A non-executive director plays an important part in many organisations. Because they aren’t actually an employee of a company, they have a unique role that’s slightly different than a traditional executive who is part of the management team. Whether you’re looking for your first role as an NED or already have experience in this position, it’s helpful to know precisely what a company wants from you. While there can be some differences from company to company, here are some overarching qualities that are desired across the board.
Non-executive director could be considered as an outsider from other members of management. As a result, they need to be able to think for themselves and stick to their guns regardless of the situation. They need to consistently make the right decisions and use independent judgment when determining the best plan of action for a company. Otherwise, if a person is unable to think independently, it could have adverse consequences on an organisation.
A big part of being successful in business is seeing the big picture and implementing sound strategies. Consequently, it’s ideal for an NED to be analytical and able to plot a long term strategy that steers a business in the right direction. They should have a knack for taking a wealth of data and putting it all together and make sound decisions.
For a company to thrive, it’s necessary for an NED to exchange ideas with other members of management and be able to clearly express their thoughts. They should be able to critique any problem areas in a diplomatic way. It’s also helpful if they’ve got existing connections with other key people and businesses so they can network and bring about new opportunities.
Ability to Remain Unbiased
Because an NED is an outsider, they are expected to maintain a sense of neutrality and offer a clear perspective that the normal members of management may lack. That’s why it’s critical that they stay unbiased at all times and make sure that their decisions are based on objectivity. When looking for an NED, most companies will want a person who can remain focused and do what’s best for the organisation regardless of their personal views. Can you think of any other important characteristics that an NED should possess?