When I started as a VC I was trying to read everything about boards – it was the one thing I was worried about. I had experience with everything else but not sitting on a board. There are not many good books on it either.
This is one of the better threads I have seen on it and a nice doc for it.
Takes time to learn to become a good board member but helps to have some direction. My other advice is ask to join board meetings of larger companies so you can see how it works.
After more than 1,000 board meetings at Microsoft, Airbnb, LinkedIn, PayPal, and more…
I've learned that effective boards don't happen by accident.
Here are 8 rituals of the world's best boards: 👇
1. Be inclusive.
Many board meetings are dominated by one or two board members.
The best boards seek out the opinions of everyone in the room, not just the loudest.
2. Fundraise proactively.
Most boards reactively raise money when the company runs out of cash.
The best boards proactively plan for fundraising opportunities like market shifts and inbound offers.
3. Advise, don't pilot.
The worst boards can break a company by dictating priorities.
The best boards take a hippocratic oath of "do no harm". They aren't pilots. They're front-seat advisors.
4. Hire for cofounder mindsets.
The best boards understand this secret to hiring great executives.
People with a cofounder mindset are willing to take risks when success isn't guaranteed.
5. Invest in relationships.
Hollywood idolizes board meetings as the place where crucial decisions are made.
The truth is the best ideas, collaboration, and feedback happen outside the boardroom in informal 1:1 meetings.
6. Tap into individual superpowers.
Everyone has a superpower — a unique combination of skills, experiences, strengths, and networks.
The best boards leverage the superpowers of individual board members, to help the company navigate threats and unlock opportunities.
7. Send personal emails.
How would you feel if you got a personal email from someone on the board of your favorite company?
The best boards send personal emails to help the company sell, hire, and raise money.
8. Think big.
The best boards are the CEO's biggest cheerleader. They inspire the company to stretch the limits of what's possible.
Airbnb famously did this by designing an 11-star experience for guests.
You don't have to wait until your company is as large as Microsoft or as ubiquitous as Airbnb to create a world-class board of directors.
I’ve turned these 8 rituals of great boards into a set of tools you can copy and use.