We all know how important a board of directors or trustees is to an organisation. They provide strategic direction and ensure good governance and management. You can benefit from a board too- a personal one to guide you, advise you, challenge you and support you. HereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s how to set up one
Who to inviteÃ¢â‚¬â€Make a list of about 12 names of potential candidates; people you admire and respect. Think about what you admire about them and what they could teach you. They need not be only people you know personally. Have the courage to include people who you consider Ã¢â‚¬Ëœbig leagueÃ¢â‚¬â„¢. Ask people to suggest names and find out more about those who match your needs.
Narrow the list downÃ¢â‚¬â€ Select aboutÃ‚Â 5-6 people representing a diversity of experience, skills sets and perspectives. Clarify what you will need from each of them and how their support together will give the total learning that you need. DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t only go with people higher than you; for example, if you want to emulate how someone brings values, standards and integrity to their work, candidates could come from any level.
Invite them individuallyÃ¢â‚¬â€ Contact them and invite them indicating what you would like from them. DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t just say Ã¢â‚¬ËœI want you to support meÃ¢â‚¬â„¢. Explain broadly what you would like from them; follow up with a phone call to explain the specifics. Some of the support you could ask for is to be able to turn to them when you have difficult choices to make or dealing with ethical dilemmas
Meet on specificsÃ¢â‚¬â€Meet to map out details of how youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll work together. You might need to be clear with them that youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d like to learn from their experience, perspectives, help you pick yourself when you Ã¢â‚¬ËœfailÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ or make some bad judgement calls. Discuss how they would like you to contact them, when and how often, how to handle situations such as when you urgently need to consult with them at short notice.
Keep it goingÃ¢â‚¬â€Agree a structure of what youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll regularly discuss- for example, whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been successful, some of your challenges, difficulties you have been able to overcome, opportunities coming your way. Always comeÃ‚Â prepared with some thoughts on the issues you want to discuss. Share your thoughts first before asking for their views
Commit to taking stockÃ¢â‚¬â€Report your progress to them regularly. At a minimum commit to producing a personal annual report to share with them. Your report can cover personal and professional goals with concrete examples of success. Report against any goals you set.
Find out how to reciprocateÃ¢â‚¬â€Make it worth their time; if you have contacts, networks that they might benefit from share them. You might offer to mentor someone else to pass on what you learn. Take an interest in what they do so that you can identify where you can help them.
Now take action: Create your Personal Board of directors in the next 4 weeks