In a reaction to my post on “Advisor Compensation” one of our fellow Heretics asked me what he should look for in an advisor and/or board member in the first place.
Simple answer. Value.
An advisor (the same is true for board members) has to add value to your organization. And with value I mean real value. Too often I see advisory boards sprinkled with the most random of people where it’s pretty unclear how they add value. I really don’t care how awesome you think uncle Karl is — just because he’s a long-time friend of the family and used to have a lemonade stand as a kid just doesn’t cut it.
So if killer lemonade stand running skills don’t count towards the value score, what are we looking for? A network in your industry and experience of running a business (ideally in your industry). That’s pretty much it. Some would argue that being famous also helps — it adds social proof to your organization.
Surround yourself with awesome people who can and want to really help you. In my experience it can often make the difference between #win and #fail.