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Three Ways a Board of Advisors Helps Make You a Better CEO

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If you’re leading a company, you certainly have learned a lot to get in that spot.  If you’re like most CEOs I know, you’re continuing to learn and grow as a part of your regular routines.  Having a Board of Advisors can help you keep developing, even as they help you manage your company.

Here are three ways a Board of Advisors can help make you a better CEO:

1. A Board Meeting forces a specific review interval for you and your Team.

It’s easy to get settled into autopilot running your business.  You have plans but can easily drift from them if you’re not paying close attention.  Having a regular trigger for review and reflection is an important opportunity to review progress on your goals.   Getting ready for each Board Meeting (we have ours three times per year) is a forcing function to help keep things on track.  Reflecting on what’s happened since the prior meeting compared to your intentions and considering what you expected to accomplish before the next meeting is very enlightening.  Sometimes, organizing your thoughts in preparation can be almost as important as the feedback you get from the Board.

2. Board Members can backstop areas outside your strongest, personal competencies.

You naturally have certain areas of your business that you pay closer attention to than others, usually because they are areas of relative strength for you.  Having Board Members that bring a variety of skill sets to the table can provide additional insight for you, especially in areas where you are not as strong.  Having a trusted Board Member that is highly skilled in a particular discipline is an important opportunity to backstop any gaps in your strengths and help to bolster your Team.  Having that outside perspective can make a huge difference and provide awareness that you won’t get on your own.

3. A Board Meeting can create the opportunity for expanded strategic thinking.

You’ve likely built some strategic planning into your annual rhythms in your role as CEO.  Having those tactical conversations with your Team is an important part of moving forward as a business.  Many companies have a facilitator join the group to stimulate additional ideas and keep the Team focused on the outcome of the process.  A Board Meeting is another opportunity for helpful and strategic discussions.  Board Members that have been successful as CEOs have typically been through many cycles of strategic planning in their careers.  Their tendency to consider longer term and strategic ideas will expand your thinking at Board meetings.  Having strategic discussions beyond just an annual planning session will help you maintain a longer-term perspective, even in the midst of the day-to-day running of your business.

Every time we meet with our Board, we learn more about how we can improve our business.  We’re grateful for their input and their willingness to offer their time and energy on our behalf.  Getting pushed to review the business on a regular interval, having a backstop in areas that our Board Members have expertise, and expanding our strategic thinking make us better as a Leadership Team and improve my capability as a CEO.

If you want to talk about how to put a Board of Advisors together, or anything else related to the process of using a Board of Advisors, please hit the Contact Us button, and I’ll be happy to discuss it with you.