By | Matt Blumberg | www.entrepreneur.com
As a CEO, one of the most important (yet overlooked) tools in the playbook is building and leading a board of directors. Throughout my 20+ years of entrepreneurship, I’ve led four companies (including Bolster, where I’m a co-founder and CEO today) and served on eight boards. I’ve learned that strong boards can help propel a company forward and I’ve also witnessed how weak and ineffective boards can hold companies back. Mediocre or mismanaged advice, plus lack of accountability, can do long-term damage to a business as well.
Drawing from personal experience and anecdotes from dozens of Bolster’s client CEOs, here are some tried and true “Seven Habits of Highly Effective Boards.”
Habit 1: Begin with the board in mind
A lot of CEOs treat board curation as an afterthought, which means that boards tend to consist largely of who happened to be in their network at the company’s inception: investors. CEOs also tend to treat their boards as a distraction or an annoyance. Both of these lines of thought are problematic.
Boards should be viewed as a CEO’s second team (along with their management team), as a strategic weapon that helps the company succeed and as an opportunity to bring new voices and perspectives. Research has shown the more independent and diverse a board is, the better it performs.