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The Better Alternative to a formal board of directors
From The Founder

Straight Talk on Tough Decisions


Since founding THE BOARD, I discovered that the typical business owner CEO of most closely-held businesses faces
several problems:

  • To whom can I turn to when I need an honest and useful answer to a business problem?

  • How can I do an even better job?

  • How can I be more accountable, so that I will stretch myself, use my time more productively, address the nagging major long term problems that don't go away?

  • How can I earn the feeling that I'm running the company as well as I might?

There is no management seminar, no business guru who can give you the "tough" answers. However, there is a solid proven technique that has helped hundreds of CEOs find their own. The catch is that this technique requires a combination of traits and attitudes that are not too common among the strong minded entrepreneurial people who run closely held companies. You have to be willing to:

  • Admit that you don't know all of the answers.

  • Tell outsiders all the details of your business, including disclosure of the two holies:

    • How much the company really earned, and

    • How much did you take out of the company in all forms

  • Express your doubts and concerns without feeling that by so doing you will be seen as an inadequate manager.

  • Realize that people from different business backgrounds do not have to spend ten years in your industry, different as it truly is, to bring you challenging new ideas.

  • Submit to the discipline of regular accountability for your actions and the company's results to a group whom you respect and don't want to disappoint.

  • Understand that helping you is a satisfactory and fun experience to outsiders.

If you can give yourself a passing grade on most of these points or summon the courage to stop being totally independent, then you are a serious candidate for membership in THE BOARD. I trust you will read further and contact me to discover ways in which THE BOARD can benefit you and your business.

Respectfully yours,

John L. Foote
Founder of THE BOARD

Founder of THE BOARD John L. Foote has over 40 years of experience in the management and operation of large and small businesses. During the last 25 years, Mr. Foote has been involved in small businesses as:

Founder and operator of a wholesale/retail food business in the Midwest.
A Presidential appointee to the Overseas Private Investment Corp. (OPIC), a quasi-governmental agency dedicated to the export of small business investment in third world countries.

A manager of lending relations for Maryland National Corp. (now Bankamerica) correspondent bankers and their range of small business clients in the middle Atlantic region.

Founder of THE BOARD, INC. since 1988 and counseling hundreds of small businesses CEOs in the Baltimore/Washington area.

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