Building Strong CEO-Board Chair Relationships with John Fulwider : Successful Nonprofits

Episode 23

Building Strong CEO-Board Chair Relationships with John Fulwider

Listen on  iTunes    Android     Stitcher   Libsyn

Episode 23

Building Strong CEO-Board Chair Relationships with John Fulwider

Listen on  iTunes    Android     Stitcher   Libsyn

by goldenburggroup

Too often, people juts make assumptions, ride it out, and don’t make active efforts to improve their partnership [between the CEO and Board Chair].

The relationship with the greatest impact on a nonprofit’s success is typically the one between its executive director and board chair. While this important relationship determines the tone, direction, and long term success of an organization, cultivating it is often only an afterthought following a meltdown or disaster.

We’ve all seen the damage done when Board Chairs and Executive Directors don’t have a strong working relationship. In fact, a 2001 Compass Point Study of executive directors found that 35% planned to leave their job within the next two years and 50% didn’t plan to be an executive director again. This same study found that 37% of executive directors at small nonprofits did not feel supported by their board. Not surprisingly, many of those who planned to leave their job in the next two years also felt unsupported by their board.

As someone who has been a nonprofit CEO and an interim CEO, I personally know

that a strong relationship with the Board Chair is a key that opens the door to a strong board relationship. I’ve also witnessed this with countless organizations in my work with The Goldenburg Group.

That’s why we invited John Fulwider on the podcast to talk about his book “Better Together: How Top Nonprofit CEOs and Board Chairs Get Happy, Fall in Love, and Change their World”.

John is a true Renaissance man, holding a bachelors degree in Journalism and both a masters and Ph.D. in Poly Science. He’s put all this education to work as a reporter, Leadership Succession and Media Instructor with the National Training Institute, Executive Coach, Nonprofit Consultant, and as a for profit consultant.

During our conversation, we discussed:

  • The methodology he used to create this system
  • The benefits of a strong CEO-Board Chair relationship
  • The two questions you can use to start the transformational process
  • Abundance-minded leadership
  • Three keys to building a Board Chair-CEO partnership that works


John Fulwider’s Website:
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Purchase his book and workbook (at a 20% discount)