A personal board of directors is an excellent tool for boosting your career success since it assembles a group of trusted individuals who provide support, guidance and advice. If you have decided that you want to take your career to the next level and create your own personal board of directors, here are some things to keep in mind:
How to Create a Personal Board of Directors
1. Your Inner Circle
Think about people whose opinions you value and what you respect. These may be adults whom you have naturally turned to while you were growing up, mentors what you have had the good fortune of meeting through school, summer jobs or internships or close friends who really care about you.
Add in a cheerleader who will champion you. Be sure to include someone who has known you for a long time and has a good perspective on you and your life.
Be sure to go outside your particular area of expertise so that you can take advantage of different points of view and experiences.
2. Areas of Support
Next, think about the areas of your life where you would like to receive outside support from a trusted group of advisors. These could include business skills, finance, marketing, public speaking or fundraising.
If you do not know people with these skills, be on the lookout for them as you network and meet new teachers and collections. Often, if you set an intention around finding such a person, he or she will materialize.
How to Make the Most of Your Personal Board of Directors
Once you have selected these trusted individuals, ask them to serve as a member of your personal board. Explain what the concept is and why you chose that person. Since you already have a close connection to these people, they are likely to be honored to be part of your inner circle!
Your managers are busy people so here are some suggestions on how to make the most of your personal board.
1. Have a goal and communicate that goal to your board members
Have a clear goal in mind when you reach out to your board members. You can approach a particular board member individually or you can have a group meeting. Share that goal and communicate what specifically you are looking for. Send out an agenda in advance so that your board member (s) know (s) what will be covered. Be sure to include attachments, materials, video or music clips or anything else that might be relevant.
2. Remain open to suggestions
Be open to suggestions. You never know what ideas might crop up! In addition, if you are seeking advice, think before you reject an idea. Your advisors are there to support you and they are making suggestions that worked for them. If something resonates, great! If you are not sure, reflect on it. And if something truly does not match up with your values or with who you are at your core, move on and trust your instincts.
3. Follow up with and keep the board member (s) updated on your progress
Follow-up with your directors after your meeting, whether it is a meeting with a single board member or the entire group. Keep your directors informed about your progress. This will show that you are serious about the process and that the advice that you are getting matters to you.
4. Thank your board member for his or her contributions
Your managers are happy to help you. Be sure to acknowledge their input and the time that they have devoted to you. A personal note or email will go a long way to making your board member feel appreciated.
I encourage to put together this brain trust and reach out whenever you need support and extra help. You will be amazed at the results!