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Nick Lindsay

Elemental CoSec

Director

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Learning to be a Director

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Leadership is a journey, not a destination. It is a marathon, not a sprint. It is a process, not an outcome.” John Danahoe, President of eBay

Regardless of the path which you followed through business life, taking on the role of Company Director can at the same time be both exhilarating and daunting.  Whether you have led a team of two or of two thousand along the way, when you accept a directorship you accept a measure of responsibility for the governance of the business.  This means that no matter what you have learnt in the past, taking on a directorship generally requires a fresh burst of learning.

In a way that’s no bad thing.  In fact anyone who thinks that reaching a certain position in business life equates to an end to learning is sadly mistaken.  In certain business sectors compulsory CDP requirements ensure that practitioners’ knowledge remains current; but even when CPD is not on the agenda, keeping up with legislative and regulatory changes requires constant vigilance.

So what are the key duties of a company director?  Whilst some business sectors, such as banking and finance, may carry additional responsibilities, in general the core duties of a director are set out in the Companies Act 2006, namely:

·         to act within powers in accordance with the company’s constitution and to use those powers only for the purposes for which they were conferred

·         to promote the success of the company for the benefit of its members

·         to exercise independent judgement

·         to exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence

·         to avoid conflicts of interest

·         not to accept benefits from third parties

·         to declare an interest in a proposed transaction or arrangement

In addition, company directors are responsible for ensuring that legislation such as Health and Safety law, employment law and money laundering regulations are adhered to.  However, whilst directors bear the ultimate responsibility that doesn’t mean they have to act alone.  Even in larger organisations in which the knowledge base may be spread among multiple directors, the board is still free to draw on the expertise of those outside the organisation who are able to bring a specific focus to bear on organisational and operational concerns.  Indeed there are occasions when not to take outside advice may be seen to run contrary to the duty to exercise reasonable diligence.

If you would like to find out more about corporate governance and the duties of directors feel free to browse our website www.elementalcosec.com or contact Nick on [email protected]

Author Profile Picture
Nick Lindsay

Director

Read more from Nick Lindsay
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