“Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.”
-Proverbs 15:22 NLT.
In conversation with a CEO of a multinational yesterday, I posed the question: "Do you have a Personal Board of Advisers?" They responded, "You mean, me as an individual?"
Every person, but especially every executive leader, must have a Personal Board of Advisers or Directors. As 360 leaders, every area of our lives affects every other area of our lives. Personal decisions have professional ramifications and vice versa. Just as an organization has a Board of Directors or Trustees to govern business affairs, individuals need a Personal Board of Advisers to provide guidance to the individual on how to govern the interdependent affairs of their work-life domains.
“Your Personal Board of Directors exists to act as a sounding board, to advise you and to provide you with feedback on your life decisions, opportunities, and challenges.”
Who Should Be on Your Personal Board of Advisers?
The answer is, it depends.
While everyone benefits from faith, career, and financial advisers, some may need family (marriage and or parenting) and business advisers, too.
It is your vision, values, and goals that determine who you should choose to form your Personal Board of Advisers.
How Do I Ask Them to Join My Personal Board of Advisers?
Once you are clear about who you want to become, and what you want to achieve, start building a a list of people with the values, attitudes, knowledge, skills, experience, and even connections for each of the relevant areas you need to recruit.
With the final shortlist, prepare your pitch, whether a written document sent at an introduction or an invitation to a presentation. Make sure it communicates who you are, what you seek to achieve, what you need from them, and what's in it for them to join your Personal Board of Advisers.
Think of your Audience, Messages, and Call to Action so you can make a clear and compelling ask.
This is critical: Determine to have a diversity of representation in the people you eventually choose so you can benefit from their unique profiles.
How Do Personal Board of Advisers Work?
Engage separate members of your Personal Board of Advisers when an issue arises that requires their input.
Endeavor to connect with the entire Personal Board of Advisers at least three times a year: at the beginning of the year when you set goals and strategies, halfway as you review and report on progress, and at the end as you reflect on the year.
Since you would have connected with individual members throughout the year, these three touch points should provide ample opportunity to present to and hear from the entire Board.
The reason for bringing the members of your Personal Board of Advisers together is to leverage the diversity of opinion, depth of analysis, creativity, problem-solving, and wisdom that is often generated when a group bound together by a common purpose, shared values, ambitious vision, and stretching goals comes together.
Need Help with Getting Started?
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