None of us have it all figured out and most of us are hesitant to expose our experiential or technical limitations because we don’t feel comfortable disclosing such shortfalls. Time on the planet in a broad range of roles resulted in a toolbox of skills that works well for me in a collaborative and ego-holstered culture. I am thankful for being able to speak many technical languages and thrive in the interpretative role that inevitably results.
It takes a combination of creativity (right brain) and structure (left brain) to find the best solutions.
I find working with diverse people to solve problems and help implement new opportunities fun, challenging and rewarding. That must be why I so enjoy working on or with Boards. In addition to contributing my particular experience and talents to the team effort, I don’t hesitate to speak up and challenge either the CEO or fellow board members in working toward the best solutions and outcomes for the company.
I believe Boards are an under-used and under-managed tool for middle-market businesses.
Further, as our world becomes more complex, I believe acquirers, joint venture partners and financing sources will evaluate opportunities and value in part by the caliber and effectiveness of your Board. You, as a CEO, will in part be evaluated by the contribution and profile of your Board. Here’s what I bring to you (as the Chair or CEO) in either a behind the scenes coaching engagement with you in designing your Board or as a Board Member:
Having been a mid-market CEO for six years and board member for several middle market businesses, I understand the challenges that keep CEOs and boards awake at night. Having been a CFO for many years longer, I have the financial acumen to figure out how to resolve many of those issues.
One of my gifts is the ability to distill and make the numbers easily accessible, which is the first step to solution. Overlay that with a natural bias towards interpretation and behind the scenes mentoring and the Board benefit gains traction quickly. I am keenly attentive to weaving accountability and intention into Board discussions – there is an investment in Boards and like everything else, we need to demonstrate a Return on that Investment. Be proactive, accountable and strategic and you will attract the right Board Members.
Specialties and Skillsets
An ideal board member has the specific knowledge and skillsets needed at a company’s particular stage of growth or circumstance—someone whose talents complement those of the CEO and other board members in accomplishing business goals. My skillsets, which primarily center on the financial side, can add value at many points.
- Financings/capital structures/operational impacts of financings—all aspects of the right-hand side of the balance sheet
- Interpretation and education of financial information for CEOs and boards
- Identifying beneficial relationships with outside professionals (legal, accounting, financial, insurance and investment banking) and coordinating efficient use of them
- Posturing companies to attract capital, along with access to financing and acquisition capital
- General operations
- Strategic and Corporate Development disciplines – “Where are we today, where do we want to go and what is necessary to get there?” Explore all options available to increase the Enterprise Value and sustainability of the value drivers.
Finally, I provide and seasoned and balanced perspective regarding integrating the financial aspects of business with the people dynamics to include a focus on developing key people and their understanding of the financial implications of their operational initiatives.
I work with and coach executives in their native language on how their companies work financially arming them with the tools to be more effective financial manager as well as Leaders.