Cover for The Effective Board Chair

Published by Foremost Press
8.5x5.5 Trade Paperback
50 pages

Available to booksellers
through distributors from
Ingram and Baker & Taylor.

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Nice Things Said
  "A handbook of essentials that
   every board chair should read." 

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Back Cover Blurb

What is the role of the boardroom chairman or chairwoman? What power does the chair have? And most important, what do effective chairs do that makes them successful when others have failed?

Few books explain the role of the chair and even fewer give practical advice to help chairs lead and assist their boards. This handbook of essentials tells chairs how to manage boardroom conflict, how to work effectively with the CEO, and how to prepare the board to deal with unanticipated challenges.

Gregory Boudreaux has consulted with boards and chief executives for over thirty years. He taught at Duke University, where he received his Ph.D. in Philosophy. He also has a Master's Degree in Social Science from Louisiana State University. He previously served as Resident Graduate Professor of the University of Maryland University College in Tokyo, Japan and as Assistant Dean of the Graduate School in College Park. He until recently was Executive Director of Educational Programs at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. He has consulted with and trained boards in the United States, Canada, and Africa. He now works as Board Development Specialist under the auspices of the U.S. Agency for International Development in Bangladesh. He resides in Ventura, California.

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The Effective Board Chair
A Guide

by Gregory Boudreaux, Ph.D.
ISBN-10: 1-936154-48-X
ISBN-13: 978-1-936154-48-7

About this Handbook

Most companies in the world are governed by boards, and all boards have a presiding chair. But what do great chairs do and what lessons can they learn from other chairs, both successful and unsuccessful?

This guide is unique in the literature of corporate governance: it gives simple, clear and practical advice to chairs, with a sense of respect for the important role they play in the worldwide system of corporate governance.

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About the Author

Photo of Gregory Boudreaux

Gregory Boudreaux delivers seminars and speeches to directors and executives on issues in corporate governance, including board self-assessment, policy development, business ethics, and strategic planning.

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A Review

Feel free to use all or part of the following, and edit to suit. This content was prepared for your use. We ask no acknowledgement of any kind.

What does a board chairman actually do and what skills does the chair need to be effective? There are thousands of books that explain the duties of directors but almost none that focus on the unique role of the chair, the person elected by the board to be the senior-most officer of the corporation. This practical handbook, The Effective Board Chair, by Gregory Boudreaux, brings the reader into the inner workings of boardrooms to explain the real job of the chair in terms of the legal authority of the position, the governance processes that chairs use to establish effective working relationships with strong-willed executives and fellow directors, and the need for the chair to help create a boardroom culture that will meet growing public expectations for transparency and ethical behavior.

These points are illustrated through brief analyses of corporate scandals where chairs performed poorly, including Hewlett-Packard, Enron, Disney and WorldCom. In each case the boards became factionalized and unable to work for common goals or they became so complacent that red-flag warnings were ignored. Only the chair can take on the responsibility of helping the board develop good governance processes that protect against either outcome.

Boudreaux is said to have trained and worked with corporate boards for over twenty-five years and he draws on this experience to show how boards and managers can fail, and what they need to do to succeed. He argues that the chairís primary responsibility is to help the board make good decisions. In this sense, the chair is both leader of the board and servant to it. The chair has to ensure that directors and managers understand their respective roles, board meetings must be structured so that directors can fulfill their legal responsibilities to carefully examine alternatives and to avoid personal conflicts of interest, and the board must be prepared to address risks that may threaten it or the company as a whole. Chairs that develop relevant skills will be of great assistance to their boards, and The Effective Board Chair demonstrates why these skills are so important.

The Effective Board Chair was published by Foremost Press. It can be ordered through local bookstores and at, Amazon and Barnes &
ISBN-10: 1-936154-48-X
ISBN-13: 978-1-936154-48-7
50 pp, $9.97

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