Dan Peña demostrates, step by step, how you aquire your legendary Dream-team, which is the key for your billion dollar deals. The Dream-team gives you the opportunity to create tremendous value, life-quality and wealth for the world.
When I mention a board of directors, your first reaction might be, hey, this is just a little hip pocket company. Isn’t a board of directors sort of premature? Not at all. Directors are your first and most immediate requirement. You may think of your enterprise as simple and uncomplicated, but if you’re preparing for a Quantum Leap into the big leagues, you’ve got to fill all the positions on the field now!
The most immediate benefits your board of directors should bring to your Dream Team are credibility and even prestige. The best source of directors is recently retired CEO’s and other top executives of local, regional and even national companies. And they’re not inaccessible. As with finding a suitable mentor, pick up the phone and call. Explain your situation and the direction in which you’re moving, and how you have some fantastic ideas on consolidating a cottage industry or whatever your goal may be. Express your desire to have the individual add his knowledge, experience and prestige to your company. You’ll be surprised at how receptive even high profile these people can be.
One of our partners in the United Kingdom assembled a remarkable board of directors. Victoria Haigh, at age 26, is a former fashion model and is one of Britain’s few women race horse jockeys. She’s not a Londoner, and speaks with the distinctive accent of her native Yorkshire. Her entrepreneurial dream is to consolidate the garden shop industry in the U.K.
Vicky perused a publication called Directors & Share- holders or the “DASH,” and found the name of one Randle Siddeley, a noted landscape architect. At his second job, he’s called Lord Kenilworth, because he’s a Member of Parliament in Britain’s House of Lords. Vicky rang him up, introduced herself, and, to her amazement, he ultimately agreed to join her board.
Vicky then focused on her next board member, the owner of Breadleigh Gardens, a successful bulb nursery. His name, which could only be British, is Roger Bootle-Wilbraham. He is also Lord Skelmersdale, yet another MP in the House of Lords, a graduate of prestigious Eton, and a Parliamentary Under-Secretary in numerous departments and offices. Regardless of his half-page of credentials, Vicky simply faxed his office with her proposal. He called back, they met at his office at Parlia- ment—and Vicky recruited her second Lord.
To round out her board, Vicky also secured Christopher Powell, a former Chairman of Wyevale Gardens, a national garden center company … and Charles Quest-Ritson, a financial expert with a law background and expertise in taking com- panies public. With a board like hers, this young lady will have the attention of any banker in Britain and, in fact, has already secured some initial financing.
Select an experienced chairman first, an individual with an established reputation, though not necessarily in your own industry. Your chairman should be, to the fullest extent possible, an executive heavyweight, a highly experienced person who has done dozens, even hundreds of business transactions over the course of his career. In real estate, they’d call him an “anchor tenant.” I myself am the chairman of more than 25 corporations, and in every instance was brought in because no matter what comes up for any of these fledgling companies, I’ve “been there, done that.”
The rest of your board positions should be filled with individuals from varying backgrounds who share one common quality. They all have more business and financial experience and acumen than you. Your board ideally should include a financial person, an accounting specialist, and one or two other individuals who have already achieved what you’re trying to achieve in your field of endeavor, particularly in growing a company geometrically through acquisition. Your accounting expert might be a former regional managing partner of a Big Six (Note: Big 4 in Sweden 2016 /Stefan Loå) accounting firm. Your financial-based director might be a retired investment banker. All these people, no more than four or five in number, will inevitably “contribute” contacts.