Subscribe via RSS Feed

Author Archive: Doug Eadie

Doug Eadie, president & CEO of Doug Eadie & Company, Inc. (www.dougeadie.com) helps clients build high-impact board-CEO partnerships.

rss feed

Author's Website

CDTA’s David Stackrow and Carm Basile on the Board Chair-CEO Partnership

January 17, 2017 0 Comments

I talked with Dave Stackrow, long-tenured Chair of the Board of the Capital District Transportation Authority (Albany, New York), a couple of days ago about providing transit board members with the information they need to build really solid partnerships with their CEOs.  We agreed that the indispensable foundation for board-CEO partnership building is a really close board chair-CEO working relationship.  While we were … Read the rest

Continue Reading »

CEOs Leading From Their Bully Pulpit

January 10, 2017 0 Comments

Theodore Roosevelt

Over the holidays, I re-read Doris Kearns Goodwin’s The Bully Pulpit, a superb study of the Progressive Era and the administrations of Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft.  According to Goodwin, Roosevelt coined the term “bully pulpit” to describe “the national platform the presidency provides to shape public sentiment and mobilize action.”  Roosevelt made full use of the pulpit his presidency provided, including his remarkable nine-week transcontinental train trip covering 14,000 miles across 24 states and territories in 1903.  Focusing on a small number of issues he passionately embraced, including corporate trusts, the tariff, and environmental … Read the rest

Continue Reading »

Taking a Holistic Approach to Strengthening Your Board’s Culture

January 3, 2017 4 Comments

“Nothing’s really changed, and that’s terribly disappointing.”  This is what the CEO told me in a recent coaching session about the results of a daylong board-CEO “team building” retreat that’d been held around three months earlier.  The session had been scheduled, the CEO explained, in response to the perception of a majority of board members and the CEO that the board’s culture had become increasingly dysfunctional, characterized by uncivil debate in public board meetings, including some board members actually challenging their colleagues’ motives, and by board members snipping at the CEO and members of her executive team, etc.

This CEO … Read the rest

Continue Reading »

Surviving and Thriving With Your First Board: 3 Tips for CEO-Aspirants

December 16, 2016 0 Comments

I’ve lost count of the horror stories CEOs have told me in our one-on-one coaching sessions – about working with their first board after reaching the top spot.  To call working with the board during that first year an ordeal by fire would be an understatement for many, if not most, transportation CEOs.   This is really unfortunate since the board is without question the CEO’s preeminent stakeholder:  who holds the purse strings; whose backing for CEO initiatives is essential; whose opposition can seriously diminish the CEO’s credibility; and who, ultimately, can end the CEO’s tenure.

Why do transit executives all … Read the rest

Continue Reading »

Don’t Fall Into the Policy Governance Trap

December 1, 2016 0 Comments

jumping spiderA year or so ago, I got a call from a transit CEO desperate for help.  The year before, he explained, his board had adopted a “policy governance manual,” spelling out the roles and responsibilities of the board and CEO and making clear the limits on both board and executive authority.  For example, the manual specified that the CEO could sign consulting services contracts up to a maximum of $25,000, above which board approval was required, that the CEO was responsible for preparing the annual operating plan and budget, while the board was responsible for reviewing and adopting the plan … Read the rest

Continue Reading »

Learning – and Owning – By Doing: the MTA and STARS Experience

November 2, 2016 0 Comments
Ed Benning

         Ed Benning

Ed Benning has bitten off a major chief executive leadership chunk:  not only serving as full-time General Manager/CEO of the Mass Transportation Authority (MTA) in Flint, Michigan, but also currently providing interim CEO leadership at STARS in nearby Saginaw.  Recognizing that both his boards would benefit from an opportunity to update their governing knowledge and skills, Ed and his two board chairs invited the two authorities’ board members and executive managers to participate in a half-day “high-impact governing work session.”  And being a really board-savvy CEO, Ed made sure his two board chairs were involved in putting together … Read the rest

Continue Reading »

Board Members as Ambassadors-in-Chief Part 2: Your Image Vision

September 21, 2016 0 Comments

Diverse People in Meeting With Speech BubblesThe September 9 article at this blog, “Making Sure Your Board Members Succeed as Ambassadors-in-Chief,” points out that establishing a board standing committee responsible for overseeing external/stakeholder relations is one of the most important steps your authority can take to ensure that board members succeed as ambassadors.  And one of the critical functions of your board’s external/stakeholder relations committee is to oversee updating what I call your authority’s “Image Vision,” which provides the framework for identifying issues related to your authority’s image in the community and for fashioning image building strategies to address the issues.

The Image Vision is an … Read the rest

Continue Reading »

Making Sure Your Board Members Succeed as Ambassadors-in-Chief

September 9, 2016 0 Comments
         Doug Eadie

         Doug Eadie

“What do you think about getting my board members more actively involved in our public relations efforts?”  My response to the transit CEO who’d asked this question during a recent coaching session was an unequivocal “Yes!”  The subject is really close to my heart, since over the course of my 30 years of work with public transit CEOs and their boards I’ve seen many transit authorities fail to capitalize on their boards as a powerful asset in the external/stakeholder relations arena, leaving them terribly vulnerable when asking taxpayers for increased financial support.  Let’s be honest.  Public transit systems … Read the rest

Continue Reading »

Make Sure Your Board Has Its Own Governing Mission

August 11, 2016 0 Comments

Diverse People in Meeting With Speech Bubbles“Does your board have a detailed governing mission?”  My question was greeted by some quizzical looks in a recent “board-savvy CEO” workshop I was conducting for chief executives and CEO-aspirants.  One participant pointed out that her transportation authority regularly updated its mission – with active board involvement – and asked if that was what I was talking about.  My response:   “No, I mean your board’s unique governing mission, not your authority’s overall mission.”  I went on to explain that the board, like every other major organizational unit in your authority, needs its own mission describing what it’s responsible for.

I … Read the rest

Continue Reading »

Extraordinary CEOs Who Wear the Demystifier-in-Chief Hat

July 21, 2016 0 Comments
 Doug Eadie

Doug Eadie

This article was originally published at www.extraordinaryceo.com.

Little did I realize what I was getting into when I was offered my first managerial job after three years in the Peace Corps and graduate school – chief operating officer of a large but quite troubled local nonprofit providing a wide range of educational and job training services.  Talk about a challenging situation, especially for a guy not yet 30 years old!  This relatively new nonprofit was on the verge of closing down because of a threatened removal of Federal funding due to a history of mismanagement.  My COO position … Read the rest

Continue Reading »