One of the most challenging things you will have to do is to effectively “manage up” and work well with your board of directors. This is a practical course to working effectively with a board of directors. Learn how to effectively lead and facilitate your board meetings today!Sign Up to Watch
- Broadcasting from the center of the universe featuring Optometrist turned entrepreneur Dr. Robert Zelner and US SPA Entrepreneur of The Year Clay Clark. - Because eventually it all comes down to, you're fired get out of here, - [Clay] You know it's ok for you to encourage them to move on if you don't like them because they probably don't like you either -  yeah - [Clay] There's probably a job out there they will like - Welcome to the Thrive Time Podcast - Alright thrivers, welcome to this episode of the Thrive Time Podcast I'm joined today with Dr. Z and Clay and we are talking about managing a board, managing a board specifically a non profit one but a lot of these principles they will apply to a number of different boards So Clay, why is managing a board or managing a committee or being a part of a committee such a hot topic today? - Well on a broader level it's about managing relationships and high level high value relationships and so if you're listening right now and you say "I don't have a board" but you have a group of important people that you're managing those relationships or you have a family relationship you're trying to manage I think this training is an altruism it's very practical, it's things we all need to know and frankly I'm excited about it. Because Dr. Z here has served on a bank board, he's been on many different leadership roles and in business, boards can be tough it can be challenging so I'm excited to hear what you have to say about it. - Ok, we're going to get into this, we have Thrivers sending in mailbag questions ok questions from all over the world and we have one specifically from a Thriver in Oregon that I have that is just awesome, ok, so we are going to actually get a real answer for this Thriver. - [Clay] Boom - Ok - [Dr. Z] Wow - So she writes "I am building a non profit which necessitates a board. We have a great trustworthy team, who bring a variety of talents, I'm the only one on the board with the field knowledge of our mission I've worked with enough committees to know that getting people to discuss decisions means that we're going nowhere. How do I ensure that we are moving forward with strong direction with that team?" So Z, I'm going to lean on your experience with this, in your experience how does this thriver, or anybody else that is managing a board begin to get started? - Well, I mean to get started, that's an excellent place to start, is getting started. Don't you think Clay? - I absolutely agree, to get started, you need to start - [Dr. Z] you need to start well you know you've got to build a great board first of all and I know that's easy said but you've got to build a great board and if you don't, if you have people on the board that are really, uh shouldn't be on the board, make a change. So selecting the people, having the right people on the board, people that you think can bring value to your cause, your mission, your business, whatever it is fill in the blank. So step one is always building the best board you can and understanding if you make a mistake do the necessary steps to fix it, and that means maybe getting a new board member, so that's step one - Step one, getting the right people on the board - I'd like to kind of chime in there too with a little step two because I think once you build that board, if you did build the right board - [Dr. Z] Yep - They're there to actually solve problems - [Dr. Z] Right so make sure you have someone that compliments your weaknesses is what I also meant to say. You know so when you're picking board members if they're all alike and they all have the same skill sets then that's not a great board. - [Clay] And that's why I had a little, with the question it wasn't like I didn't like the question, but it said that here "I've worked with enough committees to know that getting people to discuss decisions means that we're going no where." Actually you can get somewhere and you can prevent yourself from falling off a cliff if you have the right board members. - That's true, but you know and that leads to answer her question specifically you have to be in control at those meetings. You have to set an agenda, and you have to go through your agenda list items for the board meeting. You can't just say "What does everybody think about this?" and then you've got 27 people in this room all kind of throwing out all these wahh wahh, random stuff, you have to have an agenda and you have to be in control and you have to have order. That's just to get anything done in any board if you will, you have to have that. - And we have very specific trainings on Thrive15.com about how to make the perfect agenda, how to actually make an agenda very specific step by step how to do it, but I want to just recap this because I want to make sure we're not missing anything ok. One, you want to build the best board possible. So if your current board is terrible, and sometimes with boards it takes six months or a year to replace everybody that you need to, but you need to be aware of that. The second is that you really, really want to stay off those weaknesses. There's no point to get people on the team who all think the same. And I've been in that kind of scenario don't do it. And the third is have that agenda, go in saying, these are the five things we're gonna decide today, ok we can debate it but these, we need to reach a decision on these five things.
