A trio of tips so you don’t trip up on your journey to a Board
— Governance Matters (@GovernanceMatt) June 9, 2016
There’s a certain allure about serving on a board and it’s not hard to understand why. There’s the status, the professional development it offers, that special access to other influential business leaders and, of course, a warmth that comes from ‘giving something back’, especially when you’re sharing your talents with the not-for profit sector.
And while the motivators may be many, there are just three stages you need to cover off on if you’re to end up at the right company, on the right board. Let’s call them my trio of tips…
They cover what to do in preparation, what to do to make the approach and those things to consider before saying yes.
Do the due diligence before you say ‘yes’
It’s a red letter day, you’ve got news that the board post you’ve been chasing has been offered to you – and every fibre in your body is yelling out telling you to say ‘yes’…and to say it now!
After all, it’s the first board position offer you’ve received, you have worked tirelessly for it, your dream has been realised and you’re understandably thrilled at the news.
Sadly, in many such cases, the enormous euphoria tends to trump judicious thinking and rational judgement. It’s pretty much a case of jubilation bashing down the one door while discernment makes a hasty exit from another!
I should know, I’ve been there and I’ve done that – and not without some regret.
Getting on a board takes honesty, discipline and hard work
If I had a dollar for every time someone sidled up to me and asked ‘So how do I get on a board?’ I’d be rolling about in a sea of green bank notes!
Which, I guess, means I should be pretty adept at providing the answer – and that is, there is no magic bullet; rather, it’s a process that requires honesty, discipline and good old-fashioned hard work.
The first step is to answer three questions:
1. Do I really want this?
2. If so, do I have what it takes?
3. And if so, what’s the right board for me?