As a corporate woman, the secret to climbing through the ranks is to hire a personal board of directors. It’s an informal group comprised of four to eight individuals who can help us excel in our professional career. It can be tempting to trust only ourselves, but we all need advice and support to avoid making irrational decisions that we may end up regretting.
A personal board of directors is critical for coaching and mentoring. A coach will help in defining our personal and career goals, offer a different perspective, and set us on a path to achieving them, while a mentor will provide wisdom and support whenever a challenging situation arises.
Most of us career women will turn to friends and family members whenever there are major decisions to make. Rather than pick them randomly or by default, which is not healthy for business, it’s better to put some effort in selecting the board members. Here’s how to create your team of board of directors.
Choose Someone Inspiring
We will be setting our career up for failure if we interact and associate with mediocre minds all the time. It pays to have onboard those people who can push us to extraordinary lengths in our professional career. Throughout our careers, we’ll meet with people who’ve had better progress than us, and they’ll be eager to enlighten us. We stand to benefit from mentoring, insights and wisdom if we have people who’ve excelled in the various capacities and who we have always aspired to be fighting on our side.
Select a Trustworthy Member
When selecting our board of members, it’s advisable not to settle only for friends, family, and relatives. Since that’s the only group that’s likely to know much about us and who we can at least trust, it can be scary to bring other people on board. However, there’s a solution to this seemingly challenging matter. We should select the rest of the members based on merit. After that, it’s the time to appoint one person who understands our traits and thinking and who’s ready to offer an honest opinion where it matters.
To create a group of board members who we can easily identify with, it is possible to overlook the importance of diversity in any group. Sure, it’s good to have people who do everything like us, but that means missing the essence of diversity. An excellent protocol is to have members of our field, different fields, older or even younger to bring the different perspectives together.
Strive to Nurture Our Board
It’s customary for corporate members to receive compensation for their contribution toward their various companies. We should invest in our board to ensure that they feel valued at all times. They are board members so we can approach them before making important decisions. And when laying out an issue, the best way is to be open to receive objective opinions and advice. Also, while we may not afford to pay them, it’s upon us to appreciate their efforts and time by catering for lunch, dinner and other expenses whenever we organize a meeting.
Be On the Constant Lookout for More Members
A board can do with more new members since it is easier to find people who’re willing to be mentors compared to those willing to invest into our business. One criterion that has been proven to work is nominating a new member and then determining who might be an excellent addition to the current team or even substitute when need be.
Get One with Wide Networks
A connector is a valuable asset to any team of personal directors. There’s that person who commands a lot of respect in the field, and one who knows ‘who is who.’ Having these types of members on our team will help expand our networks and attract more opportunities for business. That way, the business can thrive.
Include a Potential Sponsor
For those of us who desire to rise to the corporate level, we can play our cards well when selecting our board of directors. Many of us will argue that you don’t need a senior mentor to thrive in the career, but that’s open to discussion. Other than offering honest and insightful criticisms regarding our thinking and decisions, having a senior on our team will help with career prospects. The odds are high that we may have a senior to advocate for us when there’s an opening for promotion in our companies.
Hopefully, the tips above should help each of us assemble our team of personal directors granted the immense benefits of having one. National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) is a membership group that brings career women like us together where we can enhance our business and career success. Join a group of over 850,000 intelligent, dynamic and accomplished women today. Start building your network and expand your career opportunities.