Deciding which board is for you is a major key to your future success on a board. Taking on a board role that is not suited to you can lead to problems later down the line. So before you even start to prepare your application, you need to really consider the question which board roles will be best suited to you.
On the assumption that you are willing to manage your expectations and aspirations, then asking yourself the kind of questions below might help narrow down the sort of board that you should aspire, at least initially, to apply to.
Questions to ask yourself when deciding which board role to apply for
- Do you need to get paid?
Only considering paid board roeles can be a stumbling block for many. Instead, consider whether being part of an influential board or company is enough.
- Do you have past board experience?
If not, put yourself in the seat of a Chair – what kind of board would you realistically appoint yourself to?
- What is your skill set?
Think critically about how valuable it is at board level and try to consider a practical example of your contribution.
- Where do you live?
If you live some distance from where the organisation operates, think about whether you would add as a board member above and beyond that which a more local candidate would.
- What your contacts are like?
Are they industry based and as such deep and narrow or shallow but broad? In either case, how do they relate to the needs of the board?
- What your timings are?
How quickly ‘must’ you get your first board appointment? Are you willing to hold out for the perfect board or will something that you are passionate about but not perfect suffice initially?
- What are your passions for being on a board?
Can you demonstrate a passion for board work and not just being a board member?
- How much time do you have?
Board work can be demanding and often conflicts with your executive career. Can you afford at least one day out of the office a month?
- How much preparation are you willing to do to be appointed?
Applying for and being appointed to a board can be even more labour intensive than applying for an executive role. Are you prepared for the journey?
By managing your expectations and taking a critical look at what you have to offer a board, these questions should go some way to answering the question of ‘Which board is for you?’
BOARD DIRECTION CAN HELP