The "ideal" Non-Executive Director should bring these qualities:

  • Strengthen the Management Team bringing new/different skills to the Board.
  • Be able to add value and be passionate about the business you are joining.
  • Be involved in the creation of the company's robust and defensible Strategy and Business Plan - the Strategy should be constantly challenged.
  • Possess substantial and successful business experience ideally in a similar business sector.
  • Possess vision and the ability to apply creative thought to the business.
  • Sound financial knowledge.
  • Review plans and budgets which will enable the implemention of the Strategy.
  • Be a confidential sounding board for the MD/CEO and keep the focus of the MD/CEO on implementing the agreed strategy.
  • Provide an independent assessment of the Board structure, ensuring the company has an effective succession plan for key Directors. 
  • Objectively assess the company's overall performance.
  • Provide outside experience of the workings of other companies and industries.
  • Be an ambassador for the business.
  • Act as a mentor to Directors as required and be a "Wise Owl" while remaining independent.The presence of a Non-Executive Director with sufficient credibility will provide comfort to the company's stakeholders: suppliers, customers, Bankers, shareholders and the regulators (if appropriate).
  • Bring specialist and invaluable knowledge at critical stages of a Company's growth through similar experience in other businesses.
  • Have expertise to sit on Sub-Committees: Audit, Risk, Remuneration and Nomination - all Non Execs should join a Sub-Committee.
  • Possess sharp analytical skills.
  • Ensure the company's investor relations is on-going and mutually beneficial.


The "ideal" Non-Executive Director should:

  • Be well prepared and well informed for each Board Meeting - this requires more than just reading the Board papers.
  • Attend all Board and Sub-Committee Meetings.
  • Devote sufficient time and effort to fully understand the company and its business.
  • Be prepared to travel and participate at events such as exhibitions outside the Boardroom.
  • Make strong contributions to Board Meetings especially on the development of strategy and risk management and your specific area of expertise.
  • Use your knowledge and experience to challenge and review company strategy.
  • Be resolute in maintaining your views whilst constructively resisting pressure from others.
  • Follow up areas of concern and if you are not getting adeqaute answers from the Chairman, CEO or FD, keep probing until you do.
  • Ensure good relations with other Board members and senior management whilst remaining objective.
  • NIFO - noses in, fingers out! It is never acceptable for a non Exec to say: "I didn't know".
  • Continually refresh your knowledge on Corporate Governance, the industry, the market and the technology.
  • Communicate well internally and externally.
  • Be a good listener and a good communicator.
  • Remember that you are a Non Exec first and foremost due to your high level experience and Independence. 

Read the survey: "Contributions Non Execs Make to Boards" 



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