There are a plethora of career benefits when it comes to joining a board of directors. Broadening a professional network and nurturing one’s professional success are just two reasons many enjoy a spot on the board. Although most professionals assume they must be at the senior-level to join, this is not necessarily true.
Corporate vs. Nonprofit
There are two main types of boards a professional can join. A corporate board of directors supports a paid position for its members while nonprofit is generally volunteer. For this reason, it is usually easier to get a spot on a nonprofit board. To increase the chances of joining a corporate board, lesser-known corporations are often more reliable.
How to Join A Board
Assessing one’s capabilities is the first step to successfully joining a board. Special skills are assets when compared with other professionals in the field. By asking others to honestly compare an individual’s skills against others in the same profession, a potential board member can get a genuine idea of where they rank.
During the interview, it is important to ask questions. Understanding why a specific strategy is used will allow the CEO to walk any potential board member through the process step by step. Asking questions and speaking up is often seen as a confident leadership role. By demonstrating confidence and problem-solving abilities, it is more likely for someone to join either type of board.
Marketing one’s self is usually the best way to show and not tell what is possible. After assessing the unique technical skills that can be showcased, character is the next focus. By picking a few key character attributes, a potential board member can demonstrate their ability to shine. Trustworthiness is frequently a vital character asset for any company. This particular trait can be demonstrated through a resume or present and/or previous professional relationships.
Joining a board of directors involves more than just technical skills. In addition to the skills that make a specific business run smoothly, character and emotional intelligence are key. The ability to read people and understand where their ideas and opinions are coming from is imperative when moving forward with any venture. Empathy, trustworthiness and humility are all characteristics necessary for joining a board of directors. These qualities combined with company knowledge can help any professional successfully join a corporate or nonprofit board of directors.