Leadership Enablers: For People and Boards

board development and revitalization roles and responsibilities the board/ceo partnership Oct 03, 2022
Leadership Enablers for People and Boards


Leadership enablers. Hmmm…
What do they look like?


Do any search, and you will find lengthy lists of knowledge, skills and abilities, and other attributes that may lead to exceptional leadership.


At a recent conference, I was given a list of “leadership enablers” as a self-assessment tool. Sadly, no source was given to cite, but they are reasonably common.


What struck me was that these individual and personal enablers would also be helpful self-assessment questions for a Board.


Here they are:


What do leaders need to thrive?
What do Boards need to thrive?

Have you had a conversation around the table? What support, tools, and skill sets do you need to prosper and thrive as a board? You have no doubt had the conversation about the CEO (the annual review, e.g.) and the agency (inputs required to achieve your Key Success Factors, e.g.), but what about you as a Board?


What do good leaders bring?
What do good Boards bring?

What do you bring to the community? To the agency? How do you add value? Now that would be an exciting discussion beyond the platitudes.


What do good leaders do?
What do good Boards do?

There has been much research on this topic. We have covered here some of the characteristics from Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits.
Perhaps you could use a gap analysis?


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How do good leaders engage others?
How do good Boards engage others?

Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits makes clear the importance of networks and partnerships around common missions, visions and issues. How do you approach common ground and effect beyond chatter over a glass of wine?


What are my strengths as a leader?
What are our strengths as a Board?

Good to know! Celebrate!
Do you have a common understanding of what makes you great?


What next steps can I take to develop my leadership skills?
What next steps can I take to develop my Board skills?

As we often say at Better Boards. Better Communities… You don’t have to be sick to get better. Boards, as employers, invest in the training and development of their staff, beyond their Chief Executive Officer, through professional development programs, workshops, and conference attendance. And what about you? Why are there never enough funds for the employer to invest in itself? Not doing so suggests that you do not consider yourself essential enough for organizational performance and that stagnation is adequate. Surely not.


Have the conversations. Document the results. Add in your annual individual and full board assessments and reviews.

What is your plan for improvement?
Your community needs you to be your best.


Tell us, what are your main “pain points” dealing with Board development? What advice would be most helpful to you? And we always assume that you are asking for a friend!

Get in touch. We’ll address your questions and concerns in an upcoming blog post.



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 P.S. May I ask a tiny favour? Would you mind sharing this blog with one person? I would love it. You can get more of our thoughts on Facebook and LinkedIn. Join our Facebook Group for Executive Directors and Board members: Governance as Leadership

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