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Tag: transit board leadership

Aurora Jackson: a Board-Savvy CEO at the Helm at Lane Transit District

June 2, 2017 0 Comments

      Aurora Jackson

Listening to Aurora Jackson (“A.J.”) describe how she’d gone about building a solid partnership with her new board at the Lane Transit District (Eugene, Oregon) in our podcast recording session a couple of weeks ago, I was struck by what a great mentor she’d make for new transit CEOs. It’s nothing short of amazing when you consider she’s been at the helm of LTD for only 18 months.  I recalled some CEOs from the recent past who’d gotten off on the wrong foot with their new boards and barely kept their jobs after a brutal couple of years.  … Read the rest

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The Board Savviness of CEO Candidates Critical To a Solid Board-CEO Relationship

April 27, 2017 0 Comments

Doug Eadie

It was, as Yogi observed, “déjà vu all over again.”  After I’d spent a couple of hours talking with the CEO who’d called me to talk about problems he was having with his board, one thing was pretty obvious. Despite his having spent three years at the helm of the authority after ten years working his way up the executive ladder, this beleaguered leader didn’t possess the board savviness he needed to build and maintain a really solid working relationship with his board.  So his job was in serious jeopardy.  He’d been captive to an especially insidious and … Read the rest

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Don’t Wait Until the 11th Hour To Do Succession Planning

March 7, 2017 0 Comments

         Doug Eadie

Many, perhaps most, transit board members and CEOs see succession planning as a negative process that boards get involved in when their relationship with their CEO is frayed or even totally broken.  But in my experience, developing a CEO succession plan isn’t just a very positive process, it’s also part of the imprint – the legacy – that that a really board-savvy transit CEO will want to leave in her authority.  CEO succession planning, which a recent report of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City defines as “a structured process to ensure leadership continuity,” should deal with … Read the rest

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Make Sure Your Board Does a Really Good Job of Evaluating Your Performance

February 7, 2017 0 Comments

The really board-savvy transit CEOs I’ve worked with over the years make sure that their board regularly evaluates their performance, employing a well-designed process that is both thoughtful and substantive.  Why?  Because these CEOs well know that board evaluation of their performance is one of the most powerful tools for building and maintaining a solid board-CEO working relationship that can withstand the inevitable stresses and strains at the top of every transit authority.  So I’ll be spending several minutes discussing CEO evaluation during the “Hit the Ground Running With Your New Board” webinar I’ll be presenting later this month for … Read the rest

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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

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Not Much Glamour – But This Apparent Sow’s Ear Is Really a Silk Purse

July 6, 2016 0 Comments
         Doug Eadie

Doug Eadie

“That doesn’t really sound very CEO-like”  That was the initial reaction of a transit GM in our coaching session a couple of years ago when I suggested that he put on what I called the “Chief Governing Process Designer Hat.”  We were discussing an issue he’d identified in our session a couple of weeks earlier that he’d described as “terribly worrisome.” In a nutshell, although his relationship with the 11-member board seemed generally OK as far as he could tell – with no severe tension points or other obvious problems – he had a gut feel that most … Read the rest

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Another Insidious Foe To Watch Out For

June 3, 2016 0 Comments

jumping spider“But won’t I be inviting my board members into my business and leaving myself open to the kind of micro-management that can really disrupt my work?”  This is what I heard from the GM of a mid-size transportation authority during our recent discussion over lunch of the process her board might use to assess her work.  We’d agreed that a well-designed annual GM evaluation process was one of the most important vehicles for keeping her working relationship with the board healthy.  And we’d also agreed that an objective evaluation process should heavily focus on the authority’s overall performance in terms … Read the rest

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Bringing Off a Path-Breaking BJCTA Board-Executive Work Session

January 30, 2015 0 Comments

Our last blog post described a dramatic step the Board of the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority (BJCTA) took just four days before the scheduled daylong “High-Impact Governing Work Session” involving Board members, Executive Director Ann August, and her top lieutenants. By electing a new chair, Dr. Patrick Sellers, in a special public meeting, the majority of Board members dramatically signaled that they were putting a contentious past behind them and setting out to build a solid, enduring Board-Executive Director working relationship.

Of course, board-executive retreats can, as you well know, easily come unraveled – with disastrous results. That BJCTA’s High-Impact … Read the rest

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