What Do Boards Actually Do?
Mark Suster
1.3K9

Thanks for writing this Mark. The legal responsibility of a Board is to represent all shareholders and stakeholders. The spiritual responsibility is to do everything possible to help the founders succeed. As you point out sometimes these two things conflict. I feel like it is the Board’s obligation to try and prevent small issues from evolving into existential threats. This can be very difficult when the exec team doesn’t recognize the issue as a problem, particularly if the company is performing well. Uber is the extreme example of this. The seeds of their problems were sown long before they erupted into the cultural meltdown that led to the removal of Travis. But if a Board only looks at the financial signals and sits with hands folded while cheering on over-performance without a deeper understanding of the company’s terroir, then we fail on both key responsibilities.

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