Pop quiz: what is the difference between a board of directors and an advisory board?

If you are not sure of the answer, do not worry, as you are in the majority.

While corporate boards of directors are a newsworthy topic, boards of advisers are often overlooked. Globally, corporate boards serve as fodder for speculation, debate and often criticism. As they are the main instrument of governance for all types of companies as well as not-for-profits they do indeed deserve our attention. Delaware corporate law mandates that the responsibility for the oversight of the management of a corporation’s business and affairs is vested in its board of directors (per Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, or OECD.)

However, as I hope to clarify in this article, boards of advisers are an effective tool that can aptly serve companies and non-profits both as a compliment to a board of directors or in its place. (read more…)

Ahh, spring! The changing season brings fresh growth, bright colors and baby foxes and deer to our Rocky Mountain meadows — and major golf tournaments to our television screens.

I played golf for years. For the first five years, I played it wrong. I was inconsistent as the dickens. Once I got serious, I hired a golf pro who helped me understand the physics of the golf swing and how to deliver the club head to the ball the proper way.

Hitting a golf ball looks simple. The reality is that a golf swing has dozens of moving parts! And, hitting the ball properly with an iron is counterintuitive to what a new golfer thinks.

Hitting a golf ball from a tee is different — and quite a bit easier. That only happens 18 times a round, when hitting from the tee box (the opening shot on a hole).

To hit a golf ball properly with an iron, so the ball flies high and straight, one should not swing “at” the ball or scoop the ball up. (read more…)

The Young Entrepreneur Council is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Read previous SmartBlogs posts by YEC.

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Q. What is one quality of a great COO?

yec_Anthony Johnson1. OCD-level task management

The world is full of terrible task managers. Task management accountability comes from above. If an entry-level employee forgets a task, his manager catches it. If management forgets, the next person does and so on. But the COO is the last line of defense. Companies can crumble if one wrong task gets past the COO. Would you bet your company on your COO never forgetting a task? You just might be. — Anthony Johnson, American Injury Attorney Group

yec_Kelly azevedo 22. Obsessive organization

Tracking projects, tasks, team launches and so much more requires incredible organization skills. (read more…)

The continued struggles of the Secret Service are a series of failures and performance lapses that have gone on for several years. One person, however, was warning of the decline of the agency well before the Salahis crashed a state dinner in 2009; well before the 2012 prostitute scandal in Colombia; before a knife-wielding man gained entrance to the White House last year; and before the recent episode in which drunk agents drove their car up to the White House and interrupted an active bomb investigation.

Ronald Kessler, a New York Times best-selling author and journalist for the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post, has written two books and an op-ed piece that have spelled out dire consequences if the Secret Service doesn’t heed the warnings of their continued failures. In his book In The President’s Secret Service,” Kessler warned that without significant changes in the agency and its culture, “…an assassination of Barack Obama or a future president is likely.”

recite-1vk9zkcI talked with Kessler recently and discussed the lessons for business leaders that can be gleaned from the Secret Service’s continued lapses. (read more…)

Winning The Long GameThis article was adapted from “Winning the Long Game: How Strategic Leaders Shape the Future” by Steven Krupp and Paul J.H. Schoemaker. Krupp is senior managing partner and Schoemaker is founder and executive chairman of Decision Strategies International, a consulting and training firm specializing in leadership development and strategy formulation. Schoemaker also serves as research director of the Mack Institute for Innovation Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

In July 2013, 3 million devotees, mostly young, swarmed to Copacabana Beach to hear the newly elected leader of the Roman Catholic Church on his first official tour. The Catholic Church was at a pivotal moment in its history. Brazil has the largest number of Catholics in the world but between 2000 and 2010, the church’s share slipped from three-fourths of the nation’s population to about two-thirds. Pope Francis knew the challenges facing his organization, not only in Brazil but throughout the world. (read more…)