• Shayne Leslie

5 things CEOs wish their board knew about the CEO’s role… and their director role

CEOs of small and medium sized clubs who don't have a massive or well-qualified management team are often a frustrated bunch. These comments I hear in different versions from CEOs, and Applied Director Training can help solve these top five frustrations.

Cost of Interruptions

The role of CEO is leadership in another middle. Managing up to the board, down to staff, and out as company secretary and club representation.

CEOs wish that directors knew how hard it is to manage seven to nine people with individual agendas. Directors often feel that they have permanent permission to wander into the CEO’s office for a chat, and CEOs feel they must honour an open-door policy.

But how much does it cost every time a director interrupts the CEO for a 15-minute chat? Factor in time-creep, opportunity cost (of not doing what the CEO is supposed to be doing), and loss of productivity. Suddenly it can cost upwards of $350 (or more for the higher-paid CEOs)!

CEOs wish that directors knew that when the board does not have good governance processes and communication protocols, directors unwittingly deprive the club of the services of its highest paid employee.

Relationship of Financial and Strategic Decision-Making

CEOs wish that directors knew that there is a financial repercussion for every decision made by the board, and how that decision may impact on key ratios.

CEOs wish that the board could understand the financial information they just spent their weekend preparing and analysing, and support them in improving the company’s financial position.

There’s a link between understanding what the company’s financial results mean, and what behaviours we need to change to continually improve business outcomes. The numbers are not isolated from what we do and the decisions we may need to make.


CEOs wish that their directors knew that one of the hardest part of running the business is finding and retaining great staff, and moving on staff that are not providing value to the business (especially long-term staff).

CEOs wish their directors knew that once the director starts telling staff what to do, or investigating matters, or any other ‘talking to staff’ behaviour, it has a depressing multiplier effect across the venue, which costs time and money to repair.


CEOs wish that their boards wouldn’t get involved in pricing. Especially beer. Not only could it be contravening the Corporations Act 2001 Section 182, nothing can wipe out $200,000 profit quicker than an under-priced beer.


CEOs wish directors would not to make improper use of their position and information. That is, blab in the bar!

Your Turn

  • What do you wish your board knew about the CEO’s role… or their director role?

  • In another view, what do you wish your CEO knew about you as a director?

In Applied Director Training, we spend time looking at the CEO’s role from the vantage-point of the CEO. I encourage all managers to attend my Applied Director Training to help them manage up and appreciate good governance in your organisation.

Contact me now for a quote. 1-day, 2-day, and weekend retreat packages available. Ask me about mandatory requirements, or combining with strategic planning.