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Startup CEO: A Field Guide to Scaling Up Your Business, + Website by Matt Blumberg

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CHAPTER THIRTY-FIVE

RUNNING EFFECTIVE BOARD MEETINGS

The objective of board meetings should always be to have great conversations that help you and your executive team think clearly about the issues in front of you, as well as making sure your directors have a clear and transparent view of the state of the business. Great conversations come from a team dynamic that encourages productive conflict. Many boardrooms are so ego-laden that people just talk over each other. Our group doesn't function that way. We are engaged and we are politely in each other's faces during meetings. No one is afraid to voice an opinion and we listen to each other. There's no surefire formula for achieving this level of engagement but there are a few guidelines you can follow.

SCHEDULING BOARD MEETINGS

Schedule board meetings far in advance and stick to that schedule so you make sure you have as close to 100 percent attendance at every meeting as possible. Make sure that you or your executive assistant knows each board member's general schedule and travel requirements and whether they manage their own calendar or have their own executive assistant. Set your board meeting schedule for the year in the early fall, which is typically when people are mapping out most of their year's major activities. If you know that one of your board members has to travel for your meetings, work with the CEOs of the other companies to coordinate meeting dates. Vary the location of meetings if you have directors in multiple ...

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