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How to deal with a bad board member  

This article by Steve Blank outlines the problem of bad board members imposed by VCs, but proposes no solution. Perhaps it is intended to start a discussion amongst VCs. In this case, however, this HN comment by Mark Maunder provides some good suggestions if you ever find yourself dealing with a hostile board member.

I don't know what the power structure and equity structure is in the organization, so I don't know how vulnerable your job and your ownership in your company is. But in general boards can't simply fire people without cause. I would strongly suggest that you start by documenting absolutely everything. Make sure all meetings are minuted and keep your own copies of those minutes. If the bad board member says something to you outside a meeting that has some bearing on your relationship or the company, find an excuse to get him to email it to you. You can even record phone calls in many states with only one party privy to the fact the call is being recorded. (IIRC California is not one of these states).

The suggestion is very sound, and applies in any case where you feel that you are about to be treated unfairly by colleagues or superiors. My father has spent some time advising victims of mobbing at various levels, and carefully recording what is happening and gethering objective third party evidence is an essential step to gaining the upper hand.

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