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Tag: transit board-CEO relations

Your Mindset Can Make or Break Your Partnership With The Board

July 21, 2022 0 Comments

A staple of my one-on-one governance coaching sessions and educational workshops for transit CEOs and CEO-aspirants in recent years has been the critical role that what I call “Mindset” plays in building and maintaining a close, positive, productive and enduring board-CEO partnership.  What am I talking about?  In a nutshell, Mindset is how you, as your authority’s chief executive officer, picture yourself vis a vis your transit board.  Experience has taught me that if you bring the wrong mindset to the relationship with your board, it probably won’t matter what other partnership building steps you take (for example, reaching agreement … Read the rest

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Top-Flight Performance Won’t Keep the Relationship With Your Board Healthy

May 5, 2022 0 Comments

When I walked in Rich’s office for our weekly project review meeting, I found him slumped at his desk looking distraught.  When I asked him what’d happened, he just said “take a look,” handing me a form.  It was the annual performance evaluation his board had performed a couple of days ago.  Scanning the document, I couldn’t fathom his distress since his scores were uniformly high – in fact, superb.  That is, until I reached the bottom and saw the conclusion, which said in so many words, “You do a great job, but we find working with you impossible.”  He Read the rest

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A Rock-Solid Board President-CEO Leadership Team at Work at GCRTA

March 4, 2022 0 Comments

In the video interview we recently recorded, Rev. Charles Lucas, Board President, and India Birdsong, General Manager/CEO, of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority describe the close, positive, and highly productive partnership they’ve developed.  It is indicative of a striking development in the rapidly evolving field of public transit governance:  the recognition that a really solid board chair-CEO leadership team is critical to the CEO’s success, to the authority’s performance, and to its image in the community.  GCRTA is in the vanguard of the growing number of public transit authorities led by dynamic chair-CEO duos.

This recognition is a latecomer … Read the rest

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How Transit CEO-Aspirants Can Demonstrate Board-Savviness to Search Committees

December 8, 2021 0 Comments

A major ongoing theme of www.boardsavvytransitceo.com has been preparing executive team members who are what we call CEO-aspirants to build productive, enduring partnerships with their new board.  As our readers well know, a shaky board-CEO working relationship is virtually certain to dramatically shorten a CEO’s tenure if it persists.  Well-designed training programs can be helpful in preparing CEO-aspirants  to meet the partnership building challenge once they take the helm.  However. in my professional opinion no one is better positioned to transform  executives into board-savvy CEO-aspirants than the CEO herself, wearing her mentoring hat.   You’ll recall that our November 4 post … Read the rest

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3 Quick Fixes That Won’t Corral the Rogues on Your Board

July 1, 2021 0 Comments

“Rogue” board members are trouble makers who march to their own governing tune at their own tempo, with little concern about the impact on their board colleagues.  Their behavior can erode a board’s governing performance and poison a board’s culture, while in the process occasionally even tarnishing a transit authority’s image in the community.  The most effective approach to fencing your rogue board members in and preventing them from wreaking havoc is fully developing your board’s governing architecture.  In a nutshell, this involves such elements as a detailed description of your board’s governing responsibilities; a well-designed standing committee structure; strong … Read the rest

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An Error of Judgment I Won’t Repeat

June 23, 2021 0 Comments

A little over five years ago I made an error of judgment that taught me a couple of really valuable lessons.  I’d been retained by a Midwestern transit authority to assist in planning, facilitating, and following up on a daylong board “governance improvement work session.”  During my first meeting with the steering committee overseeing my work – the board chair, vice chair and two other board members – I advised my colleagues to include the CEO and his executive team members in our work session, explaining that this had become standard practice for a number of very sound reasons.  Based … Read the rest

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Your CEO Mindset is Key to Successfully Partnering With Your Board

May 10, 2021 0 Comments

A staple of my one-on-one governance coaching sessions with transit CEOs in recent years has been the critical role that I call “Mindset” plays in building and maintaining a close, positive, productive and enduring board-CEO partnership.  What am I talking about?  In a nutshell, Mindset is how you, as your authority’s chief executive officer, picture yourself vis a vis your transit board.  Experience has taught me that if you bring the wrong mindset to the relationship with your board, it probably won’t matter what other partnership building steps you take (for example, reaching agreement with board members on guidelines for … Read the rest

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The Urgent Need for Practical Governance Guidance:  CEO Success Depends on It!

May 5, 2021 0 Comments

A recent executive team work session I facilitated included at least four executives who appeared to be on the chief executive career track – who were what we call “CEO-aspirants.”  The subject of our work session was the role of executives and senior managers in supporting the authority’s governance process, with special attention to the role of executives who’d been assigned  to serve as “Chief Staff Liaisons” to the board’s standing committees.  Several of the questions I was asked during our six hours together only reinforced what I’d already learned in countless similar sessions over the years:  Transit CEO-aspirants and … Read the rest

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CEO-Centric Leadership Targets Are Key to a Solid Board-Chief Executive Partnership

March 2, 2021 0 Comments

Around fifteen years ago I was retained to facilitate  a half-day work session involving a transit board and its CEO.  In our initial call to discuss the work session objectives, the board chair and  CEO agreed that there was one preeminent objective:  repairing a badly frayed board-CEO  partnership that, in their estimation, was dangerously close to the breaking point.  The  one-on-one interviews I conducted with all fifteen board members and the CEO as part of  my preparation for the event indicated a startling and dangerous divergence of opinion.  Nine of the board members strongly believed  that their CEO’s top leadership … Read the rest

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The Zoom Muzzle Syndrome Redux

November 30, 2020 0 Comments

My August 6 post at this blog, “Combatting the Zoom Muzzle Syndrome (ZMS),” begins by pointing out that Zoom has proved to be a very effective vehicle for holding virtual work sessions at which participants can reach consensus on complex matters, such as an updated board committee structure, without exposing them to Covid-19.  I go on to say, however, that generating intense participant engagement in addressing really complex issues – the kind of participation characterized by robust discussion and really critical questioning – has proved to be a real challenge when employing Zoom video conferencing.   As I say in that … Read the rest

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