You are never too young or old to start building your own Personal Board of Directors. I’ve been extremely fortunate to have people in my life where there is mutual respect. When I started my own company, I asked their advice on many items – the name of my company, the logo, brochures, etc. With every career milestone, I reassess my board and make sure nobody needs to be retired. Here are the “roles” you need on your BOD.
The Supporter. This person is a master listener. They know a ton about management but also about me as a person. They are always there to lend an encouraging ear, a hug, or a kick in the bottom.
The Bridge. Otherwise known as the connector – predictably, this is the matchmaker for your career. Connectors love to engender relationships among people who might not otherwise have met. Connectors are infectious; these people inspire others to be more like them.
The Sage. Everyone needs a sage – a director they admire, somebody who has done it all in your field, made the mistakes, learned from them and triumphed. This is one of the most trusted positions on the board.
The Questioner. This is an imperative board seat. It pays to surround yourself with people who will question your motives, decisions, and intentions. My questioner makes me a better professional and helps me understand and process judgments and next steps.
The Risk Taker. This person is an inspiration. They have made mistakes and wrong decisions, but they have learned from them, and they will encourage you to do the same. Their mantra is “you won’t know if you never try”.
The Maven. My maven is an expert in business (especially in my speciality - manufacturing). They are often ahead of the curve but their expertise goes beyond B2B and B2E. These are the folks who help us make informed decisions. I trust the way my maven thinks – she helps me make smarter career judgments.
Remember, you want your BOD to give you honest feedback. Sometimes this feedback isn’t very positive and isn’t something you want to hear. You have to be able to make that voice in your head say “These are people that you respect & trust. You will grow from this.