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“When most people think of high-performing teams, they think of sports teams, trauma center professionals, or fire department crews. They rarely think of … boards. Still, if you want an exceptional board, you need to create a high-performing board team.” - Governing As a Team. BoardSource
“Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.” – Guy Kawasaki, American marketing specialist
When we asked our Savvy Director readers, “What boardroom skills do you want to have help with?” a number of you responded with variations on the themes of how to exercise more patience, how to be more tolerant, and – to be brutally direct – how not to get frustrated with other directors.
I get it. Sometimes, after an unsatisfying board meeting, I’ve thought to myself, “Board work would be great if it weren’t for all the other people in the room!”
It’s okay to indulge that secret thought for a moment or two. But the reality is that board work is a group activity – that’s the nature of the beast. If we don’t learn to channel those frustrations into something more positive and productive, the road to being a Savvy Director is going to be a rough one.
There are two reasons I particularly like our...
We often hear from readers looking for ways to elevate their boardroom discussions to a more strategic level. That makes sense. Strategic discussions are more interesting, forward thinking, and robust than those that drill down into the minutiae of operations.
When the agenda and reading material don’t reflect the organization’s high level strategy - instead being filled with pages of execution detail and ‘busy work’ metrics - is it any wonder directors slow the meeting down with operational questions? They’re just responding to what’s put in front of them.
Directors work on what you give them. If you give them an agenda focused on committee reports, they’ll spend their time listening with minimal input. In fact, if you don’t give them anything to work on, they just might work on you.
Instead, the key to achieving a consistently elevated board discussion – one that engages directors at a strategic level - is a relentless...
“There’s increased pressure from stakeholders to be more transparent and accountable on ESG performance no matter what the size of the company is.” - Roopa Davé, Partner, Sustainability Services, KPMG
Your success as a board director isn’t about how smart you are, it’s about your willingness to do the work. I’m calling it ‘Boardroom Grit’. Is there such a thing?
Think about the wealthy dude who gets a seat at the high profile charity board table because of the size of his family’s foundation and the potential for a sizeable gift someday … how gritty is that when he never opens the meeting materials and confirms that reality with his off-topic comments and rabbit-hole questions?
Today’s Savvy Director blog topic was inspired by the best-selling psychology book, ‘Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance’ by Angela Duckworth.
While Dr. Duckworth shares extensive research demonstrating that talent alone is not enough to ensure achievement, it was her many real-life examples in athletics, the arts, medicine, business, and academics, that I found so compelling.
Talent without intentional practice is a...