A graduate of the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, Bill Gray frequently returns to the university as a lecturer and guest speaker. The former co-CEO of Ogilvy Group North America, Bill Gray continues to support the university and is one of the Darden School’s featured alumni.
Offering MBA, Ph.D., and Executive Education programs, the University of Virginia Darden School of Business is one of the top business schools in the world. First established in 1955, the Darden School excels at providing entrepreneurial-minded students with the knowledge and skills they need to become responsible leaders. A recent survey found that alumni from the school have had a significant impact on the economy at the state, national, and international level.
The survey considered more than 220,000 graduates, many of whom have played roles in launching new companies. Of the graduates surveyed, 65,000 were responsible for starting new companies that generate more than $1.6 trillion a year and employ more than two million individuals. This high level of entrepreneurial activity among alumni has helped Virginia’s economy grow at a much faster rate than many other states.
The former co-CEO of Ogilvy Group North America, Bill Gray spends much of his time providing business advice and assistance to companies. Bill Gray has served as a senior advisor for Blackstone Portfolio Operations Group and as a board member for The Advertising Council and the American Red Cross as well as other entities.
A board of directors is only as strong as its individual members, and several basic traits are common among effective board members. Good judgment and the ability to make good decisions is an important part of being an effective board member. This ensures board members successfully handle difficult problems and make good decisions on hiring, legal, and financial issues.
Individuals who have experience and a proven record of successful leadership skills and business acumen often make good board members. They are familiar with the potential consequences of decisions, and others view them as leaders, which increases their credibility when they offer valuable feedback.
Board members should always have a valid interest in the company. If they lack motivation or interest, they may not devote the necessary time and resources to help the company flourish. In particular, having a financial interest in the company ensures board members are attentive and effective at handling their assigned responsibilities.
Serving on a board often takes a considerable amount of time, and this requires a fair amount of dedication. Effective board members are available to handle details and problems without overextending themselves to the point of failing to get the job done.