Building High Impact Boards — Katy Trost

Bill Gallagher

If you’ve gone through any number of rounds of funding you probably have a board of directors that you have to and get to interact with. How can you make those interactions more effective?


Katy Trost is a coach and advisor to CEOs and founders at Series B and beyond. She aids CEOs in becoming more effective leaders and navigating the challenges of scaling people and operations. Her clients include some of the fastest-growing companies in both the U.S. and UK tech ecosystem backed by leading investors including SoftBank, First Round, Felix, Octopus, Inflexion, and more.


A board can be a blessing or a curse. Different objectives, political or otherwise, and different expectations can create boards that are offering poor advice to CEOs, who often feel they have no choice but to follow that advice blindly.


A board is meant to be a strategic tool for the CEO. Creating a board that is an invaluable asset starts with setting the expectation for the potential of the board to help the business. Katy highlights several experiences she has had advising CEOs and boards. Under her coaching with a UK fintech, the entire structure of the reporting process transitioned from a grueling two-day firing off of questions to an effective strategic discussion.


Taking charge of the agenda is key to more effective interaction with the board. Key issues, focus areas, and upcoming priorities should all be addressed by the CEO before the board meeting. Katy recommends giving the board a job to do before they have the chance to make up a job for themselves.


Setting expectations, asking strategic questions, and recognizing the importance of mutual trust, along with developing personal relationships and soliciting feedback as needed, will all make a critical difference in the effectiveness and impact of any board.


Interview Links:

Katy Trost



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Scaling Up is the best-selling book by Verne Harnish and our team for Scaling Up Coaches (formerly Gazelles). We share how the fastest-growing companies succeed where so many others fail.


Bill Gallagher, Scaling Coach and host of the show, is an international business coach who works with C-Suite leaders to achieve breakthrough growth.


We help leadership teams with the biggest decisions around People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash so that they can Scale Up successfully and beat the odds of business growth. Scaling Up is based on Verne’s original best-selling business book, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits.


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