The Empty Chair at the Table During Meetings: Who Should Be In The Room That Isn’t

When you sit at a management meeting are you representing yourself or someone who isn’t in the room? I was recently chatting with a startup CTO, who recently joined his company’s Board, about the responsibilities of being a Director. That it’s not a role about advocating for your own interests but instead trying to make the best decisions on behalf of the company. There’s a great passage about this from a podcast with USV’s Fred Wilson and Reboot’s Jerry Colonna:

Image for post
Image for post

I also recently came across another variation of this “who isn’t in the room” metaphor in a conversation Greylock’s Reid Hoffman had with Starbucks’ Howard Schultz.

Image for post
Image for post

I really like these ideas as guardrails to make sure that as individuals and as groups, you’re not making decisions that run in opposition — strategically or ethically — to the constituencies which aren’t — or can’t be — represented in management conversations.

Image for post
Image for post

You’ll find me @homebrew , Seed Stage Venture Fund w @satyap . Previously made products at YouTube, Google & SecondLife. Married to @cbarlerin .

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store