National Youth Employment Coalition
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National Youth Employment Coalition

Desired Qualities in a Board Chair   

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Vision and Commitment

  • Committed to the organization's mission and success.
  • Able to think strategically and focus on core issues.
  • Able to articulate a vision for the organization.
  • Has a history of active participation in different facets of the organization.


  • Able spokesperson and advocate on the organization's behalf.
  • Active listener.
  • Builds Consensus.
  • Works Collaboratively.
  • Inspires and motivates others to contribute.
  • Engages different voices and opinions.
  • Recognizes and ameliorates problems, conflicts, and/or tensions.
  • Keeps in touch with and is respected by members and other key constituencies.
  • Focuses on goals of the organization; refrains from advancing personal goals.
  • Identifies and takes advantage of individual strengths of board members.
  • Respects and supports the chief staff officer; other staff; and board members.


  • Adept at engaging each board member in an appropriate way.
  • Ensures that individual members of the board, as well as different committees and task groups, work together as an effective whole.
  • Facilitates meetings that are inclusive as well as efficient.
  • Able to define and articulate measurable goals.
  • Encourages innovation and continuous improvement.
  • Diplomatic and able to serve as a mediator.
  • Organized and skilled at prioritizing.


  • Sets a good example.
  • Illustrates a high level of personal integrity and ethics.
  • Flexible.
  • Open-minded and fair.


Adapted from:  
o   The Board Chair Handbook, BoardSource, 2003:  "Traits of a Good Board Chair."
o, 1/27/05: "The Role of the Chair," "Habits of an Effective Chair," "Your Role as Board Catalyst and Morale Builder," and "Leadership Skills for Effective Governance."

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