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We live in a democratic society, but still rely on a President to guide the country towards common goals, motivate and inspire voters, and generally keep the peace. The role of a Chairman is similar to that of the President, but on a much smaller scale.
A Chairman is an elected official in charge of a group of decision makers. But instead of voters, the Chairman’s decision makers are invested (figuratively, if not literally) in the success of a business organization.
And as Chairman, so are you. In fact, your entire focus is on the business’s goals, financial standing, security, investments, and employees. You consistently evaluate the company’s position through financial statements and reports from department heads.
You’re also charged with making the tough decisions. When the company faces bankruptcy, considers buying out a competitor, or discovers an embezzling CEO, the entire board is at the decision-making table with you. Not all decisions are destined to be on the front page of the New York Times, but whether the topic is refinancing a loan or investing in a new product, it’s your job to lead them through discussions. So you call the meeting to order, listen to arguments and discussions, tally the vote, and present the verdict.
You may or may not work for the company. However, you are responsible for evaluating the performance of Board Members, the CEO, and other employees. And although you aspire to see the company succeed, your biggest challenge is to remain subjective while advocating the company’s vision.