Director Handbooks

A Practical Guide: Fundamentals for Corporate Directors

By NACD Staff


Nominating and Governance Committee First-time Director New Director Onboarding Director’s Handbook Article Governance Board Operations

A Practical Guide draws on current guidelines and recognizes that the key determinants of successful directors tend to hold true for all firms: large or small, publicly or privately held, and for-profit or nonprofit. This book is intended as a primer for those who are new to the boardroom. It provides a convenient summary of the board's function, structure, and major committees and outlines a director’s most important responsibilities. 

This handbook includes the following topics and themes:

  • The structure of the board including the function and composition of major board committees

  • The role of the board in terms of its legal authority and relationships

  • The directors’ fiduciary obligations and practical guidelines for individual directors and the board in discharging these duties

  • The liability risks faced by directors

  • The importance of ethics in the world of corporate governance

  • Checklist of essential tips for directors and boards

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