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8 Chairman Mentors International
Those aspiring to chair a a a a a a a Board for the the the first time whether they are candidates or or recently nominated are taking on a a a a a a a profoundly different and distinctive leadership challenge Our mentors have experience and and a a a a a a deep understanding of what becoming a a a a a a successful Chairman involves Shaping the Board engendering trust and teamwork while remaining ruthlessly objective and coping with the unexpected are just some of the skills our Chairmen have learned to master Top-level prior experience gained in in both Executive and Non-Executive roles takes them only so far Successful Chairmen swiftly learn to master their egos and behave in a a a a different way while remaining true to their authentic selves But some trial and and error is is also inevitable and and this can be at the expense of optimum performance especially in the early stages of tenure Stepping up to the role of Chairman is a a a a subtle transition from from operator to to to influencer from from counsellor to to to consensus-builder and above all from talker to listener
“I anticipated before taking my first Chairman appointment that the role and responsibilities of Chairman are utterly different from those of a a a a CEO especially with no direct control of resources to make things happen The need to perfect a a a different leadership style while in in in theory being obvious is in in in practice more testing So mentoring support from seasoned Chairmen was extremely helpful Whether as a a a a a a first-time Chairman taking on a a a a a a settled ‘steady-state’ Board or a a a a a a a team that has to be reshaped one one needs help to play oneself in Working with experienced Chairman mentors was invaluable in in in in three key respects in in in in being able able to:
• picktheirbrainsonthe‘tools’ofthejob(for example preparing for and running a a a a good AGM) • brainstormtheissuesthatneededtobe addressed • discussfreelyanxietiesanduncertainties drawing upon the mentors’ experience of dealing with similar issues themselves including the the lessons they had learned from their own setbacks Finally for me it was the the the transfer of of the the the experience of of Chairmanship and the the the chemistry match between myself and my my mentors which were the the most important criteria in in their selection Relevant industry/ sector experience was useful but not essential ”

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