The Ideal Agenda For A Board Of Directors
Your Board of Directors is an incredibly valuable asset you need to tap into in order to scale your company and become a seven figure entrepreneur. Are you leveraging their power, or are you being intimidated into running ineffective meetings that are costing you revenue?
In this episode, Chris fills you in on the seven figure secret to running constructive meetings with your Board of Directors or Advisors: an iron-clad agenda.
He shares the exact template he uses for each of his meetings, including the one that produced 11 new potential acquisitions before he was even in the room. Don’t miss out on this powerful strategy that will empower your Board members and make you look like a next-level CEO.
A Board, whether it’s a Board of Directors or a Board of Advisors, is supposed to help you grow faster and avoid costly obstacles… The only way to achieve that is if you lead your Board.
In this Episode:
- The most powerful tool to utilize your Board of Directors or Advisers if you want to scale your company faster
- How you need to prepare your Board before your meeting so that they can show up ready and excited to participate
- The idea sample Board meeting template seven-figure entrepreneurs are using
- How Chris used this strategy to get the names of 11 companies to potentially acquire at a recent Board meeting
- What you’re missing out on when you don’t have an agenda guiding your time and discussion
- How meeting agendas help your Board members feel like rock-stars and make you look like an alpha CEO
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I’m always amazed at how often I meet an entrepreneur or a CEO who’s outstanding at growing their company but literally scared of the idea of running a board meeting.
This episode of Built to Grow (the Board series) is all about how to run an effective board meeting and leave the meeting looking like an alpha CEO.
A few months back I was invited into a company in NYC.
And this is a good-sized company in fact they took up the entire top floor of a building right in the heart of New York.
And the guy who I met with was the CEO and he was definitely a heavy hitter in the industry.
He had three assistants, two followed us around and constantly took notes, and he had awards all over his office, and more awards all over his board room, not just on the walls, but standing up on the desk that spanned the whole length of the room.
He was confident, dynamic, powerful, stoic but when his board meeting started, he changed. He got humble and meek and that’s not uncommon.
The Art in Running a Board Meeting
There’s an art to running a board meeting and it’s not difficult, but in the absence of knowing how to guide your board, your board will guide you.
And although, if you put together great people, having them guide you is great that’s not what a board is for.
A board (whether it’s board of directors or a board of advisors), is supposed to help you grow faster, and avoid costly obstacles and create stability as you grow so your new growth is long term.
And the only way to achieve that is if you lead your board.
And there’s several ways we do this, but the most powerful is with an agenda.
But let’s dig into this because it can’t be easy as writing up a simple agenda and it’s not.
We need an iron clad agenda that everyone knows and buys into, so everyone on your board knows how much time will be devoted to each topic and how to present new information, and how to know when it’s time to move onto the next topic.
Setting An Agenda
And just as important, that they need to see that agenda at least a week in advance so they have time to put together all the material and make a list of any contacts they should bring to make you more successful after that meeting than you were before it started. And they should get that agenda again two days before the meeting so it’s fresh on their mind.
…and 24 hours before the meeting they should get information about where and when the meeting will be held…
…and the day of the meeting, they should get that location and time again.
And if you do that, here’s what’s going to happen…
First, you’ll fill out the agenda with anything you need to cover in the meeting, and you’ll be clear on what the best value you want to get out of the meeting is.
How to Effectively Set An Agenda
In my company, we do this digitally so everyone on our board can add things to the agenda days before we start the meeting.
And we have rules for what can be and what cannot be added, so there’s the most value, and the least distractions during each meeting.
And second people will not miss a meeting or be late, because they’re getting alerts on a regular basis, and they’re motivated to be there on time because they want to participate in the meeting because they had a part in creating the agenda.
And in our meetings, we have an assistant who confirms that every board member has everything they need before the meeting begins, and that’s done with an old-fashioned phone call because that works best.
And we start each meeting with a review of the agenda, so it’s front of mind for everyone there (including me).
And the meeting is run by the agenda and it’s smooth every time, and the only distractions are if we have a meal brought in and we take a break to eat. But even that’s not a distraction because “breaking to eat” is already on the agenda.
And we never eat during a meeting. We take a break, eat and then pick up where we left off.
What to Include on Your Board Meeting Template
I would never run a board meeting or any meeting without an agenda without everyone knowing (in advance) what to expect, when to expect it, and how to come prepared so we all get the most value and we walk away with exactly what we need to be more effective leaders.
So, a sample board meeting template would include:
The date, time, location of the meeting, who’s attending, and exactly what topics will be covered.
And next to each topic we usually have a timestamp and a list of what kind of information I would like the board to bring. For example, one topic at yesterday’s board meeting was acquisitions and what I was looking for are other companies that meet a very specific set of criteria that my company can potentially acquire before the end of the year. Because we did some projections last month and we know we’re going to need additional investment for two reasons.
One because we have revenue coming in that needs to be used to grow the company or it’s going to massively increase our tax bill. And the other reason is because Strategic Acquisitions is a simple way to scale when you know how to do it right and we happen to be very good at it.
So that topic was clear on the agenda, and I asked everyone to reach out to their contacts and bring any leads for potential acquisitions that fit those criteria.
And the result of that was that one member brought a list of 11 highly vetted companies, along with the names and personal contact details of each owner.
That was amazing!
The Benefits of Setting A Clear Agenda
The truth is without a board of advisors and without well-run meetings with them that might have taken me a year to put together. And maybe I might never have been able to put that whole list together because to be honest acquisitions is not something I focus on that much. There’s a lot of other things in business I need to focus on.
And without a clear agenda (like we just discussed) that was sent in advance here’s how that might have gone.
OK – “thanks everyone for coming, one of the things I want to talk about is acquisitions does anyone know who we might acquire that fits these criteria?”…
…and the room would have been silent and that one member who had all those contacts would have gone back to his office and got distracted by his own company’s needs and I might have gotten a quick email later that week with one or two ideas on it.
Running a board meeting is simple.
Let everyone know, in advance how to bring the most value. Remind them several times so they show up prepared and run your meeting by a well-planned agenda.
MEET CHRIS GUERRIERO
Chris is an entrepreneur, investor, bestselling author, and advisor to a handful of high growth companies.
He has built four 8-figure companies, developed winning leadership teams in six industries, and designed business systems that predictably grow multi-million dollar brands.
He’s been featured in financial periodicals such as: Success, Inc, Bloomberg TV, and in Entrepreneur as a top entrepreneurs of the time.
In addition to his own companies, Chris is also an advisor, investor and equity holder in companies across a variety of industries, including health, medical, digital advertising, legal and real estate.