A personal board of directors is something that many exceptional people have in common, whether they formalize the idea or not. We can leverage the collective power of a personal board of directors to make sure we are constantly improving our skill sets and our awareness of areas where we can improve. As ambitious people, we will be growing, learning, and changing throughout our careers. We shouldn’t leave anything to chance, or rely on the “accidental influencers” we bump into. Being open to and deliberately in search of the right influencers is a big part of reaching our potential as leaders.
Start organizing your board of directors by thinking about people who have been positively influential for you in the past. Who are some of the people who have helped you have the success you have experienced so far? Keep your perspective open wide, as these influencers will not just be people you worked with. Some of your most powerful influencers will be teachers, coaches, friends, authors, speakers, and peers. Consider some of the exceptional people that you know who have some of the attributes you aspire to.
Here are six key steps for putting your personal board of directors together:
- Do a little thinking about yourself and your current performance. Ask your self some questions: What is working for me? What is not? Who is influencing me now? When do I have the most fun in my current role? What have I been doing the same way for too long? What are my greatest assets?
- Think about some people who have some of the spirit, capability, attitude, enthusiasm, credibility, and influence that you would like to have. They can be peers, friends, authors, speakers, bloggers, poets, musicians, celebrities, athletes… whoever. They can be dead or alive. They can be people you know or people you don’t. Make a list of these people.
- Review this list and think about what you would like to learn or assimilate from each person. Who on your list do you have access to? How will you access him? It can be in-person, over the phone, by reading his books, by seeing his work.
- For the people you have personal access to, ask yourself a few more questions. Will this person give me some of their time? Will they give me unfiltered opinions? Can I do something in return? It’s not necessary to tell anyone that they’re going to be on your BOD, unless you think it will help the relationship.
- Post your BOD somewhere you can see it and make a commitment to seek out input, content, lessons, and conversations in any form you can get it from the members of your board.
- Review the concept occasionally and ask yourself if it’s adding any value to your development. You may need to be more active and overt, or you may need to shake up your BOD.
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