A friend reminded me of the importance of doing business with people who believe in accountability and professionalism. If you build a team that is simply composed of friends, the ability to shift between being peers to business associates or fiduciaries can be a complicated process. One of the benefits of having a diverse group of individuals serving on a board is to gain additional perspectives but also to avoid the trap of not wanting to upset a friends when expectations edge towards performance. There is never one person who can embody all the attributes and viewpoints but a team of individuals with unique perspectives brings a lot to the board room.
Who is going to ask the question that needs to be asked?
Who is going to ask for a clarification when not everyone in the room understands the data but are too polite to ask for a clarification?
Who will make sure that the organization meets the ‘best practices’ standards?
Who will speak for the small segment of customers who are easily forgotten?
Who will say ‘slow down’ if the group needs a moment?
Who will reposition the board’s message so it is easily communicated?
Who do you need that helps your team excel? Who do you currently have on your board that may be there simply as a friend-of-a-friend?