This is the 59th in a series of business tips from industry leaders that Enterprise Times has interviewed. Enterprise Times recently spoke to Lyndon Stickley, Co-Founder and CEO of iplicit. Stickley spoke about how the company is targeting the UK’s lower mid-market ERP sector and plans to become Netflix to Sage’s Blockbuster!
This is the sixth company that Stickley has founded and grown, selling the other five. Part of that journey has involved finding the right non-executive directors for his different boards.
I asked him what he looks for when considering adding non-exec directors to a board as a CEO.
Stickley replied, “The first thing has to be they’ve got to have experience; without relevant experience, it’s like a non-starter. So I won’t even entertain it if they haven’t got the right experience. Then the second thing that also is a deal breaker, if it’s not right, it’s chemistry. You’ve got to have the right chemistry with the right people.
“It’s like a football team. You could have 11 of the best players. But they don’t get the right results if they don’t gel from a chemistry perspective. It’s about ensuring that the experience and the chemistry are the two biggest factors.
“Then, I’d also look for motivation. I think non-execs are dangerous material in some areas. Non-execs could be swirling around and want multiple non-execs they click on like badges, or they might just want to have something that’s an easy gig. Or, they might be passionate about a certain area.
“So, really understanding the motivation behind why they want to be a non-exec and are they in it for the money? Are they in it for the accolade? Are they in it because they want to be an investor and a non-exec and therefore, they’d like to have the climb? That’s quite an important piece.
“I’m very wary of non-execs, because I think, and this might be a bit harsh, but I think they are like consultants. I think there’s a lot of mediocrity out there. I don’t like saying that because that sounds arrogant, and I don’t want it to sound arrogant. I’m just being honest. There’s quite a lot of mediocrity, and so I am very careful with who my non-execs would be.”