Board Members?

I have sat on countless boards. Each has such a different dynamic. Some of them are extremely productive while others are just checking the box.

Running a company is so multi-layered and managing your board is just one piece. You want people on your board where each is just a sum of the whole part. Wise smart people who have had the experience of a component that is essential to growth and success. People who will make running the company easier for their advice, counsel and roll-up-the-sleeves attitude. A solid board can make all the difference in the world.

As I move into 2020, I am hoping to use the knowledge, experience, and catalyst in me to join boards that are past the start-up stage. Taking companies from the kick-off line to the tenth or even twentieth-yard line is something I have learned so much about from countless angles. I have been involved in fiscal responsibility, the investors around the table (if there are any), hiring the next team, the investors the companies want to engage with on next rounds and how they look at companies, who get involved and who doesn’t, how people look at the value of their investments, how those bumps along the way are pretty consistent for everyone….essentially I have been in many movies and I know how they can end.

I am ready for a new challenge. I want to use the knowledge I have gained and put it towards companies that are more mature yet still entrepreneurial. They could be trying to grow from the 40-yard line to the 60 or it could be the 60-80. I want to be involved in things that interest me and sitting around a table with people I can learn from as much as they can learn from me.

I have started to “date”. I have found a few that really interest me and we will see if it happens. I have talked to some that concern me so that is not what I want to step in to. I don’t have the classic education that some are looking for such as an MBA. I tend to be controversial and ask a lot of questions. I did not take the straight path. So if you know of any company that is looking for a female board member because we know they all so need us, then send me a note.

Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    Love this.True value comes in non traditional forms, for execs and board members both.If they don’t see that in you, maybe the fit is bad.

    1. Gotham Gal

      We will see. 🙂

      1. Susan Rubinsky

        You most likely provide value they don’t understand they need. Which is exactly why they need you.

        1. Gotham Gal


  2. lisa hickey

    I never thought I’d say this, but as CEO, I look forward to our Board Meetings every month — I am excited by them. I love the meetings because my Board always sees things that I don’t, they question everything that is not clear, and they talk things through with me until we both agree on a path forward.Your skill sets, thinking, experience, framework would be an asset to any Board. You seem to be clear on what would work for you and what won’t, as well as what you can bring to the table. I’m sure you will find a fit with a company that will be thrilled to have you, and will look forward to Board Meetings with enthusiasm. And keep asking those questions! That is your superpower!

    1. Gotham Gal

      Thanks Lisa. I hope so!

  3. JLM

    .One thing that will never happen is you will never advance any enterprise “from the 40-yard line to the 60 or it could be the 60-80.”Football fields go up from 0 to the 50 and then back down from the 50 to zero (the goal line). There is no 60-yard line nor is there an 80.You would be much better for startups than for companies of more maturity. Mature companies need board members who have built companies and have trench warfare level experience in actually running companies. A big plus is if they have run a public company They do not need inquisitors; they need people with answers that are based on years of actual experience.The best board members for real companies are former CEOs. The hardest board members to find are former CEOs.OTOH, your savvy on getting from fertilization into the cradle and out of the cradle is exactly what startups need. They need someone who has seen it done and can explain the magic.Mature companies do not have to kiss the hem of angel investors and give board seats in return. If you are not writing a check, a company can focus solely on independent directors who are savvy, experienced, deeply rooted in such boards, have been involved with public companies (because that may be where the company is headed) and who do have advanced degrees.Under SOx, a company has to have a “financial expert” to ramrod their Audit Committee. You have to be a CPA or an MBA or a former CEO to check that box. This is often exclusively the purview of independent directors as a member of management cannot serve on an Audit Committee.Go look at and see what they look for in prospective independent directors. They are keen for people with US SEC, Sarbanes-Oxley experience. I think they used to be by invitation only, but they absolutely have a ton of possibilities.Knowledge of Delaware Law corporate governance standards is an essential qualification.I did hear that some company Burisma is looking for board members, but I don’t know anything about them.Good luck.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  4. jason wright

    Board members and bored members.