Why You Need Your Own Personal Board of Directors
The board of directors is the lifeline to any organization or business.
Each director is essential to bringing the mission and vision of the organization to life as well as accomplishing the goals outlined in the strategic plan. The board of directors has responsibilities that range from ethical and legal to fiduciary and philanthropic. The diversity of ideas and thoughts can provide strategic guidance that leads to growth, stability and sustainability.
For that reason, here’s why you need your own personal board of directors.
Structure + Guidance
The board of directors provides structure to an organization that includes policies and procedures, a code of ethics and even weighs in on staff compensation. There is value in having a slew of people in your life that is invested in the advancement of your career and who are willing to provide guidance beyond just mentorship. He or she could introduce you to key leaders in the sector that could add to your professional network; which can increase your visibility as a viable candidate for new opportunities.
The board of directors is charged with handling the fiduciary insight of an organization that meshes strategic performance with financial development goals. Think of this as a person who is willing to advocate for your pay increases that commensurate with your actual performance instead of the standard increase all employees receive. This person could also provide financial support for your professional development such as covering travel and registration cost for conferences, young professional networks or leadership programs.
Boards are responsible for developing the organization throughout the duration of their term. This includes identifying and cultivating relationships then recruiting the right partners. These are all facets that could be applied to career development which could transform into helping you identify new board members or mentors, cultivate relationships outside of your comfort zone that could get you to the next level. Bear in mind, that as you advance in your career or make shifts, current directors may no longer be fundamental to your journey but they can help you enlist others who are willing to assist you along the way.
Boards provide credibility. In most cases, boards are encouraged to support and pursue new opportunities to advance an organization’s mission. At the same time, the new relationships materialize because the individual board member vouches for the credibility of the organization. Having a person on your board that is willing to do this for you and your career is like walking around with a personal letter of recommendation that attests to your superior qualities and proven results.
Duty of Loyalty
Lastly and possibly most importantly, a board of directors has a “duty of loyalty” which means that they must act in the interest of the organization. For your personal board of directors—curated by you; you can rest assured that the people you hand selected will be motivated to see you succeed and will act in your best interest in all circumstances.
This month, as you set your career goals and establish yourself as an expert, I challenge you to think about five people who should serve on your personal directors and in what particular facet. If you’re really a go-getter, call, email or schedule an in-person meeting to discuss your plan for your career and invite him/her to join your personal board of directors.