3 Tips for Selecting Board Members

John Babcock, a partner of Rustic Canyon (http://www.rusticcanyon.com/), gives you three tips to successfully choose the right board members. Just because someone is qualified doesn't always mean they will be the perfect attribute to the company.

  1. Ensure they can fully dedicate themselves
  2. Find those individuals who can add credibility and knowledge
  3. Make sure your personalities mesh

Inviting someone new to your board who isn’t investor and isn’t part of management team, you’ll certainly invited them to an important group and a group that’s going to be working together for years since you grow you business. And so I think I’d look at a couple of things.

The first of it is just the ability to commit time and to make meetings. And so, well it’s great to have someone that’s really valuable. If Bill Clinton and Bill Gates both say, they’d love to join the board. But they really won’t be able to make it to meetings, don’t let them on. That’s exactly what an advice report is for. You got to have someone who’s willing to put in a time to do it.

The second thing I really look for is domain expertise and statue within the industry. You know, you’re known by the company you keep. And so you want to bring someone who has a sterling reputation within your industry to the board.

And the third is a good interpersonal fit. And so really – to join them that’s something where you’re going to want to have dinner with them once or twice and really make sure you got a feel for it that you guys are going to work together because you’re going to be married to them to a great extend.

Making sure you’ve got someone who you’re going to work with well and who is going to represent your company well is really important. The relationship for the board member is like a marriage. It’s going to last a few years, it’s going to have highs and lows and supporting to find somebody you really want to stick with.

They’re unique in that position and that you’re asking them to join your board, and after that they’re going to become your boss because the CEO reports to the board.