Galvin and Associates

Posts Tagged "board policies limitations CEO"

There are four kinds of board policies and one of those is called Executive Limitations. These policies essentially proscribe what the board will not put up with. These describe the infractions of any staff member for which the Senior Executive will be held personally responsible.

Executive Limitations policies define the out of bounds line for the CEO or Senior Pastor and staff. While the Ends Policies describe why the organization exists and what staff are supposed to do, the Limitations policies describe what the staff may not do.

If the board does not set limits to authority then the board cannot be in control of the organization. In many organizations, the Senior Executive does have supreme authority in practice. This is because the board is weak or unskilled in governance.

What should a board do when they have to reign in their Senior Executive? Consider what it takes to control a dog. There are two ways to keep a dog from running into the street chasing cars and scaring neighbors. One way is to manage the dog. Get a metal choke collar and a bag of treats. Attract the dog’s attention with the treat. Teach it some tricks. When it becomes distracted and runs toward a child or the street, yank back hard on the choke collar. The other way is to hire a contractor to install an invisible fence. When the dog learns where the fence is buried, it will steer clear of the street and stay within its limits. With the fence, you can sit on your front porch with your dog and be totally relaxed without worrying about the choke collar.

Limitations policies are like an invisible fence. They set a clear boundary for the CEO or Senior Pastor and staff. If anyone exceeds the boundary the board is automatically informed. Limitations policies allow the board to delegate authority and to remain fully in control as the board governs the organization.

The apostle Paul said that if anyone’s gift is leadership, “let him govern diligently” (Romans 12:8). Governing diligently is made much easier with Limitations policies that set clear boundaries for all.