What Makes a Successful Board Member

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A board member who is successful is one who takes their role seriously and contributes to the organization in an effective manner. They must be able make difficult decisions, to think strategically and to keep the big vision in mind while offering their unique viewpoint management governance based on personal experiences. A competent board of directors will assist the organization in achieving its goals and objectives by offering guidance and supervision. They will be motivated to see the organization thrive and will not be afraid to share their opinions.

While having lots of connections is important for organizations, they should also focus on recruiting people who are passionate about the cause and willing to invest their time. It is also essential to ensure that your board members possess the appropriate skills. According to Institutional Shareholder Services the boards of Enron and Kmart and the troubled retailer Warnaco had a range of financial skills and experience. They included former Stanford deans and accounting professors, as well as a prominent Asian financier and the former head the U.S. Government’s Commodity Futures Trading Commission. However the credentials were not enough to stop the firms from failing.

Likewise, regular attendance at meetings is frequently seen as a sign of good board members. As Stanford GSB adjunct faculty of corporate governance Nell Minow explains, this method does not differentiate between boards that are good or bad. The attendance records for the boards of GE and WorldCom (which were both included on Fortune’s 2001 list as the most loved companies) reveal little distinction.

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