As CEO, I wanted the freedom to manage and operate without interference from the board. So when the board did not show interest in the day-to-day, it initially served my agenda. There truly are dangers in having board directors overly involved in management business, especially if they do not understand the more subtle nuances of operations and can inadvertently undermine the credibility the management team has in their leaders.
I also found a downside to this. When presenting to the board on key initiatives, the CFO and I needed the directors to understand enough about the business to engage in constructive discussions. We wanted to be asked challenging questions; we hoped to learn from the expertise of the board within the context of the company, as well as relevant industry trends and developments. Just counting on the directors listening to our presentation and reading the brief we had put into the board book was rarely enough.