Some business owners and CEOs enjoy the benefits and successes that come from a powerful, creative and effective Board of Directors. Sadly, this is not everyone’s experience. It’s also true that a single leader can do virtually all of the strategy-making, direction-setting, motivating and controlling.
But, however good they are, they’re never as good as the best Board. And anyway, if this is you, do you really want to do everything yourself? What happens when you’re on holiday or there are a number of issues that need addressing simultaneously? What happens when it’s time for you to retire or move on?
Most would agree that an effective Board is one of the keys to success for a leader. So, here’s a short health-check to establish the effectiveness of your Board and how you can improve it.
1. Recruit the best
It has to start here. Do you have the very best people supporting you in running the business? If not, you’re doomed to operate on your own. Take a look at each member, and if s/he is not excellent, take the necessary steps for a replacement. It may be uncomfortable or expensive, but it won’t be as expensive as paying a Director who won’t ever succeed or help you to succeed.
2. Expect the best
Once your Board is full of exceptional people, you need to expect the best from them at all times. Don’t settle for mediocre plans, average analyses, ill- thought-through conclusions or pedestrian results.
3. Insist on ideas
Is your Board full of ideas? What you really want and need is a range of ideas to choose from. Create a culture whereby your Board regularly approaches you with ideas for improving the business. The more creative your Board is, the better chance you have of finding those killer ideas that really transform the fortunes of a business.
4. Focus on the big stuff
Is each member of the Board constantly looking at the big picture and advising you on the things that make a real difference? These are the people you are paying to do just that. If they are merely managers who are competently managing, then you are over-paying for the role! Your team needs to be relentlessly identifying the things that make a huge difference and driving them through.
5. Look ahead
Similarly, are they constantly looking ahead? Are they advising you on what competitors are doing? Do they identify and share with you the direction of the market and how your business needs to prepare for opportunities or threats?
Without doubt, your people are your greatest asset, and within them may exist a group who can be key to the success or failure of your business. It’s worth taking a fresh look at your Board regularly. After all, you want them to be the movers and shakers you need!