What do Boards want?

As a CEO or managing director, one of your primary objectives is to exceed a board’s expectations and foster exceptional board effectiveness. A board’s expectations can vary depending on the company’s size, sector, and strategic objectives. However, there are some key things that boards generally want from their leaders. Understanding what boards want and aligning your strategies with their aspirations is essential for delivering exceptional outcomes and surpassing performance benchmarks.

Key Takeaways

  • Exceeding a board’s expectations is crucial for exceptional board effectiveness.
  • Effective communication, trust, and collaboration are essential for building a strong CEO-board relationship.
  • Understanding a board’s objectives and aspirations requires regular engagement and participation in strategic discussions.
  • Setting ambitious targets and consistently delivering exceptional results builds trust and credibility with the board.
  • Proactive communication and reporting on key performance indicators help keep the board informed and engaged.

Building an effective CEO-board relationship

As a CEO or managing director, building and maintaining a strong relationship with the board is essential to exceed their expectations and promote exceptional board effectiveness. Effective communication, trust, and collaboration are crucial to ensure alignment and successful execution of the board’s objectives.

Regular communication is key, both in formal and informal settings. Schedule regular board meetings and touchpoints, and ensure that all critical and important updates are communicated in a timely and transparent manner.

When presenting information to the board, it is important to be clear and concise, ensuring that all data presented is relevant to the board’s objectives and goals. Listen carefully to board members’ feedback and work collaboratively to address any concerns or challenges that may arise.

“Effective communication between the CEO and board is essential. By fostering a culture of transparency and collaboration, organisations can exceed their goals and drive exceptional outcomes.” – Andrew Rasby, Former Board Chair of Miracle Babies

Trust is also a crucial element of the CEO-board relationship. Be transparent and honest in your dealings with the board, and foster a culture of mutual respect and open communication. This will enable you to work together effectively towards shared objectives.

Building an effective CEO-board relationship takes time and effort, but it is essential to exceeding expectations and driving exceptional outcomes. By embracing effective communication, trust, and collaboration, you can build a strong partnership with the board and position your organisation for long-term success.

Understanding the Board’s Expectations

To exceed a board’s aspirations, it is essential to understand its vision and objectives. As a CEO or managing director, regular engagement with board members and actively participating in strategic discussions is necessary to gain insights into the board’s expectations and aspirations. Asking relevant questions can help in comprehending the board’s long-term goals and enable you to align strategies with the board’s vision.

Regular feedback sessions with the board can also help in understanding their expectations. These discussions can help in identifying areas of improvement in the current strategies and ensuring alignment of future direction with the board’s vision.

By having a deep understanding of their expectations, you can develop strategies that align with the board’s vision and exceed their aspirations.

Setting Ambitious Targets

As a CEO or managing director, it’s important to set ambitious targets and goals that go beyond what is initially expected by the board. By doing so, you can challenge yourself and your team to reach higher levels of performance and consistently surpass the board’s targets. This demonstrates your commitment to achieving exceptional outcomes and exceeding the board’s expectations, ultimately positioning yourself as a proactive and high-performing leader.

By setting ambitious targets, you create a culture of continuous improvement and push yourself and your team to exceed what may have once seemed unattainable. This mindset and approach can be a powerful tool for exceeding the board’s expectations and delivering exceptional outcomes that surpass performance benchmarks.

Proactive Communication and Reporting

One of the most critical components of exceeding a board’s expectations is maintaining effective communication. Proactively sharing updates on key performance indicators and strategic initiatives is the best way to keep the board informed and engaged.

Regular reporting on progress, challenges, opportunities and risks enables the board to have a clear understanding of the current state of affairs. By providing timely and transparent updates, you can demonstrate a strong commitment to exceptional outcomes and exceed the board’s expectations.

“Communication is key when it comes to board effectiveness. As a board member, I appreciate CEOs and managing directors who go the extra mile in keeping us updated on critical issues and progress towards key objectives.”

