The Tough Job of Being on a Board of Directors
Board of Directors representation is probably the hardest position to navigate in business. It requires knowledge and being able to contribute on a wide array of topics, everything from the operational day to day running of the business, strategy, sales, marketing, pricing/revenue generation, personnel, and legal. There are several financial regulations to follow, and a forever list of other topics, some of which come as a surprise. To some, these challenges are a pleasure if you are one who enjoys finding innovative solutions to problems. What fun! As an advisor and Board member, my days are filled with challenges that need a fresh approach to uncovering the right solution. The emphasis here is on finding the ‘right’ solution since sometimes the 'easy way out' approach does not catapult you ahead of the competition.
The right solution will catapult you ahead of the competition.
Then there is the obligation to the shareholders. While you are doing everything for the company, you need to keep thinking about your fiduciary responsibility to them. They invested the money, time, and effort into the company, and it’s imperative to guard the interests of that equity stake even when the temptation is there to trample over it. Can’t do that since it will come and bite you later.
There are many things to concern yourself as a Board member, so, what is the best way to do a good job? One way is to guide the company management to do the heavy lifting, implementation, planning, and all operational actions, and be there for them in an advisory capacity. You can use your experience to provide feedback and then use the reporting and accountability to keep the barometer of progress.
This combination of 1) coaching, and 2) accountability, has enabled me to be effective in almost a dozen companies at a time! It works because the management is engaged and does most of the work and appreciates the guidance. The tracking will monitor the markers on the road to success and, when needed, can be adjusted to meet the goals.
Only reasonable and achievable goals are acceptable!
If you are considering joining a Board, this should give you a good introduction. There is a lot more so be ready to roll up your sleeves and do the work or don’t join. It is NOT a spectator sport!
Reach out to me if you want to know more.
We can discuss your specific situation and apply some real-life experience to it.