Independent Director and Advisor who uses a “Fresh Eyes” approach to take a company to the next level of growth and profitability.

Do you need an Independent Board Director who can help your company grow?

As a board director and advisory board member, I have helped organizations in many industries achieve stellar success. To learn how, watch my powerful three-minute video. Below are my 4 top Board blog posts.

Does your company need Fresh Eyes?

Sometimes all it takes is someone with a fresh viewpoint, unencumbered by company politics or culture to help find the right solution. I will work with you to look at where you want to go and help you find the best way to get there.

My Most Recent Articles

How Board Directors Can Help Companies Survive the Coronavirus

How Board Directors Can Help Companies Survive the Coronavirus

Today we are discussing the Coronavirus and how Board Directors can help companies survive the crisis.

Jack Derby, in his weekly blog, says it best:

“Most importantly…

  • ….take care of yourself and your family!
  • ….take care of your employees and partners!
  • ….when we focus on these two critical requirements, then we win!

Everything then is much simpler!”

The companies we advise are shutting down, furloughing employees, or having employees work from home. The businesses that they supply are closing, or their way of doing business is drastically changed. Restaurants are closed and only selling take out. Millions of people are out of work and signing up for unemployment. Schools are closed, sporting events canceled, conventions canceled, and events like the Boston Marathon moved to a later date.

Boards and Companies must do everything to stop the spread of the Coronavirus.

The Fed is adding liquidy to the economy.  The House and Senate are working to pass bills so that the unemployed can buy food and pay their rent. Businesses must make the products needed to protect and fight the Coronavirus.

The four ways Board Directors can help companies survive:

  1. Make sure the company is caring for its employees, customers, and suppliers.
  2. As new rules come out, help the company plan and follow these rules.
  3. Be available to answer questions and give advice.
  4. Help the company plan for survival.

The future is uncertain, but by working together, we will beat this pandemic virus, survive, and move forward.

As a board director, CEO, and CEO coach, I have personally been through and helped others with crises of all kinds. Sometimes all that is needed is a set of “fresh eyes.”  If you need a confidential sounding board, let me know. Email me, and I will set up a no-cost call. I will listen and offer you recommendations based on my experience and “fresh eyes.” 

For more on boards and ‘fresh eyes,” read my article: 6 Reasons Why Every Board Needs “Fresh Eyes

5 Proven Steps to Gain a Corporate Board Seat

5 Proven Steps to Gain a Corporate Board Seat

As a board candidate, you need to let the business world know you are seeking a board seat. No matter how excellent your qualifications if you do not let everyone know you are available you will never be invited to join a board.

The 5 proven steps to gain a corporate board seat are:

  1. Develop the right materials to let people know you are available.
    • Develop a board resume – list articles, speeches, boards and committees
    • Create a 1-page board bio or cv – include a picture, list non-profit and for-profit boards and committees
    • Draft cover letters
    • Develop a board elevator pitch
    • Fine tune your LinkedIn profile, social media and web page
    • Find a mentor – someone you trust who can advise, listen, refer and be a sounding board

  2. Develop your PR Campaign
    • Whenever possible be a resource for others – make introductions and open doors
    • Leverage social media – join LinkedIn groups on boards or sectors that interest you, make comments on posts, connect with other directors and CEOs, on LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media
    • Get your name known by giving speeches, serving on panels, writing articles and blog posts

  3. Join board associations, become educated, attend conferences and network – some of the organizations, conferences, publications I recommend are:
    • American College of Corporate Directors – ACCD
    • National Association of Corporate Directors – NACD
    • BoardProspects.com – an online board directors’ group
    • Boards and Directors, Family Business and Private Company Magazine – David Shaw and his team run excellent webinars and The Private Company Governance Summit for private company directors
    • Attorneys for Family-Held Enterprises and The Family Firm Institute – for family boards and businesses.

  4. One of the best ways to get on a for-profit board is to volunteer on the board of a non-profit or give your time to worthwhile causes.
    • It gives you visibility and showcases your abilities – your follow board members may also be on for-profit boards and when a board position opens may ask you to join
    • Attend fundraisers or charity events – gives you visibility as a person that cares
    • Volunteer and donate your time and money

  5. Contact people that you know, ask for introductions and be active on your social media channels. Some of the individuals and organizations are:
    • Attorneys, accountants, and bankers
    • Venture Capital and Private Equity Firms
    • Search Firms
    • Customers and Suppliers
    • Other board members – Ask them how they got their board position?
    • Companies that interest you – check who you know at these firms using LinkedIn and other social media channels
    • Mentors, influencers etc.

Which step or steps do you believe are the most important steps to gain a corporate board seat?

For more on boards, read my article: 6 Reasons Why Every Board Needs “Fresh Eyes”

P.S. – Do you need an independent Director, Advisory Board Member, Trusted Advisor, or Interim CEO?  Someone who can help you see your business and your goals through “Fresh Eyes.”  Contact me and I will work with you to look at where you want to go and help you find the best way to get there.  Sometimes all it takes is someone with a fresh viewpoint, unencumbered by company politics or culture to help find the right solution.

4 Big Mistakes Companies Make Concerning Board of Directors and Advisory Boards

4 Big Mistakes Companies Make Concerning Board of Directors and Advisory Boards

A company without a board of directors or a board of advisors is like a ship without a rudder. There are no checks and balances and a company does not get the benefits of other opinions. The first big mistake that companies make is not having a board of directors or board of advisors. 

