Now that the bogeyman of home rule has transformed some of Dallas ISD Superintendent Mike Miles' fiercest outside critics into his ardent supporters, the time seems ripe to formally mend fences with the school board.
Easier said than done. Though things have calmed in recent months, Miles' relationship with his nine bosses has been fractious, to say the least. They nearly ran him out of town last fall, and some have actively worked to undermine him.
To help, DISD is bringing in Jonathan Schick, a consultant specializing in nonprofit governance, specifically on building an effective working relationship between CEOs and their boards, for a team-building exercise on Tuesday.
Such retreats are pretty standard, but Schick's "six principles of successful board/CEO partnerships" reads like a rebuke to, oh, a significant portion of the DISD board.
Effective nonprofit boards empower their CEOs to run their agencies. In other words, board members establish the desired outcomes while enabling the CEO to determine the methods. The board neither micromanages nor rubber stamps. Rather, successful boards spend their time focusing on fundamental issues and major policy decisions.
A board that ethically governs makes it known that the CEO is responsible only to the unified board. Thus, the CEO is not faced with the political pressure of fielding the special interests of individual trustees.
The board views the CEO's role as similar to one of a corporate executive; thus, all accountability rests upon the CEO alone. For instance, the board would not hold the marketing director answerable for low event turnout; the CEO alone is responsible to the board.
This should solve everything.
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.
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