A fellow CEO with whom I’m friendly was venting to me the other day about one of their Board members. They were stunned that the lived experience they have day in, day out running the business wasn’t something the director internalized at all — and this is a good, well known, high quality VC director.
I pointed out that VCs are on lots of boards and can’t get in the headspace of all their CEOs all the time, although the good ones don’t just swoop in and swoop out but do take the time to track all the significant things and the nuances with all their portfolio companies.
My friend, the CEO, had a brilliant comeback line that is worth sharing and documenting here. Their company is going through a tough time at the moment like so many companies. Layoffs, missed numbers, uncertain future. The line was:
It’s my shit show, he just makes a cameo appearance in it once in a while
That pretty much sums up the difference between the operator and the director!