USSA Programs

Executive Director: Board and Staff Roles

Executive Director

The most important decision that a board makes is to hire a chief executive to run the organization’s programs and to manage its everyday business. Delegating the management and administration frees the board to devote time to its main function — governance. For the board, hiring a chief staff person means letting go of daily decisions while working in constructive partnership with the new manager. Although there is a division of labor, the board and the chief executive remain allies, working closely together in information sharing and support. For the division of labor to be successful, the board must have a clear job description for the chief executive and conduct regular performance assessments based on mutually agreed-upon goals. The board needs to refrain from micromanagement and accept the transfer of decision-making power. It has to be able to trust that the chief executive is able to choose the right tactics to accomplish the pre-determined mission, vision, goals and objectives.

Table derived from Doing Good Better by Edgar Stoesz and Chester Raber