In the organization in which you lead, who are the owners or the board of directors? It may be you, you may report to them, or you may be further down the chain. Whomever is in authority is key to the success of the organization. If this is you, or if you have a connection with the people at the top, please consider the following thoughts.
Many times, owners or the board of directors are primarily focused on conveying to the executives what they want to see done, but they are not as concerned with their own growth as leaders. If you are a member of the leadership group at the top, if this is you alone, or if you are part of the leadership team under them, do your organization a favor: get better, and make sure the oversight or top group of leaders are getting better as well. You may have to wait for the opportunities to invest in them and to point them in the right direction. It may take months or years. But you must make it a priority.
I am grateful to be the Vice-Chair of a world-class ministry called Buckner International. Since I have known him, our CEO, my friend Dr. Albert Reyes, has worked hard to make our board better. Even though he reports to the board, he knows that the continuity of the organization (Buckner is approaching 150 years in ministry), depends in large part on the board, which will continue to oversee the organization even after his tenure ends. The board will guard the vision and DNA of the organization. Making the board better I believe will be one of Dr. Reyes’ legacies at Buckner.
In medical organizations (the line of work I lead in), it is notorious to hear of ownership boards that are dysfunctional. A few doctors come together to own and operate a clinic, or a number of them. Many times, due to poor governance, tastes, and methods, they start diverging and problems arise.
Growing people whose stage of life has them at the top of the chain of authority is not easy. It is a skillset that one must develop, but it must be done. Otherwise, your organization will always limp along.
At Buckner, one out of four yearly board meetings is completely devoted to board development. We take almost two days to bring speakers in and have internal discussions on how we can get better.
My friend, do the hard work and do what you can to influence growth within the top tier of your company.