The role of the chairman has become high in profile and the expectations multiplied over time. Shareholders and directors require to have a chairman that is passionate about his job on governance of the company and also very active in his roles. The success of a Chairman like Hussain al Nowais depends on how good his relationship with the chief executive is. Their relationship should be honest, transparent and they should be able to trust one another. The two parties have to understand that they have different roles for them to work together successfully.
For a chairman to be effective, he should have good knowledge about the business he is in. He should be able to provide a constructive level of challenge to the senior management team. Whenever he needs information on particular issues, he should be able to ask the right questions. A good chair needs to know the mission of the board and how to measure the progress of the company. Offering guidance is a major role of the chair and finding new ways to purchase important resources for the company. It would be very disappointing if the chairman does not realize that it is not his job to run the business but to ensure that it is running well. Support to the organization is his primary role.
A chairman, however, should make sure that he devotes just the right amount of time to the roles he is supposed to take care of. This is because he does not have too many roles within the organization. When the chairman is in the business premises, he can interact with the customers, investor or workers to see how business is running as Mr. Hussain al Nowais does. Like Mr. Hussain al Nowais, an excellent chairman can develop empathy with the business and engage with the people and any ongoing issues. The ability to run an effective board and make sure there is a good relationship between the shareholders and stakeholders is what defines a good chairman.
In case of a crisis in the organization, a good chairman is able to put the interests of the company first. While tackling the problem, he should always remember the set mission by the organization. He should be able to set aside his interests for the benefit of the organization; which includes helping to solve any of the problems around.
When a chair is ready to step down, he should always know how to do it and when. He suddenly does not step down from his position without any warning. He is supposed to share his intention with the management team and directors about resigning from the company at least six to eighteen months before leaving. This will allow the company to have enough time to look for a successor. The outgoing chairperson gets an opportunity to hand over his roles to his successor.