Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I be interested in pursuing a corporate board seat?
Think: What does the board want? You, as a savvy board aspirant must first focus deeply on what the board wants rather than what you can bring to the board.
Why is this a great time to pursue a corporate board seat?
More first-time directors and people with different experiences are being invited to the process. CEOs no longer dominate the candidate list. The 2014 National Association of Public Company Governance confirms that 23% of all new directors are division leaders and subsidiary presidents and other line and functional leaders.
What are the kinds of corporate boards?
There are two kinds: Public and Private.
The large public boards are the kind we generally hear about on the new. MSFT, GE, General Motors, Google. Public company shares are traded on a national exchange—Nasdaq or the New York Stock Exchange.
Private corporations are generally smaller that public corporations and often have less formal rules to follow. Their are any private private companies with high profiles: Heinz, Bloomberg, cox Enterprises, and Publix Supermarkets are examples.
Want kind of skill sets are corporate boards seeking?
In researching corporate boards, I have identified what I call, two distinctive ” skill buckets.” One of these skills buckets will likely be a better fit for you over the other.
“Always in demand” Board Skills: These are the big-picture leadership skills that are universally in demand when they are seeking new clients. Examples include CEOs and CFOs of large pubLic companies and such corresponding experience as the ability to chair an audit committee, the mastery of profit and loss statements, succession planning, board governance advisor, etc.
“Subject matter” Board Skills. These are skills from subject matter experts that boards pursue when such skills are mission-critical to the company. Today, examples include cyber fraud, digital technology, international market entry, employee engagement and retention, and political navigation for heavily regulated companies.
How do I use the "skill bucket" concept to set my board search strategy?
Make 4 decisions:
- Choose the skill bucket that best suits you.
- Declare the skills that make you most competitive.
- Pinpoint those industries you can best serve.
- Decide what size company will most prize you.
How can I establish some board-worthy skills?
- Seek out for-profit private board experience.
- Consider not-for-profit board experience. Seek out a seat that gives you fiduciary responsibility.
- Plan strategically for a corporate board seat. Senior executive expertise is prized.
- Continually sharpen your subject matter expertise.
- Strive for the executive seat.
How can I best establish my personal board brand?
Through my board director interviews, this formula emerged:
Passionate Expertise + Fearless Work + Visibility + Recognition = Opportunity
What are proven ways to get recognized as an expert?
Dorie Clark, personal positioning expert, offers these tips:
- Embrace the power of your difference. Being a true pioneer at something can be tough at first, but the payoff can be big!
- Make your expertise undeniable. My expertise was enhanced by writing books on customer loyalty.
- Build your network.
- Share your knowledge.
What guidance can you provide for crafting a resume for a board seat?
A board resume is different than a regular resume. My resume is shared in the book. Here’s some ways I designed my resume:
- Know your board currency and feature it.
- Frame your accomplishments through the lens of results and change.
- Seek out an experienced resume writer.