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What Makes a Successful Board Member

A successful board member is one who takes their role seriously and contributes in an effective manner. They must be able make difficult decisions, think strategically and to keep the bigger picture in mind, all while giving their unique viewpoint based on personal experiences. A competent board will help the organization reach its goals and objectives by providing guidance and supervision. They will be driven to see the organization flourish and will not be afraid to voice their opinions.

While having a lot of connections is crucial for organizations but they must also concentrate on attracting those who are committed to the cause and willing to give their time. It’s also necessary to ensure 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 variety of financial skills and knowledge. These included former Stanford deans and accounting professors as well as a prominent Asian financier and the former head of the U.S. Government’s Commodity Futures Trading Commission. However the credentials were not enough to prevent the company from falling.

Attendance at board meetings is also often thought of as an indicator of a shrewd member. However, as Stanford GSB adjunct professor of corporate governance Nell Minow www.boardcontest.com/the-main-information-about-data-rooms/ points out, this measure by itself doesn’t differentiate the boards that are good or bad. In fact, attendance records for the boards of GE (which was included on Fortune’s list of 2001’s most admired companies) and WorldCom reveal little distinction.

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