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Board Shines as Director Takes on CEO Role

If the Board sees its Executive Director as a true CEO, it's more than a title change—it's a revolution in the making. With this perspective, the Board is free to take on a new role as well—that of vision-makers.

With a CEO in place, board meetings are no longer about fixing the copier and the size of a yellow pages ad. The CEO is in charge of those decisions and must report to the board of course, but there are no more one-hour discussions on these matters.

Who will speak at the banquet this year? Leave it to the CEO. How about the site for the event? Again, a CEO decision.

When this happens, board meetings become more active because other questions are being asked:

What is God's will for us in five, or ten years?
What should we be considering now in order to see this take place?
What kinds of funds will we need at that point? How do we get there?
What type of staffing do we need to minister to today's client? Tomorrow's?

The difference is mind-boggling. If—on a regular basis—your Board is not having the type of discussion you see above, what's stopping it?

My guess is one of two reasons: One is that the Board is caught up in the day-to-day operations because the Executive Director is seen as a manager instead of as CEO. The other is finances, but this too is tied to the Executive Director/CEO question.

A Board that cuts loose the Executive Director to do the work of CEO frees itself at the same time. Board meetings are more visionary, more fluid. Board members become more satisfied, and in turn become more active. CEOs flourish in their new roles, and the ministry takes off in a new way.

Kirk Walden, founder of LifeTrends, is a consultant to pregnancy care ministries across America and a frequent banquet speaker.


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