- Now in the trenches, cause you've actually been on the bank board, and I know a lot of what you're doing there is confidential. We don't need to mention names or anything but when you're on the bank board, you know, before or on different boards, have you ever kinda got the feeling that somebody there is just mentally and emotionally checked out and have you ever have like pulmocide after the meeting, kinda call them on it or talk to some of these people and go hey buddy are you really wanting to be here or have you ever had to have those kind of, I mean does that ever happen or no? - Oh that's fun. It's fun to be in a board meeting and know the guy sitting across from you is a complete wack job and just sit there and when it's your turn to talk, go and you are a wack job. No, you know, you have that on every board and when you meet once a month or you meet periodically people are gonna be, some people can't undo what they're thinking right then so they may be checked out a little bit that day so you kind of have to make sure everybody is focused and you get everybody's attention and that everybody is giving it all that day because boards don't meet that often so a lot of times you have a long agenda. It can get kinda boring, if it's a point where you're there trying to catch butterflies in the office building and you're kinda going oh this is crazy but you have to stay focused, you have to stay on it and sometimes yeah it does take a little bit of hello wake up down there seat 32. - Also this, I like to do a lot of times, a pre-talk, talk before those kind of meetings. So as an example, like if I wanted... - Kind of like a pep talk. - Well yeah, let's say that I wanted to you and I and Marshall are all on a board and let's say that I know Marshall has no understanding of the idea that's being discussed in the meeting, you know it's a new concept, it's a new idea. You've never heard about it before. I know that natural human nature is a lot of people react to new ideas or change in kind of a shut down mode like I don't know, let's table it until next month. - Yeah yeah. - But we only meet once a month. - Yeah. - So I have to call him and go hey tomorrow we're gonna discuss this idea. Here's why I think we should do it or shouldn't. Research it, get into it, please be aware so when we have the meeting, you're mentally there because your point, they don't meet very often and so you've got to get decisions. - Yeah and that's under one of my super moves on the board, you have to communicate. You have to communicate and if you wait until the day of the board meeting, they walk up and you give them this big fat agenda and you say well here you go, that's not good communication. You gotta call, you gotta build relationships with your board members. You have to make sure the board members can build relationships with themselves and maybe people in the organizations, they can kind of get a feel of what's going on but you have to communicate. Communication is so important and it's a, like I said if you wait until the day of the meeting, half the meeting is gonna be filled up with just trying to figure out what the crap we're here to meet about. - And one of my favorite guys to quote and to read and to study is Jack Welch. Jack talked about how when you get in the big corporations trying to make big things happen, if somebody's not upset in the meeting, you're probably not speaking with candor. His whole thing is like let's destroy, let's fight for the idea, we don't have to fight each other and I know, because we're passionate business people. It's human nature to attack people and not attack the idea. And so I think it's really really important as we're recapping these moves here, you know, step one, build the best board you can. Two, staff your weakness. Three, have an agenda. Four, do that pretalk, you know talk, make sure everyone knows what's going on. Don't just bring up ideas they've never heard of in that meeting. Five is communicate and the final step I want to communicate in the move number six here, step number six, is you gotta be prepared. - Oh yeah. - And it wears me out not as much as it wears you out, I think, but I think it wears me out almost and I'm almost to the point of worn out the way that you are where you'll go to a meeting, you'll meet once a week and you ask a guy a direct question, you say hey what is the answer to this? Or where's the data here or what's your feedback? And they're like I'd have to go get it. And you're like well what the crap are we here meeting for? We're here to make decisions. So it's really really important if you're on, it sounds like this person is on a, have a team, and you're the person everyone's looking