Good Governance: The board and the CEO should play doubles tennis

The constructive partnership between directors and the chief executive is a lot like teammates on one side of the court.

by Michael G. Daigneault, CCD and Jennie Boden, CU Management

If you’ve spent any amount of time with us folks at Quantum Governance—either at a large, general session at a CUES conference or in a private, retreat setting, you know that we talk a lot about the importance of the “constructive partnership” between the board and the CEO.

We spend a key portion of our governance training covering this very issue—framing the dynamic balance of authority between the two and suggesting that a key to mutual success is that they focus on working together as “teammates.”

What do we mean by that?

Well, we often ask participants to picture the great tennis players Venus and Serena Williams playing together as a doubles tennis team. Yes, each should bring her unique abilities to the challenge, but that does not mean one sister should overwhelmingly dominate the play on their common side of the net.


continue reading »