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What Great Boards Do
Whitney Crouse

There are some private club Boards that have mastered great governance and deliver remarkable results.

We think the following are some of the most important qualities of a great Board of Directors.

They Create A Compelling Vision. They know what the target is, how their club is unique, and they share it with the members.

They Are Committed. The Board members are not halfway in. They are all in. They do whatever it takes to get the job done.

They Follow an Orientation Process. All incoming Board members are introduced to the process and the rules of being a successful Board member. In fact, many great clubs have a Board Policy Manual that serves as their guide.

They Argue For The Greater Good Without Making It Personal. The Board members check their egos at the door. Candor is encouraged. Personal agendas are not.

They Let The Managers Manage. Functional Boards leave the day-to-day decisions to the General Manager/COO and the club staff.  Majoring in minor things is just not in their DNA.

They Rely On Data and Facts. They run the business of the club as they do their own. “In God We Trust, All Others Bring Data,” is a common sentiment at a good Board meeting.

They Retreat Once Per Year. A good Board knows one or two days off-site each year can accomplish as much as a slew of monthly meetings.

They Challenge The Status Quo. It’s easy for any business to become complacent. Given the traditional nature of many of clubs, it’s even easier to fall in this trap. An open mind moves clubs forward and keeps them relevant.

They Focus On Capital Investment and Value. Increasing the club’s net worth and value equation is more important to them than trying to cut their way to prosperity. Efficiency is important, but constantly investing in the club is more important.

Great club governance means adhering to certain time-tested best practices and principles. They’re simple, really. The hard part is sticking to them.

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