Do you know the difference between a book and a "book"? Here's a clue. Books have substance, they are helpful and meaningful. In contrast, "books" are that in name only: testaments to the ego of the author or publisher whose name is printed on the spine. That is not to say that "books" are not popular: the distinction is one of value.
I had not given this distinction much thought before. However, having read Beam's article, I found myself pondering the question in the context of boards of directors. As with books and "books", the distinction between a director and a "director" is not initially obvious. "Directors" are quite likeable people. Many carry an aura of authority. However, the distinction—one of style over substance—becomes rather stark if you look more closely at some of the behaviours:
Do you recognise these indicators in any of your colleagues or associates? Sadly, I suspect more directors than some would care to admit would fit in the "director" category, if they were honest with themselves. And what of yourself? Am I director or a "director"? The corollary is perhaps even more important: What, if anything, I am going to do about it? These are important questions for all of us to ponder.
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and the craft of board work; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.