The board of directors has many functional roles that are assigned to individual board members. Among these many functional roles, the board secretary has a special place. This honorary position should not be confused with that of executive secretary – the duties and responsibilities are somewhat different here. We suggest learning more about what a board secretary does so that you can have a more rational understanding of board work.
What qualities and skills should a board secretary possess?
In order to perform the duties of a secretary, a candidate must possess a certain set of skills and qualities that are necessary to perform said duties. Most often, secretaries should have the following qualities:
- Communicativeness. Communication skills must be at a high level, as every day a secretary needs to communicate with a large number of people, to be able to negotiate and convince them.
- Multitasking. Despite the fact that the duties of a secretary consist of a large number of small (at first sight) assignments, it is often necessary to perform several of them simultaneously. Therefore, a secretary must be able to quickly get into a problem and switch from one task to another.
- The ability to quickly get to the heart of the matter. Another useful quality a board secretary needs. The quicker a secretary gets into the issues at hand and grasps new information, the better he or she will perform his or her duties.
- Highly developed time management skills. The secretary often has to oversee the meeting process, so he or she must be able to time tasks properly so that the work process as a whole is not delayed.
- Organizational skills. The secretary should not only perform many tasks himself or herself but also be able to delegate some of them so that the work process runs more smoothly.
Most often, the role of board secretary is taken by a board member who has all of the above skills.
What is the role of the board secretary?
We have already mentioned that the secretary of the board of directors is a very honorable and very responsible position. His responsibilities usually include:
- Organizing meetings for the board of directors. This job may not seem to require too much effort, but in practice, this is not quite the case. The board secretary then makes sure that everyone at the meeting is informed about the meeting, familiar with the agenda, and that the speakers have their questions and are prepared to speak. In addition, the secretary oversees the process of preparing the necessary documents for the board meeting.
- Keeping minutes of meetings. Minutes of board meetings are an important part of corporate documentation, are legally binding, and are often used for transactions or litigation. The secretary of the meeting ensures that minutes are written in a timely manner and are properly kept.
- Maintaining the meeting process. During board meetings, the secretary not only takes notes of the minutes but also keeps track of the overall meeting process. For example, he or she keeps track of the order of speakers on items on the agenda, monitors the timing of speeches and discussions, and monitors the behavior of meeting participants during the discussion of specific items.
In addition, the secretary of the board of directors performs many other administrative functions, which are necessary for the smooth operation of this governing structure.