As CEO only you report to the board of directors but involving your management team in the board meetings has several benefits.
1) The Board of Directors will get a much more direct understanding of the company and its leaders
2) The Management Team will get an energy and strategy boost when presenting to the board and listening to the discussions
Bringing the executives into the board room will cause some extra work for the CEO. For instance, at times an executive will say something in the board meeting that is not in line with the CEO’s thinking or the stated strategy. But that is a small price to pay for all the benefits. And more often than not, the board will not see it as a faux-pas but as a sign of authenticity.
See also video 19: Getting the most out of your Board of Directors
When you are the CEO of a start-up or a large company, don’t hold the Board of Directors just for yourself. Share it with your management team. Success in a company cannot be sustainable unless you make the most out of your Board of Directors. One way of doing that is making sure that your executive team is involved in preparing for Board meetings and in the Board meetings.
You get two wonderful benefits of that.
First of all, your Board of Directors are eager to understand what kind of people you have hired and how you are building your team. They want the newest picture of what’s happening in the company. They want to hear many voices from the various executives, so it’s a benefit to the Board of Directors.
Secondly, it’s a huge benefit and boom to the executives that you invite. When they get to sit in a Board meeting and listen to the discussions, it enhances their understand of strategy and what’s important and understanding what the shareholders and the Board members are expecting from the company. They also get to boost themselves when they present for the Board because they rise to a new level of strategy and understanding the strategy and presenting it clearly to the Board.
You have those two very significant benefits involving your management team in the work of the Board of Directors.
This doesn’t come completely without its cost, however. When you bring in your whole executive team into a Board meeting, you have more people to coordinate and it may be that your message won’t be fully coordinated and consistent. But I can tell you that I will trade that consistency any day for the authenticity that you get with the whole management team in the board room. And where you tell them, as a CEO, you tell your executives that they need to speak openly and honestly, even if they disagree with you.
You can deal with those disagreements and you can manage it towards the Board, so they understand why two executives are saying different things or one executive is saying something that’s in conflict with the CEO.
Those are small inconsistencies and they just show the authentic way in which you are managing the company.