If You Want a Good Relationship With Your Board, You Need to Ask These Questions

March 6, 2018 | Publication

We were recently called up to Chicago to coach an entrepreneur of a $50-million company whose frustration level with his board was moving toward detonation. After an hour of conversation, he pleaded with us: “Just tell me what to do to get this board off my back.”

We asked, “Have you ever tried to put yourself in the lead director’s head? Do you know how his broader investment portfolio is doing and how this business fits in?”

No, he admitted.

This situation is hardly uncommon. Since 1995, our team has advised and assessed over 17,000 C-suite executives, including over 2,000 CEOs and CEO candidates of which approximately 17 percent were founders. Of the 100 CEOs we interviewed for this article, slightly more than half (57 percent) said the board added value to the company, while 43 percent said the board was either neutral or destroyed value.