I didn’t know how many CEO’s would love to have term limits for Directors on their company’s Board of Directors. Term limits would solve numerous issues: 1. Many boards have at least one problem director 2. Boards need “refreshing” in a world that is rapidly changing 3. Companies constantly need new skills and experiences but that means directors need to resign or not be re-nominated 4. Nom/Gov committees are reluctant to ask board members to leave the board so many board members who add little value stay on and on, and 5. Many board members have served for too long.
The CEO is the last person on the board to suggest it’s time for a board member to move along. The CEO is only able to participate in meetings where one or more board members either don’t add value, distract from critical discussions, or consume too much time. We all want our boards to be the best so considering term limits seems valid.
Isn’t it a mark of true leadership, integrity, and dedication to put the company first when a board member realizes they are adding less value than someone else would and they therefore announce their intention not to stand for re-election? Two boards I’ve been on did exactly that and we replaced ourselves over a couple of years, recognizing that different skill sets were needed than when we joined the board. In other words, we had resolved the crises and it was time for the company to move in a different direction, out of a crisis mode, and with a different set of skills.