Are you currently a member of a board of directors, or do you hope one day to take the role as a board member?
I came across this short video from the Irish Institute of Directors sharing 10 common mistakes made by company directors. George Bartlett shares from his 25 years of experience as a board member.
The top 10 Errors of Corporate Directors
- Acting solely in the interests of shareholders, not in the interests of the company as a whole
- Lack of independent judgement – falling into Groupthink – Not having strength in your own convictions, not willing to be a minority of one.
- Not seeing the risks facing the business
- Failing to stand up to dominant or highly influential board members. As a board members you have “joint and several liability” you are both jointly and individually responsible for all board decision making. If you see risks, bring up those risks.
- Making promises you can’t keep – not maintaining integrity in all you do and say
- Not empowering employees – forgetting the power of a few encouraging words from you to any individual employee
- Not Challenging – challenge everything – assumptions, thinking process, risk analysis… and even your own strong opinions and assumptions. (Video: how to give feedback that is both authentic and respectful of the other)
- Losing sight of the big picture – micromanaging details. As most board members spend much of their career in executive roles, it can be hard to let go of details.
- Not being a Custodian of the corporate standards – quality of governance, quality of service, quality of discussion, quality of recruitment, quality of people development…
- Not Listening – to all voices with a role in the company’s future. (to listen well, you need to learn to ask great questions)
Are you currently a board member? What lessons have you learnt? What tips and guidance would you share with someone who has interest in becoming an effective board member?
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More Corporate Governance tips from George
George Bartlett shares some corporate governance tips.