04 May 5 Traits of The Quintessential Board Member
When bringing on a new board member, it’s critical to be strategic in your search and selection. While there are many factors to consider, it’s best to narrow them down to create a clear vision. In my experience, these five qualities are innate to the quintessential board member.
- Financial acumen and aptitude. The ability to thoroughly understand balance sheets, profit and loss statements, business ratios, true gross margin, potential tax implications, depreciation, etc. are all the ideal. A person who is well versed in financials will be able to get to the heart of most business challenges quickly.
- Mentorship. It’s best to have a board member who will serve as a mentor and sounding board to a family member, high potential executive or the CEO of the company.
- Chairmanship. Ideally, candidates will serve on the board for some time before becoming Chair, but when brining in a new board member be sure to evaluate whether they have the potential.
- Diverse skills. When looking for a board member there is usually a specific experience that is sought after and it’s easy to narrow in on that one need. Real value is present when a candidate can help with multiple (three-plus areas) in your business.
- Potential for expansion. Always consider the board member as someone who can potentially step in as an interim CEO or CFO. Bringing on someone that you can trust, who knows your business may be helpful in unexpected situations.
Although this list may seem exhaustive, there is the right candidate for your company out there. They are high performing individuals who are qualified, interested in serving your board and the quintessential candidate. They simply need to be sought out.