As Christian business owners and leaders, we are virtually guaranteed to face a crisis in the course of doing business. In fact, the odds are we will face more than one.
Are You Prepared?
Depending on your experience, you may or not be prepared for it when it hits. If it is big enough, even your years of experience may not help. This is where the combined godly wisdom of a good advisory board is critical.
Advisory Board in Action
In a recent C12 advisory board meeting, one of the members shared the crisis he is currently facing in his business. His crisis was actually a conglomeration of several difficult issues involving family, business, and faith. To protect the innocent, I will not go into details!
The Crisis Defined
I will tell you that in all my years of business, I have not faced anything like this business owner is facing. It quickly became clear in the group that the same was true for the rest of the members. This situation was a doozy and had more hair on it than Bigfoot! Quite simply, there was no clear and easy solution.
It took the member 30-45 minutes to finally get all of the pertinent facts onto the table because he was so distraught over the situation. He bounced from issue to issue, trying to describe all the details. We were asking clarifying questions the whole time because he was so scattered in his thoughts and words. It was a painful effort just getting a clear picture of the whole situation.
Action Plan Established
From there, it was amazing to watch the minds of eight godly, Christian business owners jump into action. In a flurry of more questions, debate, and brainstorming, our advisory board group came up with a solid action plan for the member to execute.
Here are some of the advisory board contributions:
1. Detailed the timeline for his action plan.
2. Debated the best approach to each step of the plan.
3. Outlined possible break downs in the plan and how to respond to them.
4. Discussed the potential pitfalls to shortcutting various steps in the plan.
5. Gave advice relating to legal issues he will need to further investigate.
6. Tested our recommendations against Scripture throughout the process.
7. Questioned him on various decisions he had made up to this point.
8. Gave him contact info for key people that could meet various needs.
9. Prayed over him and the whole situation – asking for wisdom, peace, strength, mercy, forgiveness, peace, and reconciliation for all parties involved.
Now Fully Prepared
At the end of the meeting, it was clear that the member was in better spirits and fully equipped to face the crisis head on. While, the tough time was still in front of him, he knew he was on the right path and had a solid game plan. He also knew that we would continue to pray for him through the process. That does a lot for one’s confidence.
Advisory Board Structure
I encourage you to contact C12 if you are interested in visiting a group meeting to get a feel for how it works. Of course, the C12 Advisory Board structure is not the only way to accomplish this process. In my conversation with Mark Cress a couple of weeks ago, he explained how his advisory board consisted of a unique blend of personalities and experience. This board is the actual Board of Directors for Corporate Chaplains of America (CCA).
Though there are some significant differences in the responsibilities of his board when compared to the C12 advisory board, the benefits discussed in this post are the same. An example of this is how the CCA board has played a critical role in creating Mark’s succession plan over the next several years. Their combined wisdom will ensure a smooth transition of leadership over CCA, as well as position the organization for significant growth in the future.
You Need An Advisory Board
The bottom line is that regardless of the size of your business, you need an advisory board. There are too many potential problems you could face that will require more wisdom and experience than you have. Whether you seek a paid advisory board or one that volunteers their time, you cannot afford to go it alone.
Consider these verses from Proverbs as your encouragement to get started:
Without guidance, people fall, but with many counselors there is deliverance.
Plans fail when there is no counsel, but with many advisors they succeed.
Finalize plans with counsel, and wage war with sound guidance.
…wage war with sound guidance – victory comes with many counselors.
Do you have similar access to the godly wisdom an advisory board offers?
What are some other benefits you have seen?
If not, when are you going to get started?