Trustees can make the difference
January 26 2001 by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor

Trustees can make the difference | Friday, Jan. 26, 2001
  • Trustees and CEOs are committed to the same Lord and the same historic Baptist principles upon which their institutions were founded.
  • They have mutual respect for one another.
  • They are available to one another.
  • They are committed to not surprising one another in trustee meetings on subjects they had not discussed privately.
  • They develop a clear "focus management plan" to define roles, expectations and goals of CEOs and trustees.
  • They are be committed to helping one another grow.
  • They share their personal and financial resources.
  • They give one another room to fail.
  • They look for specific, tangible ways to encourage one another frequently.
  • They have freedom to tell one another to "get lost."

    The input of a CEO to the selection of trustees is one of the most important aspects of his or her work, Crouch said, in seeking people whom God has called to work together collaboratively.

    Trustees also heard from Lynn Buzzard, professor of constitutional law at Campbell University and the author of several publications dealing with church and legal matters. He distributed a draft version of a pamphlet dealing with legal issues facing Baptist trustees and directors, and spoke to selected topics.

    Trustees, Buzzard said, have three basic duties: the duty of loyalty, the duty of care and the duty of obedience. Trustees' loyalty to the institution should preclude the use of their positions for any personal gain, he said. Trustees show care by paying attention and taking their responsibilities seriously. They show obedience by being faithful to the organization's mission.

    Buzzard said trustees must deal with the reality of supporting Baptist institutions in a culture that is sometimes hostile to Christianity and in which long-standing traditions and barriers are breaking down. Government relations and public policy pressures are also increasingly problematic, he said.

    Rather than resting too comfortably on what currently works, he told the new trustees to be forward-looking. "If it ain't broke," he said, "fix it anyway."

  • Friday, Jan. 26, 2001

    Trustees can make the difference

    By Tony W. Cartledge BR Editor ASHEBORO - The future health and growth of Baptist institutions depends on the collaborative power of trustees and chief executive officers (CEOs) working together to achieve common goals. So said keynoter William Crouch to newly elected trustees and directors of N.C. Baptist institutions who met Jan. 18 at Caraway Conference Center. Crouch, the son of long-time Charlotte pastor Henry Crouch and the grandson of former Baptist State Convention (BSC) executive director Perry Crouch, served as a N.C. Baptist pastor and on the staff of N.C. Baptist Children's Homes and Gardner-Webb University prior to becoming president of Georgetown College in Georgetown, Ky.

    In two addresses, Crouch shared leadership lessons garnered from 10 years of experience as CEO of a Baptist institution.

    Trustees and directors cannot understand the institution they serve if they don't understand the CEO, he said.

    Baptist CEOs are "branded people," Crouch said, branded by their various publics, communities, employees, even families. As constant targets of criticism, CEOs need the support and encouragement of trustees.

    Baptist CEOs are also "business people," he said, noting that those who were trained as pastors generally have little or no preparation for the challenges of managing multi-million dollar budgets. Giving to denominational institutions is declining at an alarming rate, Crouch said in predicting that half of the country's Baptist colleges could fold by 2015 because of financial pressures.

    Typically Baptist CEOs are "passionate people," he said, committed to their institutions because of their commitment to Jesus Christ. Successful Baptist CEOs have skills that could demand much higher pay in secular jobs, he said, but stay in their jobs because of their passion for the work.

    Baptist CEOs are "caught people," Crouch said, caught between compassion and good business judgment, between work and family demands, between the urgency of the moment and the need for long-term planning, between differing sources of denominational crossfire.

    To succeed, Baptist CEOs must be "anchored people," he said, relying on strength and vision that can come from God alone.

    Crouch used the example of his "best trustee ever" to list 10 qualities of an ideal relationship between Baptist CEOs and their supporting boards - a collaborative effort that he said produces "breakthrough leaders." Ideally:

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    1/26/2001 12:00:00 AM by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor | with 0 comments
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