Yates Perspectives: Board Room Leadership for Entrepreneurs


Board Room Leadership for Entrepreneurs – Checklist

The Boardroom is the key forum for entrepreneurs to impress their investors.   Entrepreneurs need a checklist of important steps to keep in mind when interacting with their Directors.

Too often entrepreneurs are ill prepared for Board meetings and disappoint outside Directors.  Venture investors on a Board have certain expectations of management with regard to information to be conveyed in the short time allotted for the Board meeting.

Senior leadership at a tech company must educate the management team on being effective presenters of key company metrics.  Keep in mind that every Board meeting is a performance review for management — and you want everyone to shine.

Here are a few practical pointers:

1.         Have a standard format used by all members of the management team in making presentations.  Often, this includes “Quarterly High Points,” “Challenges” and key performance indicators or metrics.

2.         Have an excellent grasp of the numbers.  No matter your role in the tech company, understand the key metrics of your department and anticipate questions relating to them.  Don’t rely on the CFO to have the information for you.

4.         Present bad news right up front and describe how you’re addressing the issues.  Have a game plan for fixing the problem and obtain team buy-in before the Board meeting.

5.         Never guaranty a result, especially with regard to sales performance.  When presenting sales forecasts, indicate that it is “more likely than not” or “high/low probability” – it’s never “100%” or “a sure thing.”

6.         If your department is underperforming, reset expectations to a reasonable level — and don’t miss them the next quarter.

7.         For the CEO, be prepared to come to the aid of your team in addressing tough questions, especially if a team member freezes during questioning by an outside Director.

PS — If you’re looking for a video displaying the CEO’s role in coming to the aid of his team, consider this clip of Maurice Cheeks coming to the aid of a young singer who froze during the national anthem.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4880PJnO2E



This information is presented for educational purposes and is not intended to constitute legal advice; see disclaimer at http://www.www.mmmtechlaw.com/privacy-policy-and-disclaimer/.  Contact John Yates for more information at jyates@mmmlaw.com; 404-504-5444.