David Stackrow, Master of the Governing Game, on the Board Chair-CEO Partnership

by | Jan 10, 2018 | Board-CEO Relationship, Extraordinary CEO Blog Archive

I’m delighted that David Stackrow was able to carve out an hour earlier this week for us to record a podcast focusing on the board chair-CEO working relationship. Dave’s one of the busiest public/nonprofit leaders I’ve worked with over the past quarter-century.  Managing Partner of Scott Stackrow Co., P.C., a thriving financial services firm, Dave not only chairs the Board of Directors of the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA; Albany, NY), but also serves as Vice Chair of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), a new role requiring extensive travel.

No leader I can think of is more qualified to comment on public/nonprofit governance matters – and especially on the board chair-CEO partnership – than Dave. During his 22-plus years on the CDTA Board of Directors, Dave has served 12 years as Chair, also serving as Vice Chair and Secretary.  Over the course of his long tenure as a CDTA Board member, Dave has worked productively and harmoniously with four different CEOs bringing diverse leadership styles to the partnership.

You’ll find Dave’s podcast a treasure-trove of practical wisdom on the board chair-CEO partnership, drawing on his experience not only on the CDTA and APTA Boards, but also on other nonprofit boards in the Capital Region.

I was especially interested in four strategies Dave describes that the four CDTA CEOs he’s worked with have employed in building their relationship with him:

  1. Providing him with “non-monetary” compensation” in the form of numerous opportunities to speak on behalf of CDTA in such public forums as chamber of commerce and Rotary luncheon meetings.
  2. Helping him to achieve high-priority professional goals, most notably serving on APTA’s Transit Board Member Committee and, now, as Vice Chair of APTA.
  3. Devoting time to educate him on a variety of complex issues CDTA has grappled with over the course of his 22-plus years on the Board, taking the trouble to provide him with a pain-free learning experience, by, among other things, providing him with meticulously crafted briefing memoranda.
  4. And making the effort to build a personal relationship beyond the boundaries of their governing endeavors, enriching and cementing their partnership.

I’ve had the privilege of working closely with Dave Stackrow on three governance improvement initiatives over the past 14 years, and I can say that he’s truly a master of the highly complex governing game, as you’ll realize listening to the podcast we recorded for boardsavvytransitceo.com.

About the Author: Doug Eadie

President & CEO of Doug Eadie & Company, Inc., Doug Eadie assists CEOs in building rock solid partnerships with their boards.

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