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Training Your Board of Directors:

A Manual for the CEOs, Board Members, 

Administrators and Executives of Corporations,

Associations, Non-Profit

and Religious Organizations


By: ArLyne Diamond, Ph.D.


With a special section on the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which raises the standards for

corporate governance, even if you are not legally bound by it.



The role of the Board of Directors is critical to the health and growth of both for profit and not-for-profit organizations. Although there are some differences in organizational roles and responsibilities, similarities far outweigh the differences

This manual is designed for Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), Board Chairs, Board Directors, Administrators, Executive Directors and those contemplating serving on boards in the future. Although the manual works best as an interactive document for a group of people working together with a well trained facilitator, it can be used as an educational and motivational guide for any interested individual willing to improve his or her participation on boards, committees, or groups of any kind.

For more than ten years now the author has been training boards of directors of organizations of all kinds, from religious organizations to high powered high tech companies. She has started some organizations herself - both those of professional and service orientation - and has served on many boards and commissions, including her own homeowner's association. Thus, she has been involved with boards from several different angles.

This manual is different from most board training books. Whether you are a member of a religious organization's board, a charity, an association, a not-for-profit of another kind, an advisory board, or a corporation board, either public or private, you will benefit from the information and exercises offered here. The exercises and information can be easily extrapolated for groups and committees of any kind - including family groups.

The manual is a combination of short informative pieces and a series of interactive exercises designed to enable the participants to actively reach the desired conclusions rather than being lectured to or corrected by "the expert." In some cases there are lists of information that can be used either as a reading list, a check list, or a list to be prioritized in order of importance.

The board, as a team, should work cooperatively as an oversight group with staff and volunteer organizations, without getting into the day-to-day operations or micro-managing. This workbook helps them get there.



Preface and Acknowledgments

 I:      Introductions

          Exercise A:  Introduction Icebreaker 

        Exercise B:   Hopes and Fears

 II:     Some Definitions

 III:    Organizational Structure

 IV:    Vision – Mission – Purpose

            Exercise C  Prioritizing Ideas, Values, Goals

             Exercise D:   The Four Questions – Small Group Discussion

            Exercise E:   The Mission Statement

 V:      CEO and Boards Roles Meshing on the Corporate Board

             Exercise F:  The Responsibilities of the Board of Directors

            Exercise G:  Development and Growth Plan for Board Directors

 VI:     Hiring and Firing the CEO

 VII:    Member of the Board

              Exercise H: Traits and Roles in the Group

              Exercise I: Qualifications for Board Membership

           Exercise J:  What do we expect of each other as Directors

              Exercise K:  Board Director Skill Matrix

 VIII     Legal and Ethical Responsibilities

 IX:     The Sarbanes-Oxley Act Simplified

 X:      Associations

 XI:     The Chair (President) of the Board & Executive Committee

 XII:    Committees

                Exercise L:  Who does what in Non-Profit Organizations

 XIII:   Meetings

 XIV:   Robert’s Rules of Order

 XV:     Group Decision Making and Problem Solving

 XVI:    Board Manual, Policy and Procedures

                   Exercise M:  Polices and Structures

 XVII:   Resistance to Planning and Change

                   Exercise N: Supreme Ruler

 XVIII:  Strategic Planning

                      Exercise O:  Visioning Questions

                      Exercise P:   Topics for Small Group Discussion

                      Exercise Q:  Evaluation of a Non-Profit Board

                      Exercise R:  Continuous Improvement

                      Exercise S:   Goal Setting

                       Exercise T:   For the Future

XIX:    Formal Evaluations for the Board

                     Exercise U:  Assessing Your Board

                    Exercise V: Assessment of Board Meetings

                     Exercise W:  Evaluation of the CEO by the Board 

                    Exercise X:   Self Assessment of Individual Corporate Board Directors

 XX:     References and Bibliography

 Appendix A:    Sarbanes-Oxley Summarized  


Training Your Board of Directors by: ArLyne Diamond, Ph.D.338 pages; ISBN 978-1-55270-207-9; softcover; published in 2005; Canadian $39.95


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