Chapter 8The Challenge of The Disruptive Director

  • Disruptive Members a Common Issue
  • Removing Board Members
  • The Ying and Yang of Conflict
  • Five Types of Disruptive Directors
  • Dealing with Disruptive Directors
  • How Assessments Help
  • Chapter Summary and What's Next

It is not surprising that a gathering of highly motivated, engaged, driven individuals has a built-in potential for disagreement and conflict. After all, board members, by definition, have spent their careers achieving well-recognized, hard-earned success as chief executive officers (CEOs), chief financial officers (CFOs), or leaders in other fields. It is this demonstrated individual achievement that has brought them to the board in the first place.

Maintaining a healthy balance between the strongly held opinions of individual members and the need for consensus in such a group is no small accomplishment. The best and most dynamic boards maintain authentic collegiality, and members have respect for one another while at the same time freely engage in candid debate and constructive disagreement with one other. Serving on such a board with this rare collegial chemistry can be fulfilling, but it can become a draining and frustrating experience when this collegial chemistry is missing.

This chapter addresses an all too common situation that many boards face: how to handle a director whose behavior, practices, or style disrupt this vital board chemistry to such a degree that the departure of that director ...

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