February 10, 2008

Wisdom from a Friend…Jim Balkcom on Board of Directors

Written by Boyd Bailey

Jim Balkcom is a friend of 5 years. He is a very respected businessman and loves Christ. Below is his bio and thoughts on building a Board of Directors for your business.

In Christ,

Boyd

How to Build Your Board of Directors

It’s not easy building a high tech startup. But here’s a tip: When choosing your board, take the time and energy to make solid choices. Picking the right players for your board is critical for your company’s success and will save you many headaches down the road.

Here are some suggestions to make sure your board is a good one:

View the board of directors as an independent body

One of the most common mistakes by entrepreneurs is to “stack” the board with members friendly to their cause. While it may be comforting to know that your position is “secure” regardless of how well or poorly you are executing your duties, it deprives you of the opportunity for an honest, independent performance appraisal. An independent board is in the best position to take an unbiased view of the company’s and the CEO’s performance.

Compose the board of directors of outside members only

Sensitive issues arise in any company. Some of them may be related to the performance of key executives or the CEO. Others may be directly related to the future of the company, i.e., succession issues, financing alternatives or merger/acquisitions. These issues are best handled when the CEO is able to speak freely with his board and seek advice without other members of the management team present. A board with too many representatives from management, in our experience, is far less effective and often results in second-guessing and behind-the-scenes discussions and maneuvering.

Seek a balance of skills on the board

If you raise money from professional venture capital investors, they will usually request a board seat to look after their investment. Most reputable venture capitalists have experience in serving on multiple boards and can be of substantial value to your company. However, they are not likely to be experts in your specific line of business. Seek to balance the board’s composition by adding someone with experience in your market segment. In addition, make sure to include one director with a strong financial background and another who is the CEO or VP of marketing of a successful company in a complementary business segment. These people can provide insight not only on issues specific to your company, but also provide a broader perspective on industry trends, etc.

Communicate frequently with the board members

A board will function best when it is prepared, i.e., the members are up-to-date on the state of company and have had time to think through the major issues. One of the worst mistakes for an entrepreneur is to surface major bad or unexpected news during a board meeting. This forces board members into a reactive posture and doesn’t give them adequate time to reflect upon appropriate alternatives. We always encourage the CEOs of our portfolio companies to call all directors beforehand with a brief overview of the major topics to be covered at the board meeting. If possible, provide all board members with necessary materials for review well in advance of the meeting.

Actively seek involvement of the board

Too many companies view their board as window dressing and board meetings as a nuisance in which the management gives carefully rehearsed “dog and pony shows.” Qualified board members have a wealth of contacts that the CEO can and should tap into, whether potential customers, partners or additional investors. Outside board members can be effective in evaluating the company’s strategy and a valuable resource in recruiting other members to the management team. Don’t hesitate to ask and insist on their involvement in specific issues. If board members are unable or unwilling to spend the time necessary to help the company and/or CEO, they shouldn’t be on the board in the first place.

Listen to advice from the board

The board of directors is a legal structure that provides a fiduciary oversight of a company on behalf of all shareholders. Most of the time the board will agree with the strategy and actions proposed by the management. Sometimes, however, the board may disagree and even insist on a course of action that is different from the one proposed by the CEO and the management team. Heed the advice of your board members. They are not after your job, but are merely doing what is, in their judgement, in the best interest of the company and its shareholders.

If you treat your board of directors as an adversary that needs to be overpowered and controlled, you miss out on the value they can provide. But if you see them as an ally, you’ll be able to tap into a significant resource base with a tremendous payoff to you and your company.

Jim Balkcom is an Executive Coach, Leadership Mentor and Consultant. He is currently serving as the Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army along with running Corporate Psychology Resources, Inc. He is the Founding Partner of Council Ventures, L.P., CEO Council and Investment Committee 2001-Present and serves as the Chairman for Ikobo, Inc., Online Money Transfer. He has also served as the Director of eVault, Inc., the leading provider of online data protection and quick recovery services and software. A native of Atlanta, Ga., he resides here with his wife of 41 years, Linda. They have two daughters and four beautiful grandchildren. Jim is also a graduate of West Point and served in Germany and Vietnam, being awarded numerous medals for his service.


Comments

  1. Sue Massey says:

    I found your site on google blog search and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. Just added your RSS feed to my feed reader. Look forward to reading more from you.

    – Sue.

  2. Hank Brink says:

    Mr. Balkcom,

    Solid wisdom and advice, as always! I hope you are well.

    Hank

  3. Vince Birley says:

    I’m curious if your advice changes on boards and board structures on the types of businesses you consult on. For instance, provessional service firms like accountants and attorneys generally are managed by an internal management committee (I think).

    Hope you are well and glad to see your wisdom getting published.

    Vince

  4. Zada Washell says:

    I got what you mean ,bookmarked , very nice site.

