Do you have an Advisory Board?

Let’s not confuse Advisory Boards with Boards of Directors (BOD) – there are some very real differences.  Without getting into the myriad of regulatory requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank, major stock exchange governance and the like that public companies must comply there are many dynamics that hold true for CEOs of SMBs and their BOD – the tenor with an Advisory Board – if you have one – is very different.

Just a few of the “plain English” distinctions, hopefully some well-intended humor and how each “help” you …

Board of Directors

Who:                        These are the people you invite to your barbeque because you                                        had  little choice.

Characteristics:      Successful, intelligent, you had to invite them, annoying, nosey,                                       half-empty, negative, all about me, untrusting, paranoid, etc.

Objectives:             Highlight what you did do that was wrong and what you didn’t                                         do that you should have.

Mission:                   Affix blame; find reasons to fire you.

Advisory Board

 Who:                       These are the people you invite to your barbeque                                                              because  you want them there.

Characteristics:       Successful, intelligent, you want them there, embraceable,                                                inquisitive, half-full, positive, your success, trusted, balanced, etc.

Objectives:              Highlight what you did do that was right and how to leverage.

Mission:                   Fix problems; find ways to promote your success.

I’m quite certain you aren’t looking for more meetings, nonetheless, I strongly urge all SMBs, all my clients to form an Advisory Board, if you haven’t already.

A capable, trusted Advisory Board will pay handsome dividends, go a long way towards solutions (e.g. – connect with strategic partners, raise capital, compliment strategic vision, deal with zealous equity holders and/or disgruntled minority shareholders, bring solutions to your day-to-day problems they’ve already solved — to name just a few) that the gals and guys on that other board … sometimes – are not so predisposed.

Surely you can carve out ½ to a whole day, out of your office, perhaps once a quarter, no?

Choose your trusted advisors for the board you do want carefully and that will go a long way towards achieving your dream – I have no doubt.

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