There is an abundance of advice for nonprofit boards and EDs that speaks to the advantages of "partnership" and "open communications." But sometimes that advice just doesn't feel like enough.
Who's the boss? The board or the executive director/CEO?
The answer: it depends on whether the board is acting as a body, or whether board members are acting as individuals. The key is remembering that the board is different from board members.
It's not the board president who hires the executive director; only the board as a whole can do that. The treasurer doesn't approve the budget; the board as a whole does that. In other words, when the board is acting as a body, it is the boss. The executive is answerable to that body.
On the other hand, when board member act as individuals, they . . .