At our annual GROW! Conference in Tampa this year, we were fortunate enough to have Clay Mathile, former owner of Iams, join us for our keynote session. A resident of my hometown of Dayton, Ohio, Clay purchased the now well-known pet food company for $1.2 million in 1982 and 17 years later sold it to Procter & Gamble for $2.3 billion. He was the only shareholder.
One of the lessons Clay shared with us is the unique
Now, for many of us, the notion of a board conjures up images of Fortune 500 companies, men in suits and heated discussions about shareholder value. It can be hard to imagine what a board could do for a small, privately held landscaping company, or to think you have the time or the resources to build one.
But as Clay likes to say, “If you ran a popcorn stand on the corner of Third and Main in Dayton, Ohio, I would still suggest that you have an outside board.” In the months since GROW!, we’ve received a lot of questions about this topic, so I want to share with you my own thoughts and what’s worked for me.