Running with the Right Pack: Keys to Building an Awesome Board of Directors

by AVC

Selecting the right members to join your board of directors is one of the most important decisions you can make.

board of directors

A board of directors should be tailor-made to fit the style, culture, and needs of its company, therefore there’s no real blanket answer to the question of who should be on your board. That said, there are certain characteristics that the best board members typically share. Lucky for you, Matt Blumberg, founder and CEO of Return Path has laid them out in a guest post for Fred Wilson’s AVC blog.

What makes an awesome board member? Blumberg believes they need to be prepared and reliable, eager to speak their minds, proactive, experienced and knowledgeable, and focused on the big picture rather than day-to-day operations. His advice to CEOs interviewing/vetting potential board members is to conduct a broad search and aim high, interview candidates multiple times, and invite forerunners in for at least one board meeting for a practice run. Executives should take the process as seriously as building their own team, and they should always feel ok with rejecting any candidate or even current member they don’t feel is a good fit. After all, as Blumberg writes, “This is your inner circle, and getting this group right is one of the most important things you can do for your company.”

For more advice on selecting the best board members for your company, read the full post on Fred Wilson’s blog.

Related Content from OpenView:

Putting together the best board of directors is often easier said than done. For more advice, listen to this Labcast discussion between OpenView Venture Partner Firas Raouf and CEO of Boardspring Jarett Collins. As important as building an effective board is, selecting your first senior management team is crucial, as well. Read this OpenView Blog post for tips on the factors you should consider.

Looking for a complete guide to assembling and managing the board of directors your company deserves?

Building a Board of Directors eBook cover

OpenView’s ebook, Building a High-Impact Board of Directors: A Guide for Expansion-Stage CEOs leverages OpenView’s considerable experience working with entrepreneurs like you to provide the insights and actionable steps you need to:

  • Understand the value that an effective board of directors can provide
  • Assess whether or not it is time to change your current board
  • Recruit and assemble a high-performance team
  • Establish a clear management rhythm to engage your board effectively

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