Highlights of the 2016 Board Dynamics Session for CEOs and Directors

With the help of our expert panelists, the 2016 Board Dynamics Session was a great success. We wanted to take a moment to reflect on the event and highlight some of the particularly valuable points.

The event started out with a comprehensive summary of the Allergan transition from Michael Gallagher and Cary Hyden. Gallagher shed light on the intensity of the hostile take-over attempt and how the board stayed together even through negative public reaction and personal attacks. He attributes the board’s success to his open style of communication. Whenever one of his directors needed to vent and curse the wind, he would actively be available to them – late night calls and all.

Susan Swenson brought a very interesting perspective as she has recently moved from the Chair of the Board role of Novatel Wireless to the CEO role. Her unique view made our discussion well rounded and useful. Because Sue has served on so many different boards and in different capacities, she was able to tackle the big subjects of controlling stress and increasing engagement by creating a safe and sometimes fun environment. This was especially interesting as Sue also serves on the Wells Fargo board with 15 other directors.

We had two main stories to focus on. One was the Allergan hostile takeover fight where the board performed extremely well under the circumstances, and the other was the story brought to us by Gene Goda. Gene was working with a board that abandoned him in times of crises. Contrasting the failure of one board and the success of another was helpful in deciphering the way emotions played into the outcomes of both stories. Gene was interviewed by Dr. Lola Gershfeld who specializes in emotional focused training for CEOs and Directors. Dr. Gershfeld was able to examine the ramifications of poor emotional connections and how stress and fear played into each board’s performance.

Our resident executive board expert, Ed Merino moderated the event. His insight and well thought out questions kept the discussion moving and the audience engaged. Overall it was a great event and we look forward to our next session! If you would like more information on our sessions and what Level Five Executive does, please email us at [email protected].

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