at. You're the one leading the meeting, be prepared. Like know what you're talking about. If you're using someone's time, I mean. Doesn't that wear you out when people have no idea what they're talking about. - Absolutely and you want someone that's leading and that's what I'm saying, take control and lead. Lead the meeting. Don't let someone go off on a rabbit trail. I've seen that so many times in board meetings. They'll be talking about a subject and then all of a sudden someone will be like oh wow, my grandfather had the same thing happen to him and next thing you know ten minutes have gone and we've heard about how the grandfather and you're like what? - Speaking of grandfathers, you know grandfather of time. You guys ever read that book about and you're just like. - No, back on point. You gotta lead, you gotta get them back on point. You gotta get down your agenda and cause nobody wants to sit there all day long, you know? - Z, give it to us real and raw right here okay. We're gonna get real and raw, okay? How do you tactfully do that in the business meeting without freaking out, okay, so give it to us real and raw. - I wanna be the guy that goes on the rant. - Okay, you're gonna go on the rant. This is real and raw. We're gonna do a live role play right here, okay? - Oh yeah. - Now guys, I'll tell you when we get through with this meeting, I wanna go ahead and get the lunch. We need to make sure we end by 11:50 and the lunch... - Excuse me, Clay? - We gotta make sure... - Clay, Clay, excuse me, excuse me Clay. You're a little off topic and you're way overstating my interest in what you're gonna have for lunch today. So why don't we get back on point. The point that we're bringing up was ABC so if you have something to comment about that directly great and we'll talk about lunch later. Okay, whose next?
- And I've seen him do this. So that's how you do it. And if you're going, "That seemed harsh," read Jack Welch Straight From the Gut and if that seems harsh-- - [Dr. Z] Punch him in the gut. - Go watch a Steve Jobs, yeah, there's video footage they keep leaking now of Steve Jobs in Summit. - [Dr. Z] Oh really? I need to see some of that. - You can go on Youtube and you can watch it. Watch Steve Jobs struggle with WiFi. Go on Youtube, and Marsh will put the link up for the Thrive-ers here. But Steve Jobs is at a board meeting-- - Yeah, I heard about that. - And he can't get the people in the meeting to get off of wifi so his presentation's running slow. And he doesn't, like, go into an F-bomb brigade as he was known to do, but what he does is he lets them know, like, "Seriously, get off your WiFi." And you can, with his eyes, he can like, I mean he's frustrated, you know? So very important to understand it is okay to be a little passionate and intense. - It is, and that's what leadership's about and you have to do that, and when people go, "Uh-oh, a parent's in the room, I better behave." And then you have to be the parent. - Okay, Now, Thrivers, again, our research team of honey badgers have gone deep into the fact-finding vault, okay, and we have this mystic statistic for you. It's going to be awesome. So, according to research from Harvard Business School and the London School of Economics, executives spend upwards of 18 hours per week, a third of their working week, in meetings. An estimated 25% to 50% of that meeting time is considered wasted. Okay, so, Z, how does that relate to staying on topic and being super diligent and candid with those people that maybe want to derail the conversation and staying on point to make those decisions? - Well, that's exactly the point we're trying to make, Marshall. I mean, look at that 25% of that, half their week is wasted on stuff it shouldn't be wasted on. That's why whoever has the leadership stick in that room needs to use it and sometimes you gotta reach out and whack somebody across the knuckles and say, "Yeah, not now." "Let's stay on point, let's get this done." You just have to be so focused. You have to just kind of put your blinders on and get through your agenda, and get through your points. You want to hear from people. You want input but you don't want all the, maybe, baggage that comes with that, you know? - Yeah, well, you know, I'll tell you this, and just kind of piling on with what you said there. This week I had meeting with a gentleman who is the business coach guy. You know, we have Thrivers from all over the world who come in here for trainings and those kind of things. And I'm kind of exiting that role and entering into, as The Thrive grows, mentoring you guys as part of the workshops as opposed to, but during this meeting, this one guy, he's like, The meeting's supposed to end exactly