by _comunica2punto0

#marketing Qualities To Look For In Potential Company Board Members

In Marketing on 20 julio, 2017 at 1:26

What do Al Gore, Michael Jordan and Sidney Poitier all have in common? They have all served on at least one company board. Al Gore was a board member of Apple, Michael Jordan served on Oakley’s board and Sidney Poitier became a board member of Walt Disney.

Business literature is filled with examples of board members who have helped and harmed the businesses they are tasked with advising. Primarily, the reasons for this are less about board member incompetence and more related to a poor fit between business needs and board member skills.

This article reviews a few key traits founders should consider when looking for board members.


The Board of Directors is tasked with making the most important decisions any company will face. They usually hire and fire the CEO, set compensation standards for the senior leadership team, approve the company’s yearly budget and set company strategy. In order for a board member to be effective, he or she must bring relevant experience.

While board members should be seasoned business experts, this does not mean that they need to have industry experience in order to make a meaningful impact. Warren Buffett, one of the wealthiest people on earth and the founder of Berkshire Hathaway, asked Bill Gates to join the Berkshire Hathaway board in 2004. Obviously Gates was able to offer a wealth of business experience even though he did not have direct experience with many of the businesses Berkshire Hathaway operates.

Shared Values

By the late 1990’s and into the early 2000’s Microsoft controlled over 95% of the consumer computer market. Meanwhile, their main competitor, Apple, was going through turmoil. Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs, was fired by the Apple Board of Directors. John Sculley assumed control of Apple, where he and the board made a series of mistakes that lead to Jobs making a triumphant return to the company. Upon returning to Apple, Jobs removed the board that fired him and replaced them with board members who shared his and the company’s values.

This important episode in business technology history, is a testament to the importance of finding board members who share the values of the company. While Microsoft was able to assemble a team of board members who shared company values, they were able to achieve recording breaking success.

Similarly, once Jobs returned to Apple and was able to create a board who shared Apple’s company values, the business achieved remarkable results.


Typically the Board of Directors isn’t convened more than a half-dozen times a year, though this can vary depending on corporate bylaws. That said, it is still important that board members be available. Board members should be available to provide insight, mentorship, and introductions to outside experts when needed. If Board members have many other commitments, it can mean that they are not available to provide support when needed.

Remember that each seat on the Board of Directors is critical, avoid selecting board members who while impressive, lack the time needed to invest in the growth of your company.

Ability to Add Value

Considering that the Board of Directors is the entity primarily responsible for making a number of business critical decisions, it’s important that each member has the ability to add meaningful value to the business. This means that founders should avoid simply giving investors a board seat because it is a requirement to receive funding. Either investors should be able to add real value to the company, meaning they are experienced, share the company’s values and are available, or new terms should be negotiated that do not include providing a board seat.

Willingness to Speak Honestly

The best board members are able to share honest feedback, even when doing so is difficult or unpopular. For example, a recent news story in the New York Times speculates that Arianna Huffington, an Uber board member, advised formed CEO, Travis Kalanick, to take a temporary leave of absence. It appears that Huffington is willing to voice honest feedback with the company she serves, even when this feedback might be difficult to share. This honesty is helping Uber to make considerable changes inside of the company as a result.


Creating a consciousness boardroom is no easy task. But if can be done by identifying board members who are experienced, and available to contribute this experience in a meaningful way. It is also important for board members to share company values, be honest, and be able to add real value to the company.

via Business Articles | Business 2 Community



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