Xavier's top 10 tips for spotting good (and bad) board directors
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Xavier's top 10 tips for spotting good (and bad) board directors

Self Assessment

Rate yourself against the 10 core values to assess how you're doing as a board member.
Instructions:
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For each of the statements below, rate yourself, from 1-5 ⭐️, based on how well it reflects how you operate as a board member today (with ‘1’ being ‘Strongly disagree, and ‘5’ being ‘Strongly agree’.
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I know I only have two jobs:
1. Hire and compensate the right CEO.
2. Approve the budget and strategic plan.
I don’t think my main job is to provide good ideas, nor do I think the board’s job is to micro-manage the CEO.

I know that things always go wrong. I make it safe to share bad news and simply ask: “So what are we doing about it and how can I help?”
I don’t lose my temper and berate management when I get bad news, nor do I incentivize management to hide bad news.

I hit a home run once or twice a year. Typically a recruit, strategic partnership, new investor, etc. I am always looking for opportunities to help.
I don’t just show up for the meetings, then avoid thinking about the company until the next one comes up.

I trust the CEO completely until I don’t. Once I don’t, it is time to make a change. There’s no in between.
I don’t constantly test and scrutinize the CEO, making them feel insecure in their role so and always on the brink of being fired.

I have extremely high standards for board meetings and communicates them clearly. That means clear presentation, timely financials/KPIs, focus on strategy not reading materials out loud.
I won’t take whatever management gives me as “normal”.
I never undermine the CEO in front of their team. Any difference of opinion is resolved privately and with ultimate deference to the CEO.
I am never unaware of who is on the email thread or in the room and am not “fast and loose” with my words.
I request the materials 48 hours or more in advance and will have read them. I will say “We have all read the materials, so let’s dive right into the most important things.”
I won’t show up having read nothing and expect management to read aloud.
I recognize when I am too busy to be useful/engaged and step aside, ideally recommending someone with the time and energy.
I am willing to give up the power if necessary.
I know that management can only focus on 1-2 things at once.
I don’t forward articles I’ve read with the subject line: “Why Aren’t We Doing THIS?!?!”
I always remember that I am a fiduciary of all shareholders.
I don’t look at every decision as: “What is in it for my firm/pocketbook?”

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