a16z Podcast: How to Lead, Not Manage Your Board

 

As the CEO of a startup your board is a critical tool in helping your company grow; the board is there to make you a better CEO. (Or at least it should be.) But how do you best leverage your board’s expertise — both during meetings and outside scheduled time — and what kind of people should fill the precious few slots you have?

“Don’t end up with one of those boards with six VCs on it,” says a16z General Partner Scott Weiss. Seems like strange advice coming from a VC, but the point, Weiss says, is to have a balance of people on your board — especially in the early stages of a company. “For every VC you have, add a CEO — that’s how you get that outside perspective.” Weiss is joined in this segment of the podcast by former Chairman and CEO of 3Com (and a16z Board Partner) Bill Krause; Box co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie; Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff; and former CEO and Chairman of NetApp Dan Warmenhoven to discuss the practicalities of building and leading boards over the lifetime of a company — from early days to prepping for an IPO.