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Great Companies Deserve Great Boards: A CEO's Guide to the Boardroom [Hardcover]

Beverly Behan

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Book Description

June 7 2011 0230113656 978-0230113657

Despite the many changes in governance regulation over the past decade, few boards function as a true corporate asset to the companies they oversee. In this book, Behan offers practical advice that a CEO, Chairman or board member can introduce at the very next meeting.  Boardrooms are filled with intelligent, accomplished people—yet seldom achieve their full potential and add the kind of value for the CEO, executive team and company shareholders that many boards are actually capable of.

Beverly Behan draws on her experience working with more than 100 boards over the past 14 years—from major Fortune 500s to recent IPOs—offering no-nonsense insights that can take any board from mediocrity to the top of its game including establishing a constructive working relationship with your board; addressing some of the dysfunction that may lie within the board you’ve inherited, and making your board a significant asset to you, your company, and your executive team.

Working with the Board of Directors is one of the most important components of any CEO’s job—and most will admit it is something they wish they knew more about. Nearly all CEOs want to change at least something about their board, yet many are unsure how to go about this in the right way. This book not only alerts the reader to common pitfalls that CEO's can make with their boards, it provides workable approaches to a tackle a variety of boardroom issues from getting new talent into the boardroom to engaging effectively with the board on strategy and succession planning.


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Review

“I have attended over 500 board meetings of Fortune 100 companies and I wish I had read this book before I went to the first one!  It is excellent.”  —Norm Augustine, retired Chairman and CEO, Lockheed Martin

“This book is a must-read for any CEO or board member that wants to create a high-performing board” —Steve Bennett, former CEO, Intuit and board member QUALCOMM, Symantec

 “Beverly Behan has made a compelling argument for getting better value from many public companies’ most under-used asset—the board of directors—and has given us an accessible, practical guide to making it happen.” —Nell Minow, Co-Founder, The Corporate Library

“I’ve probably served on more than 50 boards over the last dozen years and was amazed to discover so many ‘new’ ideas in this book. A must-read for directors and perhaps more importantly, new CEOs.” —Frank McKenna, Deputy Chairman, TD Bank Group and former Canadian Ambassador to the United States

“Should be mandatory for C-level executives, a threshold requirement for anyone likely to be elected CEO and a vehicle for all CEOs and directors to study and discuss in order to make the board and themselves more effective.” —Warren Batts, 2006 NACD Director of the Year, retired CEO of four companies, and Adjunct Professor, University of Chicago Business School

 

“While Great Companies Deserve Great Boards is a useful primer for first-time CEOs and board members, the book also provides helpful reminders for those more experienced in the boardroom.” —Arthur D. Collins, Jr., retired Chairman and CEO, Medtronic, Inc. and board member of three Fortune 500 companies

 “A powerful resource for CEOs and board members packed with relevant, real-life examples” —Joe Herring, Chairman and CEO, Covance

 

“Crisply written and chock-full of insights for CEOs and board members” —Leonard Coleman, former President, National League of Professional Baseball and Presiding Director, Avis-Budget Group

 

“I highly recommend Great Companies Deserve Great Boards as an excellent read for CEOs, directors and others…Beverly Behan has consulted far and wide in preparing this comprehensive book.” —Frank Brown, Dean, INSEAD

 

“A well-written book from an author who has grappled with the challenges of the boardroom.  Contains penetrating insights into the CEO/Board dynamic; offers clear and refreshingly pragmatic recommendations for more effective boards.” —Gail Cook-Bennett, Chair of the Board, Manulife Financial

 

“I get a great deal of board practices material from a variety of well-regarded sources and this is the single best piece I have read.” —Wendy Lane, board member, Willis Group, Laboratory Corporation of America, UPM-Kymmene

 

“Beverly Behan has created an outstanding resource in Great Companies Deserve Great Boards.  It’s not enough that boards strive to meet obligations. Every company deserves a great board that adds value to the company and makes the CEO a better leader.  Beverly has put her two decades of hands-on board experience to work to do just that.”  —Carol Stephenson, Dean, Richard Ivey School of Business and active board member of several Canadian and US boards

 

“Bev hits the nail on the head!  Pragmatic and filled with tactics and approaches that really work” —Don Shippar, Chairman and former CEO, ALLETE, Inc.

 

“Engaging and thought-provoking from the very outset.  Soon I was underlining pages for quick future reference. An insightful and valuable handbook for not only CEOs but for all directors.” —Joel L. Reed, Lead Director, Venoco, Inc

 

“A must-read for new CEOs and those executive who aspire to be competitive for a CEO assignment” – Mike Bonney, President and CEO, Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

 

“How a Board of Directors operates can make or break a CEO. For those CEOs who want to be in the first category, this book is a ‘must-read.’” —James R. Ukropina, former Lead Director of a Fortune 100 company

 

 “Great Companies Deserve Great Boards is a practical primer for CEOs who want to maximize the effectiveness of their boards.  Delivers advice on how to transform the corporate board into a significant strategic asset while avoiding the pitfalls that plague so many boards today.” —Susan Ness, former Federal Communications Commissioner and board member.

