Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

Consider Board Service as a Career Advancement Strategy

Rising professionals should consider serving on boards to propel their careers.

board-meeting-compressor“Board membership is not a retirement plan, it is an advancement strategy,” attorney and strategist Avery Blank wrote in Forbes.

Serving on a company or nonprofit board can help professionals move up the career ladder by positioning them as leaders with good judgment who are worthy of trust and respect, particularly if they are independent thinkers, Blank wrote. Board membership also increases credibility and visibility for both professionals and their organizations, and provides opportunities for professionals to leverage connections made on boards.

“You get more exposure to people and opportunities when you are a board member,” she wrote. “Once you are a member of a board, it is not uncommon to start receiving invitations to sit on other boards.”

Intuit QuickBooks blog contributor Sarah Johnson wrote that professionals can increase their appearance that they are “worthy of a board seat” if they take on public speaking gigs, develop a business blog, or write op-ed columns for prominent publications, thus establishing themselves as experts in their industries or professions.

“Professionals should do their due diligence on the nonprofit, and ask for written board policies, bylaws and previous minutes, as well as the organization’s latest online tax filing to see how much its key employees and executives earn.”

Professionals also should be proactive in asking organizations what they desire in their board members, and then tout what they can personally “bring to the table.”

Forbes columnist Dorie Clark cited tips on getting on boards from Elaine Eisenman, dean of executive education at Babson College and a founding member of Women Corporate Directors.

Now that board membership has become tightly regulated in the post Sarbanes-Oxley world, professionals need to develop and leverage the right skills to ensure organizations can meet the corporate governance requirements of the 2002 federal law, according to Eisenman. To aid in this endeavor and to find interested organizations, she suggests professionals attend events held by the National Association of Corporate Directors.

Eisenman also recommends that professionals post their resumes on the websites of the major board search firms, and also reach out to colleagues who are already board members to get their foot in the door.

For those wanting a seat on a nonprofit board, Forbes personal finance writer Kerry Hannon cited several tips by Laura Gassner Otting, president of Nonprofit Professionals Advisory Group.
For example, professionals should first determine which causes are meaningful to them and “be ready to provide proof of your passion when you’re interviewed for a board position.” They should also tout their specific expertise that could help the nonprofit, such as fundraising, public relations and marketing, event planning or finances.

Professionals should do their due diligence on the nonprofit, and ask for written board policies, bylaws and previous minutes, as well as the organization’s latest online tax filing to see how much its key employees and executives earn.

“This will give you a sense of where the money goes and whether the pay is out of sync with the group’s operating budget,” Hannon wrote.

Professionals should also invite current and former board members for coffee, to find out what their experience has been like.

In the end, she wrote, serving on nonprofit boards can help individuals both personally and professionally.

“Aside from the joy of working for the public good, it can broaden your resumé and skills, which might help you find your next job,” said Hannon.


MORE LIKE THIS

  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events

    Roundtable

    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

    1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
    2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
    3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)

     

    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.