Delivering Exceptional Results

As a CEO or managing director, my ultimate goal is to consistently deliver exceptional results that surpass performance benchmarks and meet the board’s expectations. This requires dedication to going above and beyond what is strictly required, always striving for excellence and never settling for mediocrity. By maintaining a focus on exceptional board outcomes, I can demonstrate my commitment to driving business success and delivering the highest standard of performance.

One of the key things that drive exceptional results is a focus on constantly surpassing performance benchmarks, pushing beyond the expected to achieve new heights of success. This is not always easy, and it requires a willingness to take risks and embrace new challenges. However, by setting ambitious targets and constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible, I can demonstrate my commitment to delivering exceptional outcomes and providing strong leadership.

Another critical factor in delivering exceptional results is a focus on exceptional board outcomes. By paying close attention to the board’s expectations and aspirations, I can align my strategies and objectives with their goals and position myself as a proactive driver of business success. This requires a willingness to engage with board members, attend board meetings, and actively participate in strategic discussions, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of the board’s vision and objectives.

Ultimately, delivering exceptional results requires a real commitment to excellence and a willingness to embrace new challenges and opportunities. By staying focused on exceptional board outcomes and constantly striving to surpass performance benchmarks, I can position myself as a true leader in my organisation, driving growth and success and delivering outcomes that exceed the board’s expectations.

Continuous Improvement and Innovation

To truly exceed a board’s aspirations, embracing a culture of continuous improvement and innovation is key. As a proactive leader, I am constantly seeking new ways to enhance operations, drive growth, and maximise efficiency. Implementing new and innovative strategies not only ensures exceptional board effectiveness but also positions the company for long-term success.

By encouraging a mindset of continuous improvement and challenging ourselves to go beyond the status quo, we can consistently exceed the board’s aspirations and deliver outstanding results. Whether it’s implementing new technology, streamlining processes, or exploring new markets, I am committed to surpassing expectations and driving exceptional outcomes.

Developing a Strong Board-CEO Partnership

A successful board-CEO relationship is built on trust, transparency, and mutual respect. By actively seeking input and inviting board members to participate in strategic decision-making processes, I can create a collaborative environment that promotes exceptional board effectiveness and helps us exceed their expectations.

Regular meetings and open communication channels are essential for nurturing a positive relationship between the CEO and the board. Honest feedback and constructive criticism can help identify areas where improvements can be made and keep everyone aligned with the overall vision.

Inviting board members to participate in specialised committees or subcommittees (such as financial, audit, investment, risk or remuneration committees) can increase their involvement and understanding of the business, key challenges, and opportunities. This can provide a platform for more meaningful conversations and encourage board members to take a more active role in guiding the CEO and the management team in their decision-making processes.

“A CEO-board partnership based on mutual trust, respect, and communication can be a key driver for exceptional board effectiveness and success.”

Ultimately, building a strong board-CEO partnership is a continuous process that requires constant attention and dedication. By prioritising transparency, open communication, and collaboration, I can exceed the board’s expectations and forge a relationship based on mutual respect, trust, and shared goals.


As a CEO or managing director, the key to exceeding a board’s expectations and fostering exceptional board effectiveness is to develop a deep understanding of their objectives and aspirations. You can create a collaborative environment that drives outstanding outcomes by engaging with board members regularly, building a strong relationship, and actively participating in strategic discussions.

Setting ambitious targets and goals, consistently delivering exceptional results, and maintaining proactive communication and reporting are also crucial components of exceeding the board’s expectations. Additionally, embracing a culture of continuous improvement and innovation will position you as a proactive leader, consistently exceeding the board’s aspirations.

Ultimately, building a strong board-CEO partnership based on trust, transparency, and mutual respect is key to fostering exceptional board effectiveness and surpassing performance benchmarks. By implementing these strategies, I am confident that you can consistently overdeliver on the board’s objectives and drive exceptional outcomes that exceed their expectations.

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