 

Great Companies Deserve Great Boards serves as an indispensable tool and roadmap of the do and don’t in the world of boards.  Written in a easy to read 'plane time' format, it provides excellent examples of the author’s teachings and recommendations. The valuable insight gained from this publication are enormously worthwhile for anyone who is on or works with boards.” —Gary D. Cohen, Chief Administrative Officer and Secretary, The Finish Line, Inc.  

 

Great Companies Deserve Great Boards is a must read for not only CEO’s but all board members and senior executives.  Beverly Behan shows that she really gets it when it comes to board operations.”  —Tim Marquez, Founder, CEO and Chairman of the Board,Venoco, Inc.

 

“Bev Behan has provided the definitive guide on how to fully reap the benefits of a Board of Directors and create a brain trust, a partnership, and a winning team for the company and shareholders.”  —Leslie Kenne, Lieutenant general (retired) US Air Force, Board Member of both public and not-for-profit companies

 

"Bev Behan’s extensive experience working with boards and executives is evident in this book. The concepts presented are sound, simple, and essential for successful board operations. As a new CEO and chairman, I found her book to be very helpful and recommend it highly for board members, CEOs, executives, and anyone that deals with corporate governance."  —John C. Procario, Chairman, President and CEO, American Transmission Company

 

"There are a lot of guides for directors on how to do a better job.  But Beverly Behan has written an excellent and very practical book for CEOs about how to get the most from their boards." --BNET

About the Author

Beverly Behan has worked with more than 100 Boards of Directors in the United States, Canada and internationally for over a decade—from Fortune 500s to recent IPOs. For the past three years she has been a regular columnist ("The Boardroom") for Bloomberg BusinessWeek.com. She has been quoted as an expert on board effectiveness by nearly every major business publication, including The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and Business 2.0 and has been named to the Directorship 100, Directorship Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in governance and the boardroom.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Contender for Business Book of the Year June 16 2011
By Michael N. Pocalyko - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Beverly Behan's Great Companies Deserve Great Boards is probably the most important book on corporate directorship since William G. Bowen's Inside the Boardroom (1994). I encountered this book as a chairman of the board, an experienced public company director and audit chairman -- and I've been recommending it ever since I finished it the first time. On-point, highly readable, contemporary, and above all useful, Behan (a columnist for Bloomberg Businessweek) employs an ebullient didactic style, so rare and welcome in the Sarbanes-Oxley Dodd-Frank era. Here's a field guide to the way corporate directors think, act, and strategize . . . or more correctly, how we should.

Any book recommended by Norm Augustine and Frank McKenna certainly deserves a wide readership, but this one will contend for business book of the year. Behan deals forthrightly with the sometimes-competing expectations of the board and management, audit committee frictions, and the board in M&A decision-making. But her chapter on "Transforming Your Board" is really worth the price of admission, providing real-life methods of ways to "force the conversion."

What a voice of sanity and serious intellectual discourse in our boardrooms and C-suites, delivered in an extraordinary book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Companies, Great Boards, Great Guide! June 12 2011
By James F. Bolt - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
No one has more experience working with Boards than Bev Behan, and that comes across clearly in this book. Whether you are a board member or a CEO whose success depends on working effectively with the board, you will find that this book is full of practical ideas about what really matters -- high performance.

And let's remember that there is a lot at stake, i.e., the need for extraordinary organizations that not only create wealth, and positively effect the livelihood of thousands of employees, but also contribute to the betterment society.

This book provides time-tested, practical advice for any board and CEO that will directly impact their organization in critical ways. It also serves as a wonderful resource for anyone who needs to understand and support Great Boards.
5.0 out of 5 stars Experienced Director and Former CEO endorsement Jan. 20 2013
By Linda - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Amazon Verified Purchase
This book may be written for CEO's but it is equally insightful for board members, even for those of us with multiple public company board experience. It offers new insights in a practical, action-oriented way. When I heard this book was named Governance Book of the Year by Directors & Boards magazine, I was not surprised. I've purchased multiple copies for colleagues, all of whom have found it useful. It's a fast read and offers excellent perspective. Highly recommend!
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Companies Deserve Great Boards June 9 2011
By Ellie Maggio, CEO of EMEND Management Consulting Inc. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is for people who genuinely want a great board for their company, not a board that merely complies with a checklist of "best practices". Unlike many board books which tend to be theoretical in nature, this book is full of practical insights. The focus of the book is about really getting the best out of one of the most under-used corporate assets --the Board of Directors. It's a fast-paced read that you can read on a flight. The section I found most useful is the CEO Succession Planning chapter where Behan really gives some brilliant advice.
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