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The job role behind a non-executive role

Today it is widely accepted that non-executive directors have an important contribution to make to the effective running of many companies.

Essentially the role of a non-executive director is to provide what could be called a “creative contribution” to the board of directors by giving objective criticism and advice.

Below are 6 key points that help you to encapsulate the nature of a non-executive director:

1. My capsule definition of a non-executive is that they should be able to “tell you in minutes what you may never otherwise learn"

2. This expresses best what a fruitful non-executive relationship can bring – breadth of experience, perspectives and contacts anew

Today it is widely accepted that non-executive directors have an important contribution to make to the effective running of many companies.


3. A good non-executive will have deep knowledge of the nature of the business and people to assist, but will maintain his view from a fresh angle to those involved in the day to day

4. He or she will be patient and willing to learn, but unafraid to speak out and ready to support his or her views

5. A non-executive is there for the business as a whole and should be expected by all partners, owners and managers to provide a view which is unbiased by any personal or historical factor. He or she should apply knowledge objectively and always be able to   demonstrate this impartiality

6. A non-executive is not a touchline judge. He or she should be ready to participate on behalf of the business to protect and further its interests. This is more than simply sharing an address book – it is the willingness to become a buffer, a broker, a trouble-shooter; to take the initiative in the inevitable situations where impartiality and independence are valuable currency.

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