in an hour because I have another meeting starting immediately after. And he's just like, "And so, I'm, what I want to say, and basically, and so in summary, my final thought in conclusion." And it's 1:59 and it's 2:00. And I'm like, "Hey, I appreciate you, "it was great meeting, take care." But I had to skillfully get the action items on paper before he went into that. Because you really want to wrap up the meeting five minutes before the meeting's over, if you can. Because you don't want to be walking out the door and then not have everything recorded. And occasionally I screw up on that, but you try to make that very rare where you don't have all the action items agreed on. Because when you leave the meeting you want to agree on who's going to do it, when are they going to do it, right? And all the details. That way when you have the next meeting you can follow up and say, "Did you do it?" That kind of thing. So it's really important we end with action items. - Absolutely, yeah, and that's part of being a good leadership and making sure that happens. - Okay, now we do have a Notable Quotable real quick before we wrap up. And this Notable Quotable at no point was actually sponsored by the modern day prophet, Kanye West or Kim Kardashian. Okay, so we do have a Notable Quotable here for you guys. - [Voiceover] I am the number one - Clay, this is your favorite segment, isn't it? - [Voiceover] most impactful artist of our generation. - [Clay] Any time - [Voiceover] I am Shakespeare in the flesh. Walt Disney, Nike, Google. They all - Any time I can hear Kanye West talk - [Voiceover] And we let them off the hook. There's product here - It does something for me. - [Voiceover] and this is where you end up. - [Z] Inspiring. It's inspiring. - Notable Quotable from Thomas Sowell, an American economist. He's a fellow at Stanford University. Okay, he says, "The least productive people are usually "the ones who are most in favor of holding meetings." The least productive people are usually most in favor of meetings. - Okay, well, let me walk you through this. This is why I think it is. Z, if you disagree let me know. I feel like to be in business, you have to do two things very, very well. One you have to be able to make decisions when you have all the facts. Step two, you have to get all the facts. - [Z] Wow - So I see you all the time. You go into the horse industry. You go into the optometry industry. You go in the baking industry. You don't have to know a bunch about banking to be able to run a successful bank. You just have to be able to get the facts and once you have all the facts, you have to act. - [Z] Bingo - And I think there's a lot of people who aren't comfortable with ever deciding something because they know if they got all the facts if they got it wrong then they're the one's who are held accountable. And they also aren't very good at getting all the facts. So they just want to make a decision based upon an expedient … "Well, let's form a committee, let's meet." It's quicker in their mind to like, "Well, let's form a committee. I don't want to "have to do all the research so lets just ... blah." But I find that successful people are people who can get those facts and who can act. - Yeah, you're right. And that ... you know people like decisiveness. People like when people can get the facts and then they can make a decision. You know this, "" Undecisiveness is very unsexy in the business world. You've gotta be decisive. And you're going to make mistakes and you know what? You fix them quickly. You know? - Absolutely. And I'll say this, Thrivers, Napoleon Hill writes about that in his book Think and Grow Rich. The importance of making decisions when you have all the facts. But we have some awesome trainings for you on Thrive15 where you can really learn about how to gather facts, how to lead meetings, leadership. I mean, it's all here for you. - [Dr. Z] Make an agenda. - Make an agenda. It's all here and all you have to do is just reach out, email us at email@example.com We're going to answer all the questions that you have. You can also come out to a workshop. They're always available. We have workshops every weekend and we have different workshops you can request to see if they're available. We have downloadables, templates. It's all here. I mean, we're here to help you grow and start that successful business. You can absolutely do it. You can advance in your career. It's possible. - And you can manage a board. - And you can manage a board. Dr. Z, thank you so much. Claytron, appreciate you. - Oh yeah. - So from our home office off the coast of the Arkansas River here in the center of the universe,
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