Buzz Update 7 Most Effective Board Habits TOU

Buzz Update 7 Most Effective Board Habits


7 Most Effective Board Habits

Views expressed by Entrepreneur Collaborators are their own.

As CEO, one of the most important (yet to be overlooked) tools in Playbook is to build and run a board of directors. During my 20+ years as an entrepreneur, I have led four companies (including Bolster, today I am co-founder and CEO) and has served on eight boards. I have learned that strong boards help drive a company forward and I have also seen how weak and inefficient boards push companies backwards. Moderate or mismanaged advice, along with a lack of accountability, can also cause long-term damage to the business.

Drawing from personal experience and articles from dozens of Bolster’s client CEOs, here are some tried and true “seven habits of the most effective boards”.

Habit 1: Start by focusing on the board

Many CEOs consider board curating to be an idea, meaning the boards are who they were in their network at the beginning of the company: investors are high. CEOs also find their boards distracting or irritating. These two ways of thinking are problematic.

Boards should be seen as the CEO’s second team (along with their management team), which is seen as a strategic weapon to help the company succeed and as an opportunity to bring in new voices and perspectives. Research has shown The more independent and diverse the board, the better it will work.

Related: Why Every Entrepreneur Needs an Advisory Board

Habit 2: Be active about board recruitment

Focus more on building a board, such as building an executive team. This process is very time consuming and cannot be handed over to others. Expect to reach people who think they are not available. It is a great honor to ask someone to join the board so that asking becomes a good calling card. When recruiting, interview as many competitors as possible, and do not be afraid to reject those who do not fit well and attend the finalists audition by attending a board meeting. Widely also source. Diversity is really important for many reasons; Challenge different board candidates on any recruiter, agency or platform.

Related: 3 Ways to Find Your Perfect Board of Advisors

Habit 3: Keep your board in balance using Rule of 1

Whether it is a three-person startup board or a seven-person scale-up board, it should be represented from all three director types: investors, managing directors and independents. Some basic principles of a well-functioning board composition I call the Rule of 1s: First, boards must have one and only one member on the management team: the CEO. Even if co-founders or C-level managers are shareholders, do not burn the board seat for a perspective that you can access regularly. Second, for each new investor on board, add an independent director, which is the biggest opportunity to introduce external perspectives. If your board is too busy with subsequent funding rounds, ask one or more investors to take observer seats to make room for independent individuals. And don’t be afraid to change your board composition over time. Companies should also be dynamic and boards.

Habit 4: Develop mutual accountability and respect

Although the board may seem intimidating, work beyond power dynamics and push towards cooperation and mutual accountability. Set an example by making sure board members are ready for meetings, maintaining commitments and influencing their networks, demonstrating preparation, consistency and reliability. By regularly providing pre-read materials to the board several days in advance, the board will form a new habit. After each meeting by requesting feedback from the board members (and also providing feedback to them), you will be shown to the board listening. Over time, they also tend to.

Habit 5: Conduct intellectually honest discussions

Even in healthy leadership groups, it can be scary to disagree or challenge the sitting CEO (after all, they are still responsible!). But this power has flipped dynamically in the boardroom, giving the group a unique opportunity to push and challenge business expectations. While it may be tempting to search for board members with soft temperaments who are not afraid to express their opinions, it would be even more beneficial to have tough, direct board members who are good listeners and practitioners alike. My favorite discussions are conversations, where I have to think in a different direction. It helps to get more done, provides better ideas and enhances the effectiveness of the organization.

Related: If you want a good relationship with your board, you should ask these questions

Habit 6: Be strategic, lean on strategies

Even board members who are talented operators find it very difficult to parachute and be very useful in any situation. Getting operational help requires engaging very often on a specific problem or area. But they need to be strategically engaged and understand the basic dynamics and drivers of your business: economics, competition and ecosystem. This is an easy habit to strengthen in meetings. If board directors are moving towards becoming more strategic on weeds, this is a great idea to provide after the meeting.

Habit 7: Think outside the box

Good board members understand all the pieces in the chess table; Great board members take it a step further and model matching to provide advice, history, context and anticipated consequences. This is of immense benefit to CEOs who focus on the nuances that occur on a daily basis, especially if doing business in a trial-blazing industry where many rules have not yet been written. As CEO, if you ‘ve never seen anything live before, it’s hard to get clarity and external perspectives, so it’s crucial that great board members bring model recognition and “out-of-the-box thinking” to their role. .

At the end of the day, there are boards to support and direct the company. There is no definite formula, but by implementing these steps with some healthy habits, CEOs can build strong, dynamic boards for their companies.

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