  5. Still here in Neptune Beach. Am planning our 50th reunion and working for the Beaches Museum and History Center.Yes, my mother’s dream of assuring a future for our past has actually come to pass! We are embarking on a project that may interest you: namely, the preservation of our precious St.Paul’s By-the-Sea church building. It has been in non-denominational hands for some 40 yrs. but may come to rest in the Museum Park. I would like to send you the particulars but I need an address. To God be the glory! Great things He has done! And WILL do, I’m praying. Pat McCormick Wainer

  6. leilaok2 says:

    New hot project galleries, daily updates
    http://findallfreeporn.adablog69.com/?tamara

    hot turkey porn porn boat video archive porn site reviews cuckold free porn streaming thai creampie free hardcore porn pics

  7. rosalielr2 says:

    Free Porn Pictures and Best HD Sex Photos
    http://porndvdclips.bestsexyblog.com/?lyndsey

    70 s k9 porn gay step dads and son porn free streaming porn movies xvid young boys and mature women porn free full amateur porn movies

  8. jonigt3 says:

    Hot teen pics
    http://hardcorebondage.dominantfemale.xblognetwork.com/?melina

    big tit negligee porn tube free porn no pass needed german porn video anal sex juicer porn video young porn twink

  9. salliefw1 says:

    New hot project galleries, daily updates
    http://porntyra.topanasex.com/?rhiannon

    uk free porn video lesbo teens porn tube big titts porn samples view vanesa del rio porn star digital 3d free porn

  10. irenenx1 says:

    Best Nude Playmates & Centerfolds, Beautiful galleries daily updates
    http://aatuerporn.pornblackout3.topanasex.com/?yasmin

    angelina jolie free porn steele gay porn asian porn free homemade hardcore threesome porn self submitted porn

  11. jonathanes16 says:

    Enjoy daily galleries
    http://porntube.fetlifeblog.com/?emilia

    latin porn mo celeb in movie porn shemale stunning porn best boy porn video panties in public porn

  12. mistygg2 says:

    Hot teen pics
    http://porn.clipse.relayblog.com/?marley

    porn titles like meet the bradys ashamed girls porn clips porn video watch payed animer porn for free vin deisel porn

  13. yolandacs1 says:

    New hot project galleries, daily updates
    http://sexevidiofree.bloglag.com/?kallie

    sex in car park porn secondry school porn nina heartly free long streaming porn free porn flims criss pornn

  14. lesliexf3 says:

    Sexy pictures each day
    http://fistingteenporn.allproblog.com/?ariana

    tube porn bbw harry potter porn fan fiction porn movies sluts tube natures porn free porn vdes

  15. hannahou3 says:

    Hot galleries, thousands new daily.
    http://condompornclip.amandahot.com/?kayley

    porn aunt jacks me off free black porn streams public 10 best free porn sites porn webistes thats free chassidish porn

  16. gertrudefz3 says:

    My new hot project|enjoy new website
    http://dateing.xblognetwork.com/?autumn

    miss russia porn 2006 bree oslonporn videos free porn potos anal goof troop porn porn with parents

  17. bettyrf18 says:

    Hot sexy porn projects, daily updates
    http://tube.porn.fetlifeblog.com/?annabelle

    gay teenage porn videos indexed porn movies free porn site for your ipod twins gay porn videos making porn with daddy

  18. jimmydp69 says:

    Enjoy daily galleries
    http://portaltshirtuk.allproblog.com/?jasmine

    porn star sex toy dies midgit women porn 15 russian porn black naked women porn sex party porn tube

  19. marianneep3 says:

    My new hot project|enjoy new website
    http://omnisexualporn.chainsawporn.instasexyblog.com/?madalynn

    barely goth porn indian college student porn free doggy style amateur porn films dexter adult porn free fat wife porn

  20. eugeneqw3 says:

    Dirty Porn Photos, daily updated galleries
    http://sexypornindian.instakink.com/?stephanie

    stockings porn skinny women free porn for g1 russian amatuer flash porn neil rogers porn porn teen sex fresh trade

  21. perryft18 says:

    Sexy photo galleries, daily updated pics
    http://pornwithgaymen.bestsexyblog.com/?malia

    free losing of virginity porn does porn help or hinder men gabgbang porn clips porn video serach free hot sexy porn tube

  22. kellyit11 says:

    Hot photo galleries blogs and pictures
    http://escalaporn.energysexy.com/?marissa

    free porn video chat rooms porn mother sex free porn with hillary scott porn star now christian porn cartoons girl next door

  23. paulaz11 says:

    Free Porn Galleries – Hot Sex Pictures
    http://lesbian.video.bloglag.com/?karlie

    denose masino porn pearl necklace porn pics ginger jones adult porn fat big tit porn lks huge boob hentai porn