The second big mistake companies make is by not appointing Independent Board Directors. These companies only see the world through the insider’s eyes. Independent directors bring experience from other industries. All industries solve the same problems but in different ways. An Independent board director’s fresh eyes and ideas can make a company more competitive and successful.

The third big mistake companies make is not spending enough time discussing who their customers are. And, are they effectively solving their customer’s problems? Are there other items their customer could be using? Are there other markets they could be penetrating? Are there other items their customer could be using? 

The fourth big mistake companies make is not accurately figuring out who their competition is. What are they doing differently? What is their market share compared to ours? How are they pricing their products or services? And, how do we convert their customers to ours? 

For more on boards, read my article: 6 Reasons Why Every Board Needs “Fresh Eyes”

P.S. – Do you need an independent Director, Advisory Board Member, Trusted Advisor, or Interim CEO?  Someone who can help you see your business and your goals through “Fresh Eyes.”  Contact me and I will work with you to look at where you want to go and help you find the best way to get there.  Sometimes all it takes is someone with a fresh viewpoint, unencumbered by company politics or culture to help find the right solution.

How Selling My Company Made Me A Better Board Director

How Selling My Company Made Me A Better Board Director

I have had many experiences that have helped me become a better board director, business leader, and advisor. One of the most important was selling our business to a public company. Selling a business to a public company is like being in a room with an 800-pound gorilla. They have more resources, more lawyers, and more staff than you have.

The general partner of an M&A firm was on our board, so we were ready to go when we received the offer. We set up a secure data room for all documents. The company was a synergistic buyer. It necessitated the coding of sensitive information such as customer data, etc. The more information we provided, the more they wanted. They threatened to walk away several times, and we thought about ending the negotiations many times. You need a good M&A firm to get you through these low periods. The process seemed endless, but we successfully got the deal done. A lesson learned is to hire a great team of advisors. It can be expensive but is always well worth it.

I recommend the following:

1. Insist that your M&A firm find other buyers. The best situation for the seller is to have a bidding war.

2. Conduct due diligence on the buying company. It is important to know everything about the buyer, especially if you intend to stay with the company or have contingencies.

3. Get a deal where most or all of the cash is upfront. You have to be happy with the cash you get when the deal closes. Any contingencies based on sales and customer retention may sound good initially, but may not happen. And, if you take stock, the stock may go down before you can sell it.

The most important advice I can give is: Selling your company is stressful, and you should make sure you understand and agree with everything in the final agreement before you sign on the dotted line.

What other recommendations can you give?

For more on boards, read my article: 6 Reasons Why Every Board Needs “Fresh Eyes”

P.S. – Do you need an Outside Director, Advisory Board Member, Trusted Advisor, or Interim CEO?  Someone who can help you see your business and your goals through “Fresh Eyes.”  Contact me and I will work with you to look at where you want to go and help you find the best way to get there.  Sometimes all it takes is someone with a fresh viewpoint, unencumbered by company politics or culture to help find the right solution.

5 Go-Giver Laws That Will Lead to Your Stratospheric Success

5 Go-Giver Laws That Will Lead to Your Stratospheric Success

The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg and John David Mann. A best seller with over 500,000 copies sold. Being a giving person is how you achieve success. You never find a book that teaches both principles for business and personal...

How Walgreens Prospers by Hiring People with Disabilities

How Walgreens Prospers by Hiring People with Disabilities

No Greatness Without Goodness - 2014 Fast Company's 10 Books You Need To Read this Year.Nearly 70% of individuals with disabilities and 95% of people with severe cognitive disabilities such as autism will never hold down a job. The reason is that no matter what they...

9 Reasons to Hire an Interim CEO

9 Reasons to Hire an Interim CEO

A company without a CEO can flounder and crash. Companies that lack CEO leadership are like a ship without a rudder.   An Interim CEO fills this leadership gap. An Interim CEO is an individual who is temporarily chosen to act as CEO and fills the gap between a CEO...

I worked with Larry as he built and then sold Safedata. Larry’s successful leadership was grounded in disciplined objectivity and a broad skill set. Larry recognizes no two businesses are alike, but good corporate governance (action plans and accountability) is an essential ingredient to success.

Peter Dorsey

President, The Business Development Company

Larry is a strategic leader who manages for results. We worked together on a marketing campaign for his company where he drove innovating thinking and consist improvement in the campaign. He was able to quickly grasp the nuances of online marketing and work with the team to deliver results, while maintaining a strategic focus.

David Reske

Founder & President, Nowspeed, Inc.

Larry brought his analytical approach to every aspect of the business. After carefully observing the sales team in action [and] current marketing materials, he put in place a carefully crafted, highly effective marketing program that drove fully qualified leads to the sales team, essentially transforming the sales process. I highly recommend Larry and would be honored to work with him again in the future.

Joann White

Manager, Client and Broker Relationship Systems, FM Global

Larry has been an advisor to our Company for the past 6 months. During this time he has provided actionable advice on Business Strategy, Business Operations, and Marketing. The advice and suggestions provided led directly to improvements in our accounts receivable operations and were incorporated into our customer outreach strategy. Larry is approachable, has always made himself readily available, and brings years of business experience to every conversation.

Tim Chapin

Founder & CTO, CDC Software

How Savvy A Leader Are You?
Do you wonder if your skills as a leader
can truly take your business to the next level?
Do you wonder if your skills as a leader can truly take your business to the next level?

Board Director | Advisory Board Member

Get Immediate Access to My Powerful Leadership Assessment Tool

Discover the strengths (and weaknesses) that directly impact your ability to move your company forward.

redirect=https://larryputterman.com/savvy-leader/welcome