The Board Book

The Board BookBoards of directors can spell the difference between success and failure.  Great boards mean great companies.  Learn how to avoid the 10 most common mistakes and create a strategic force for your company’s success. Learn how to be a great director.  And learn how to use boards to benchmark companies as an investment A compelling, readable book on a serious and prickly topic: Making corporate boards live up to their full, strategic potential. For nepotism, lethargy, and plain old misguidance, few corporate entities can top the board of directors. And that’s a shame, because engaged, knowledgeable boards can make a world of difference, setting an organization’s strategic direction, infusing it with valuable expertise, and rendering the company attractive to investors. .

The 10 Most Common Mistakes in Using and Creating Boards:

  • The First Mistake: Failure to Recruit Strategically
  • The Second Mistake: Too Many Insiders
  • The Third Mistake: Too Many Paid Consultants
  • The Fourth Mistake: Too Much Family
  • The Fifth Mistake: Too Many Cronies
  • The Sixth Mistake: Getting the Money Wrong
  • The Seventh Mistake: Fear of Diversity
  • The Eighth Mistake: Information Block
  • The Ninth Mistake: Passive Boards
  • The Tenth Mistake: Failed Leadership


Making Your Corporate Board a Strategic Force in Your Company’s Success is the most succinct, reader-friendly guide available to creating and sustaining on-track, top-notch corporate boards−the kind that serve as pivotal success factors for companies of every size, public and private, large and small. Packed with both real-life success and horror stories, this fast-paced book explains the 10 guiding principles for transforming a board, exploring issues such as:

Who needs a board anyway?
Statutory v. advisory boards.
The 9 steps to recruiting strategically.
Insiders, consultants and friends as board members.
Conflicts of interest.
Boards of family-owned companies.
The role of boards in venture companies.
The money trap.
Turnover, succession, evaluation and more.

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The author’s guidance is backed by massive research and hundreds of interviews with CEO’s, directors, activists, investors and the broad range of corporate constituencies.

About the Author: 
Susan F. Shultz is the President of SSA Executive Search International, Ltd., which includes a division devoted to creating and strengthening corporate boards.

What the experts are saying…

This is a tremendously important subject. Board members can bring an enthusiasm, intellect and a discipline without which, in many cases, you are not going to survive.

— WILLIAM E. BROCK, Chairman, Intellectual Development Systems, Inc., Former Secretary of Labor


“This is a splendid guide to creating the fully capable and effective board for the future, with trenchant observations about the weaknesses of too many boards that we all know, and clear, unmistakable advice, with tools to help, about how to build the kind of strategic and knowledgeable board necessary for success in today’s highly competitive world.”

— LATTIE F. COOR, President, Arizona State University


Susan Shultz has done an incredible job of putting into one book all anyone needs to know about corporate governance and has done so with understanding and objectivity. Throw out everything else as this book has it all.

The Board Book is a reminder of what really counts in the Board Room and in a Director. Susan Shultz has done of superior job with relevant and worthwhile material, leading corporate leaders and directors or ‘wanna-be directors’ thru governance basics and unnecessary mistakes to create a truly strategic board. Her insights are invaluable in today’s new economy for the .com or traditional company.

She has done the impossible and written a book on Corporate governance that is a page turner … peppered with real stories and real companies and real directors and real corporate leaders. This is a detailed blueprint complete with common sense and integrity for creating a strategic and responsible board.”

— ANN D. MCLAUGHLIN, Director, AMR (American Airlines) Corporation, General Motors Corp. Fannie Mae, Kellogg Company, Nordstrom, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Donna Karan International Inc.