  24. mariafg60 says:

    Teen Girls Pussy Pics. Hot galleries
    http://porn.auzzie.allproblog.com/?riya

    free porn extrem cum swallowing teeny porn model amber rayne anal porn free aussie porn movies free galerie porn

  25. deborahnb3 says:

    Hot new pictures each day
    http://themovies.bestsexyblog.com/?yadira

    mom having sex porn free porn movie full downloda ashley simons porn free slut porn pictures free vergin porn videos

  26. georgettewp3 says:

    Sexy teen photo galleries
    http://sexysatinrobe.bloglag.com/?reyna

    charles edmonds porn charges etowah tn little boy mommy porn porn stream websites free porn videos adobe flash 9 free lezbos bdsm porn vids

  27. adath18 says:

    New super hot photo galleries, daily updated collections
    http://porn.pimps.instasexyblog.com/?beatriz

    permenate delete porn bbs porn pic free cosplay porn site free premium porn videos very youngest teens porn

  28. marcigj16 says:

    Hot galleries, daily updated collections
    http://sexsexyanime.xblognetwork.com/?jimena

    porn teen 18 free nikki carlisle porn free porn videos for mobile downloads old young porn tgp big natural breasts porn stars

  29. alvintr69 says:

    Scandal porn galleries, daily updated lists
    http://sickopornart.pornonmegavideo.gigixo.com/?precious

    free porn download tube fuck full length streaming porn lesbian poprn star videos souther wife porn star homemade amature porn site

  30. clarencese1 says:

    Hardcore Galleries with hot Hardcore photos
    http://lesbianmassage.allproblog.com/?kara

    japanese girl porn movies films family guy funny porn yes thai girls free ponr itilian free amuter porn my homemade porn page

  31. meganov16 says:

    Hot teen pics
    http://old.porn.bestsexyblog.com/?maeve

    lizzy free porn french erotic porn 3d avatar porn free safe porn tube sites hot young girle porn clip

  32. Enjoy our scandal amateur galleries that looks incredibly dirty
    http://joanjettshemale.kanakox.com/?melanie

    slutty redhead porn forum free animal human porn free stolen home porn movies all grown up angelica hardcore porn hespanic porn

  33. cassieat60 says:

    Hot new pictures each day
    http://vintage.porn.xblognetwork.com/?aubree

    what sites are like porn hub jack and porn celebrity porn hardcore beverly cummings porn star asian porn video movies

  34. junepz1 says:

    Newhot project galleries, daily updates
    http://gagashemale.relayblog.com/?kierra

    hot british porn stars free asian porn vodeo porn star named taylor nickolodoen porn texas pimp porn

  35. rheasl4 says:

    Hot sexy porn projects, daily updates
    http://porn.auzzie.allproblog.com/?makenna

    free lesbian video porn downloadable x hamster porn video gay porn free videos clip free jail porn video shaved moms porn

  36. pollyfc16 says:

    New super hot photo galleries, daily updated collections
    http://michealniinporn.adablog69.com/?rhiannon

    porn feel worthless lisa ann cheating wfe porn delux porn tube asia porn piss sexy tee porn

  37. lindsayjb69 says:

    Hardcore Galleries with hot Hardcore photos
    http://cokeuseporn.moesexy.com/?jadyn

    lactating teen breast porn jack porn tubes parker perry porn porn prescence free porn teenagers

  38. hermanvs69 says:

    Teen Girls Pussy Pics. Hot galleries
    http://ebonycookbook.jsutandy.com/?estefania

    porn self sucking christian woman and porn free internet lesbo porn cum guzzling porn free office porn pics

  39. gertrudefd16 says:

    Girls of Desire: All babes in one place, crazy, art
    http://stream.porn.fetlifeblog.com/?jaycee

    real video on porn amatuer home porn tube megan kelly fox porn porn eddie renzo yunnan porn

  40. maribelje2 says:

    Hot galleries, daily updated collections
    http://rvcasportshorts.instasexyblog.com/?ashtyn

    free porn milf websites makati bargirl porn videos toronto porn actress airplane porn pics free white porn pictures

  41. Aherbus says:

    pure cbd oil pure cbd oil cbd gummies cbd oil cbdoilforsalex.com buy cbd oil

  42. jamespt18 says:

    Free Porn Galleries – Hot Sex Pictures
    http://fetish.porn.instakink.com/?taryn

    retro porn pictures french schoolgirls free porn share watch porn movies dog girl sex porn cleavagefield soft porn

  43. chelseagw18 says:

    Browse over 500 000 of the best porn galleries, daily updated collections
    http://lesbian.game.hotblognetwork.com/?dakota

    sexy porn poems kavan reece porn star aime porn porn can help married couples bushy blondes porn


Comments are closed.

Recent Posts