Are Your Board of Directors on Fire?

Excited business team cheering at camera in the office

I have sit on a few boards, and even chaired two. Some do well and others seem to just exist. I like to think that the ones I have chaired rocked the most, but I am a bit biased. I do however know a few lessons that I have learned from being the leader and the follower.

Lesson 1. Send the agenda ahead of time, anywhere from 3 to 5 days prior. You want to give them the opportunity to look it over and prepare any comments, but don’t send it so early that they forget about it. People generally don’t like to go to meetings when they have no idea of what is going on. No agenda will also make it easier to get sidetracked.

Lesson 2. Start on time and end on time. This can be a bit difficult trying to manage everyone who may want to speak. If you find that someone is talking longer or asking numerous questions, feel free to say, “That’s a great point xxxxx, let’s set up a time to discuss that after our meeting. I would like to get the rest of the agenda finished.” This will keep you on track.

Lesson 3. Delegate. Give people the authority to do some of the tasks. When people feel, they are vested in something, they will work a bit harder. I know this is scary to some, but delegation is not a sign of weakness but of strength.

Lesson 4. Give them deadlines. Let them know when you are expecting the work to be done. I know I am a last-minute person. I try and say “I am going to have this done early.” Yep, every time I am up till midnight finishing some task.

Lesson 5. Hold them accountable. If you let people slide by all the time with excuses, nothing will get done. Yes, things come up occasionally that prevent you from getting your work done, but a phone call or email can be made to let everyone know.

Lesson 6. Praise them for a job well done. We all like to hear we have done a good job. For the board, I chair, at Christmas we had a nice lunch out and I gave everyone a small gift and a certificate of recognition. It was a small gesture that made everyone happy.

Lesson 7. Have a nice space. You want to make sure your work environment is one that is friendly and conducive to getting things done. Do you have comfy chairs, a nice bright room to work in. We are happy to help you with your boardroom needs. Check out some of the furniture we offer at:

You are the leader; everyone is looking to you to take charge and show them the way. If you take your role seriously, they will follow.