I recently finished reading the new second edition of Startup Boards: A Field Guide to Building and Leading an Effective Board of Directors by Brad Feld, Mahendra Ramsinghani, and Matt Blumberg. I loved it. It is a highly useful tome for startup operators and investors alike. I found it to be particularly helpful in preparation for a recent board meeting.
Many startup leaders can relate to the flurry of activity prior to a board meeting; the data collection, the slide preparation, the cross-functional alignment meetings, and the presentation prep itself. The new edition of Startup Boards is packed with useful insights, including board fundamentals (what is a board’s purpose, and what are the roles and responsibilities of members?), steps towards creating inclusive boards, and the overall background on how boards can have a role in important company milestones like fundraising, selling or buying a company, IPOs, or closing down the business.
Startup Boards has great advice for independent or aspiring board directors. As we work towards making boards more diverse and inclusive, this is something our entire industry can benefit from.
As an LGBTQ woman startup executive, this particularly resonates with me, as I am often still the “only” person or one of a handful from a minoritized group at board meetings. Thankfully, things are changing. We all need to work towards making boards more inclusive and effective.
In my book Lead Upwards, I included a chapter for startup leaders on how to prepare for and present at board meetings, including advice from investors, seasoned CEOs, and executives. I’ve previously referenced the first edition of Startup Boards as recommended reading. The new edition is even better and more helpful for aspiring and current startup execs to be successful in their board communication.
Startup Boards is a must-read to understand the “why” behind the board meetings, the board priorities, and the structures that are present at your startup. Highly recommended reading. Get your copy.