive their authority from someone and in turn are the source of authority for others. In the place where accountability should be most notable – amongst Christians – it is often most notably missing. Sometimes, Pastors, having been “called by God” believe they are accountable directly to God, not to people. Like other leaders outside the church context, Pastors do not receive their authority directly from God in order to fulfill their day-by-day responsibilities. Like all leaders, they receive their authority from those who employ them and pay their salary. This means that they are accountable to them for how well they fulfill those responsibilities. Read more

Perception is Reality – (For the Perceiver)

Perception of Reality RelationshipModel.com Board Governance Matters

Have you ever had the experience of your Board being very divided on an issue because the members couldn’t agree on the truth about something.  It happens particularly often in matters where someone’s personal behavior is part of the issue.  What is reality?  The perceptions vary among the Board members, so it is very difficult to know what is reality?

For example, your CEO or one of your own Board members may have been accused of some wrongdoing, and the perception “out there” is that there is “some truth to the rumor”.  What action should the Board take?  Shall the Board take some disciplinary action, because the person is tainted by what people think is true?  Or should the Board defend the person and try to change what you consider to be a misperception?

“Perception is reality” is a very common saying, which if taken literally can do a lot of damage, even though there is certainly much truth in the saying. Read more

The Board Chair and Accountability

board chair accountability governance

Imagine that you have just been elected to the position of Board Chair – and not because you were the only one willing to accept nomination.  The other Directors believe you have the competencies to handle the challenge of the position.  In this article we review one of the most important competencies of the Board Chair – accountability.  Intuitively, this is what your peers on the Board believe you have.

Accountability – the objective evaluation of working relationships and performance of self and others.

The Board chair is appointed by the Board who must provide the authority to the chair for the fulfillment of the role. The Board is also the source of authority to its only employee, the CEO and through him/her, authority flows throughout the organisation to all staff. The Board chair is the chief servant of the Board, not the individual with the most authority or power in the organisation. Read more

My Work with Governance in Africa

My work with governance in Africa
My work with governance in Africa

For nearly two years I’ve been traveling to Botswana to train boards.  I can hardly believe the interest in governance and church government in southern Africa.  I can just barely keep up with the demand.

In Botswana where my most recent work began I now have sixteen clients, many of them working in HIV and AIDS prevention and care.  There are also four churches, two of them local independent churches and two denominations.

The thirst for governance training seems unquenchable!  I’m loving every minute of it, including ten flights to southern Africa this year alone.  It takes two days of travel each way, so I’ll spend forty days and forty nights just getting beyond the wilderness to the Promised Land.  It’s a good thing I have a spare battery for my laptop and AC power on most flights.

Now I’m about to begin training 10 consultants in the Relationship Model of governance, leadership and management, including two in Zambia with interest being expressed in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and as far away as Nigeria. Read more

Board Members – Just a Board Volunteer?

We're just volunteers - volunteer responsibility in board government

Imagine that your Board is faced with an unexpected crisis.  The crisis may have been avoided had the Board acted definitively several months sooner.  But everyone is busy with his/her own work and life.  You have heard it several times already and have even thought it yourself.  “I’m only a board volunteer?  What do people expect?”

“We’re only volunteers” is often the reason given by boards and board members when things go wrong.  It is very difficult for boards to hold themselves accountable at the best of times, so perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that when an organization gets into trouble that could have been prevented or caught before too much damage was done, the board will appeal to peoples’ understanding that “We’re only volunteers.”

“We’re only volunteers” seems to suggest that the board shouldn’t be held accountable for failure.  If the board were paid for what they do, then perhaps they should be expected to take responsibility.  But volunteers who are working out of the goodness of their hearts shouldn’t be held accountable. Read more