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Board-Savvy CEOs

Caveat Emptor: an Axiom All Really Board-Savvy CEOs Take to Heart

October 19, 2018 0 Comments

To judge from participants’ questions during and after the workshop that Dave Stackrow, Carm Basile and I presented on September 25 at the APTA Annual Meeting in Nashville, one of the concepts we discussed that struck a real chord was that “board-savvy” transit CEOs are a preeminent key to building a solid board-CEO partnership that can withstand the inevitable stresses and strains at the top of every transit authority.   And one characteristic of board-savvy CEOs that sparked the most discussion during our workshop was the ability to spot dubious assumptions about the rapidly changing field of transit governance that we … Read the rest

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Demonstrating Your Board Savvyness

February 9, 2018 0 Comments

Experience has taught me – and I’m sure many if not most of this blog’s readers – that the more board-savvy its CEO, the more effective a transit board is likely to be as a governing body and the more favorable the odds of building a rock-solid board-CEO partnership that can withstand the inevitable stresses and strains that come with leading a modern transit system. So transit boards have a big stake in recruiting CEOs whose governing intelligence is well developed.  This is certainly a point I strongly made in the program I co-presented with Dave Stackrow, APTA Vice Chair, … Read the rest

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How Are You Doing as Your Board’s Chief Governing Partner?

July 18, 2017 1 Comment

One of the topics that Dave Stackrow (long-time Chair of the Board of New York’s Capital District Transportation Authority) and I are planning to cover in our presentation on July 24 at APTA’s Board Members and Board Support Seminar in Chicago – “Building a Rock-Solid Transit Board-CEO Partnership” – is what questions board members might ask to determine if candidates for the CEO position in their authority are board-savvy enough to function at a high level as the board’s “Chief Governing Partner.” This is a really high-stakes matter since experience has amply demonstrated that truly board-savvy CEOs who embrace the … 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

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 highly dangerous … Read the rest

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Two More Tips For Transit CEO-Aspirants

March 1, 2017 0 Comments

I opened the “Hit the Ground Running With Your New Board” webinar I recently presented for the New York Public Transportation Association by describing two “facts of life” in the public transportation business:  that surviving and thriving as a CEO depends on a rock-solid board-CEO partnership; and that this critical partnership is difficult to build and in the best of times fragile.  Indeed, I’d say that board-CEO relations is pretty treacherous terrain even for seasoned CEOs, much less for brand new CEOs who’ve never worked with a board.  One of the challenges that all CEOs face is the plethora of … Read the rest

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How Ironic – and Dangerous!

January 27, 2016 0 Comments

“How many of you have had a really comprehensive, in-depth course in working with a governing board – in graduate school or some other venue?” This is a question I always ask when I’m presenting a program on building strong board-CEO partnerships. When I asked it at the workshop I was conducting a couple of years ago for CEO-aspirants at APTA’s Transit CEOs Seminar in New Orleans, no more than two or three hands went up. I wish I could say this was the exception to the rule, but, alas, the response was typical.

As I think back over dozens … Read the rest

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