V. The Right-Sized Role of the Board

Although only the CEO can achieve the fusion of high performance with high integrity, the board of directors also plays a vital role in helping—and ensuring that—the CEO and top company leaders carry out this fundamental task.

Due to Sarbanes-Oxley and other post-Enron reforms, we hear recurring lamentations that board members focus more on “compliance” than “strategy.” But the vital board role I’m advocating does not require directors to engage in an endless review of compliance minutiae to cover their posteriors—nor does it compel CEOs to shovel mind-numbing detail at the board to cover theirs. Instead, the board’s contribution to high performance with high integrity grows directly out of its basic oversight ...

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