Role of leadership in governance

The role of leadership in governance

Leadership: the action of leading a group of people or an organisation. 

While leadership is often attributed to a person’s title, seniority or ranking in a hierarchy, what makes a true leader is not about position or title in an organisation. It is about action. At Grounded we believe that everyone can lead, and that leadership is the ability of an individual, or group of people, to influence and guide at all levels of the organisation. 

In this context, a board is ‘a part’ of the organisation, with a specific job to do. Board effectiveness requires an annual work plan focused on key strategic issues, healthy discussion and debate, and a commitment to doing the job well as a team. The board should not be placed on a pedestal. They are there to ensure the long-term success of the organisation and play a key role – but not a hierarchical one. To be truly effective the board must work well with the management team. They must remember they are there to guide and influence, not to do.  

Integral to good governance are the roles of ethical conduct, accountability, risk management and strategic planning. Effective governance requires a continuous flow of information between the management team and the board of directors to align decision-making and strategic direction. When the board and management team prioritise transparency of information in an infinite loop of co-operation and communication, they create a culture of integrity and trust that drives the behaviour of the entire organisation. This diagram illustrates the flow from operations through management to the governors – and back again! 

One key to great leadership is teamwork. A board that plays its role well, and empowers management to lead the organisation day-to-day, will demonstrate governance leadership that builds trust across the organisation and beyond.  

Maximise leadership for governance

At Grounded, we work with boards and management teams to build processes and relationships that revolve around trust, transparency and teamwork. Good governance sets the tone for organisational culture, continuous improvement and ethical, sustainable behaviours, that are in the best interests of all stakeholders. 

Find out more about what we do, or for personalised governance training, support or advice contact us now.