Like the strategic approach you’ve taken to advance in your career, the same careful planning should be applied on your board journey.
Positioning yourself for a board of director role requires planning, curating, and communicating. Just like the strategic approach you’ve taken to advance in your career over the years, the same careful planning should be applied on your board journey.
If you’ve read other blog posts or resource materials from theBoardlist, you know that we have always promoted a step-by-step approach to advancing your board journey. Your personal value proposition (PVP) and Board Bio should always be your first step - no matter where you are in your board journey.
Crafting your goals, objectives, and personal brand via your PVP and Board Bio first will allow for a much more streamlined process to follow. For example, determining what credentials to seek, or what networking opportunities to attend will be guided by the goals and objectives you’ve already outlined.
So, after your PVP and Board Bio are complete, we suggest strategically positioning yourself for a board role by following these 5 tips:
Diversify Your Expertise
Part of becoming an effective board member is pulling from your diverse experiences across different industries, sectors, and functions. As operating executives, we are often told to become an expert in our field, but it is crucial to gain outside perspectives for board service. For example, serving on advisory boards, volunteering for a nonprofit, or joining a professional association can provide valuable experience and broaden your perspective.
Enhance Your Qualifications
While serving in an executive-level position is almost always a mandatory requirement for joining a public company’s board of directors, seeking outside certifications and accreditations to enhance your qualifications for board service is also important. Position yourself one step ahead of the competition by acquiring advanced degrees, certifications, or specialized training. Board candidates should also consider executive education programs focused on governance, finance, strategy, and leadership.
Communicate Your Ambitions
Tell your boss, colleagues, mentors, friends, and family about your board ambitions. Practice sharing your PVP with others and answering their questions to strengthen and get ultra comfortable with your pitch. Plus, the majority of board roles are still filled by personal referral, so ensuring your sphere of influence is informed of your goals can be crucial to your success.
Curate Your Online Presence
You will be Googled, so ensure your personal brand shines. Keep your personal social media accounts confidential. Set all non-professional accounts to private so only your curated profiles are visible to searchers. Get active on LinkedIn - it’s as simple as commenting on a post that resonates with you, posting an article you enjoyed, or giving kudos to a colleague. Review your theBoardlist and LinkedIn profiles quarterly and ensure they are up-to-date.
Join a Community for Board Candidates
Become a member of a board-focused organization to join other like-minded leaders and gain access to board recruitment experts, education resources, and networking events. theBoardlist is always free to create a profile, and our upgraded tBL Plus services are great for aspiring and experienced board directors to get coaching, mindfully expand their network and maximize their exposure to board directors and opportunities.
See our blog, 3 Steps to Effective Networking When Looking for a Board Director Role, for more tips on which networking opportunities you should be pursuing when on your board journey.