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By Dimitris N. Chorafas

Being a member of the Board was a not easy activity. It nonetheless is. however the nature of the problem, the danger, even the pro skills required have replaced. The booklet says how and why.

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Ferris was fired as Allegis's chairman in June 1987. However, without the earnings of the non-airline units to smooth the ups and downs of the airline business, the reborn United Airlines may experience high earnings volatility, especially if Risks, Challenges and Benefits from Board Membership 13 Wall Street's collapse brings a severe recession. 3 Not all corporate affairs which go sour end in the ousting of the CEO. At times both the market and the board may also over-react. As an article4 suggested: 'Who would have predicted that Digital Equipment would rise from its sickbed and put its CEO on the cover of Fortune?

Those who have linked their fortunes to bureaucracy are the most vulnerable. They are cogs in a chain, workers in an ant society. Individualists are of a different breed. 'Only the strong can be productive and only the productive can be free,' John Foster Dulles once said. Fast work habits coupled with the characteristics of individual intelligence and high initiative are what makes a tycoon. Great entrepreneurs take this road. Boards are more constrained. Club membership sees to it that work habits are slow.

Able chief executive officers manage change within their own system. Before General Douglas MacArthur's masterstroke, the landing at Inchon, his advisors, and emissaries sent from Washington said it could not be done. The harbour, the weather, the ships, the tides- everything was wrong. After all the sceptics had spoken, MacArthur rose. ' All councils do. There never was a bold committee. Boldness is individual. Can Nestle do more than just respond to changes in the world? Yes it can, because its Chief Executive is involved himself with the new directions.

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