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The Chairman's Role

  Jul 15, 2011

‘Understanding the special role of the chair’ was the opening session that Sunny Bindra, gave 14 chair persons of leading companies from across the East African region, during the ‘Leading the Board’ Executive Program held on 11 and 12 July 2011. Leading the Board, the first of its kind in the region, seeks to enhance the important role of an organisation’s board’s chair. In his article, ‘Take the board chair’s job very, very seriously’, Sunny Bindra states that the chairperson being the leader of the board has the responsibility of ensuring that the board of directors is an effective decision-making organ that provides both direction and insight to the CEO as well as scrutiny of the policies and actions of the organisation. The chairperson’s role is about ensuring good corporate governance is conducted within the corporate lifeline and in line with the 8 principles of modern corporate governance: independence in decision-making, talented director, alignment of interests among the shareholders, application of knowledge for significant value-add, effective risk-handling, succession, Ethics (integrity) and Harmony.

A Strange way to lead

The chairperson’s role has a strange way of leading, because of the environment he ought to lead the board in i.e. s/he is a first among equals, shared leadership, infrequent contact and influence rather than command and practice-oriented as opposed to law-directed. Dr. Jim McFie added the hard disciplines that the chairperson ought to conduct, even amidst this seemingly uncomfortable environment. His key hard disciplines should be compliance, accountability & risk, strategy & direction and interrogating issues – deploying wisdom from across the table on certain concerns in the organisation.

Sentiments from some of the participants

“All the topics were immensely relevant and pertinent… the program was very well prepared and delivered his mandate with ease and aplomb. Faculty is quite clearly well-versed and experienced in their subjec

Fred N. Ojiambo, SC – Chairman, CFC Stanbic Bank Ltd.

“I will recommend this program to a lot of my chairmen friends”

Samwiri H.K. Njuki – Chairman, Kenya Commercial Bank (Uganda)

For more information about Leading the Board Executive Program, click here.

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