Looking for a board role in 2023 – prepare now

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It is that time of the year again. Time to reflect on the year gone and what you can do better next year. If you are looking for a board role in 2023, now is the time to prepare. If you are considering your first board appointment or adding to the ones you already have, you need a plan.  

A board appointment plan

People get overwhelmed with advice when it comes to a board career. Some say to start with a not-for-profit appointment; others say it is all about your Board CV, and many think you have to have the ‘right’ connections in the first place. Yes, all these pieces of advice have merit. However, everyone’s aspirations and experiences differ, and so does their path to a board appointment.

My Board Appointment Plan can be utilised by anyone wanting to gain a board appointment. It is extensive, covering every element of the board appointment process, and centres around three core elements – Aspiration, Articulation and Application.

Aspiration – be honest and clear about your board aspirations. Be able to list organisations you both want to and can be appointed to the board of.

Articulation – essentially, your board pitch, the reason you should be appointed to those boards you aspire to.

Application – understanding how you will be appointed and instigating what you need to do to get there.

What can you focus on NOW if you are looking for a board role in 2023

FOCUS 1: Your board aspirations

The end of the year is the perfect time to set or re-set your board aspirations. Ask yourself if your aspirations are realistic at this stage in your board career? If your aspirations for a board role in 2023 are not achievable, ask yourself why and what you can do to achieve your goals in the future. Should you set new board goals for 2023?

FOCUS 2 – Your executive career

Take some time to think about where a board role in 2023 fits in your executive career. Taking on a board role in 2023 will take time away from either your executive role or your family responsibilities. However, there are substantial rewards, both professionally and personally, for you to take on a board role. If you have a board role, you should be considering another. Those that hold multiple directorships are proven to be fast adopters of business practices and innovations across organisations and industries.

FOCUS 3: Your board pitch

Have you written your board profile, and can you pitch it confidently? Do you know your value at board level? If you do have one,  is it working, or does it need refining?

FOCUS 4: Your board CV

A  Board CV should differ from your Executive CV. It should address your value at board level. If you don’t have one, writing this document may help refine your unique skill set and board pitch. If you do have one, you must ensure it is up to date.

FOCUS 5: Looking for board roles 

Based on your aspirations, you should spend some time looking for board roles or sources of board roles. If you are looking for a board role in 2023, you must be present and active on LinkedIn. Many organisations and search firms will source candidates and advertise roles on LinkedIn. For most aspiring board directors, finding board vacancies is one of the most time-consuming parts of the process. Having all the roles available in one place for many is invaluable. We source and advertise over 3,500 each year.

FOCUS 6: Networking 

Make sure your networking efforts are consistent, sustained, and meaningful. Take some to analyse, revise, refresh and reconnect with your networks. Make sure to tell people you are looking for a board appointment. In some cases, it can be just that easy. 

FOCUS 7: Accountability

This step is the one that most people miss, and doing so is the main reason why many fail. Some of you will look back at 2022 and agree that this is where they failed. Gaining a board appointment is a process that takes time and perseverance. You must follow your forward-thinking plan, actively work on your plan regularly, and spend your time wisely. You need to build in accountabilities. Prioritise weekly tasks and review your plan quarterly.

In summary

If you are looking for a board role next year, there are several things that you can focus on NOW to increase your success in 2023. You also need a plan. One that is easy to implement will unlock board opportunities, focus your attention and reduce frustration. A plan that will generate a more significant ROI of your time.

About the Author

David Schwarz is CEO & Founder of Board Direction – Australia’s leading board advertising and non-executive career support firm. He has over a decade of experience of putting people on boards as an international headhunter and a non-executive recruiter and has interviewed over one thousand non-executives and placed hundreds into some of the most significant public, private and NFP roles in the world

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