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CXO NOW Webcast: How Women Land Corporate Board Seats

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Women@Work Podcast

Podcast: Take the Lead by Dr. Diane Hamilton

I had a great time visiting with Diane on her podcast! Listen to the whole interview here.

Forging a path for women on boards

It was great discussing the growing trend of getting women on corporate boards on Fox Business News!

ACG Panel in Austin

I had the pleasure of moderating ACG’s panel on how to land a board seat at the Westwood Country Club in Austin.

Women in Leadership: Company Action Items

“We can and must do our part to help women rise…… It starts at the top In Part One, I addressed seven ways women could climb faster in their careers. Today I’d like to share some encouraging news from one organization that is setting itself apart by recognizing high potential women and developing their skills to rise. Lynne Doughtie, chairman and CEO of KPMG LLP, wrote this recently: We can and must do our part to help women rise…… It starts at the top. To make a lasting impact, leaders need to drive change that requires getting surgical. We have to do more than tell women they need sponsors. We have to identify high-potential women by name and strategically map them to those who can help them get to the next level. We have to set goals, measure them and hold leaders accountable.” You’ll note how specific this statement is. It’s written by a visionary, but one who also understands strategy and benchmarks. It offers a better future, but then tells exactly how to get to that future: identifying high potential women by name, setting goals, holding leaders accountable. It’s one thing to wish for a better future and even verbalize it. It’s another entirely to lay out a roadmap for achieving it. Last week I reached out to KPMG and asked them to give me an update on the company’s progress in driving Chairman Doughtie’s strategies. Ichiro Kawasaki, director of corporate and digital communications, got right back to me with an impressive update. Unlike some firms that speak a vision, and then there is no follow through, this is not the case at KPMG. Management took the ball and ran with it, with stunning results. Today, there are more than 65 KNOW (KPMG Network of Women) chapters in local KPMG offices across the country focused on mentoring and networking women. These efforts are bearing fruit. Since 2003, KPMG’s female partners have increased significantly, rising 62%. For fiscal year 2017, more than 43% of promotions into and within management positions were women. To aggressively fill its future pipeline, KPMG is actively planting seeds with top female high school seniors. Their KPMG Future Leaders Program provides college scholarships, a leadership development retreat at Stanford University, a mentoring relationship with a woman business leader, and an introduction to golf. Condoleezza Rice serves as the program’s ambassador. Next Steps This is a call to action for all companies to fill their pipelines with talented women. Start now, and use KPMG Chairman Doughtie’s directives, and I  quote: "Encourage mentors and sponsorships. Encourage women — indeed, all employees — to find mentors and sponsors to help them develop their skills and build their career paths. Mentors can help employees think about their career growth, while sponsors can actually help make it happen. Provide a network of support. Advisory boards that enhance career opportunities for women and drive local and national initiatives that support, advance, retain and reward women make a difference. Activities focused on mentoring, networking, relationship building, leadership and skills development are essential. Measure progress. Leaders can track and review various inclusion and diversity-specific key performance indicators, such as talent acquisition, attrition, career progression, and leadership and account team composition. This data can be used to help senior leaders and their direct reports set goals that will move the high-performing women they have identified by name forward. Invest in the future. Millennials represent the most educated generation of women in history. Investing in and connecting with this generation of talented women requires an understanding of their values, communicating the company’s purpose and engaging them in the company’s social mission. Don’t be shy about sharing successes. At KPMG, we are proud to be consistently recognized for our inclusive and diverse culture." If you have other stories about companies helping women rise, please share them with me. I’d love to hear them.   It is a true privilege to be a columnist at Forbes. Forbes is a community of talented people with deep knowledge in their genre.

Women in Leadership: Improving the Numbers

Follow your passion about a subject and do the work to build your brand around it.

WOB Thank You!

As the Thanksgiving season approaches, we are counting our blessings.

Best Seller TV: Women Make Great Leaders

It was a joy to return to C-Suite TV Best Seller TV to visit with Tayrn!

Podcast: How to be great leaders

There’s an undeniable and oft-proven statistic out there: The more diverse an organization, the better it works. Period.

Doing What Works: Are you a leader?

I had so much fun talking to Maureen Anderson about leadership!

Adam J. Epstein

In an era where women still struggle to penetrate C-suites and boardrooms, Jill Griffin’s work is a poignant and timely.

Women on boards 2020

Jill is leading the Austin initiative of 2020 Women on Boards, a national campaign dedicated to increasing the percentage of women on corporate boards to 20% by 2020.

SXSW 2017

Join me on this panel of women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s for a “Return on Inclusion: 4 Generations of Women at Work”

BizJournals: Take More Risks

Risk-taking is critical to building a big, audacious career.

Are you a Leader?

You’ve come a long way, baby. But you still have a long way to go.

The hardest, most brutal self-examination you’ve ever done

When it comes to credentials, honesty really is the best policy…

Best Seller TV

I had so much fun talking to C-Suite and Tara on!

The right mentor can accelerate your career. Take the time to identify some candidates, vet them carefully, soak up their wisdom and act on it.

Apparently the glass ceiling for some women is nonexistent…

Is leadership in your organization’s DNA?

Great leaders and great organizations don’t just happen. If you want to build one of those organizations that are growing great leaders, here is a good place to start…

Tell me a time when you felt really challenged?

That’s a question Houston business leader, Leisa Holland-Nelson, asked me during a recent interview. I told this story:

Change This

Women should be on boards, and they are needed there. That pressure is also opening previously closed doors to allow more women on boards

Women in Leadership Roundtable

NACD TEXAS TRICITIES CHAPTER PROGRAM Joint Luncheon with the GHWCC | August 24, 2016

Doing What Works

I had so much fun talking to Maureen Anderson about customer loyalty and board seats!

What I’m Grateful For This July 4th

Dear Friends, The Fourth of July has a special place in my heart. 

NACD 2016 Diversity Symposium

I’m so excited to be presenting a workshop on “Landing Your Next Board Seat” at @NACD Director Professionalism in Laguna Beach

Getting Minorities On Corporate Boards

Diversified corporate boards help CEOs build cultures that engage employees and, in turn, ignite the customer loyalty necessary for driving corporate revenue. : Elevate Your Leadership

Harris Pastides

In direct and thoughtful prose, Jill sets forth a winning plan that will help current and future business leaders assess their potential for essential service on a corporate board. Tackling tough questions such as use of time, compensation, liability and more, Griffin dives into every aspect of board membership. This book is a “must have” for potential board members who wish to sharpen their skills and earn a place at the table. I am delighted that Jill, a graduate of the University of South Carolina, has provided an insightful tool for the next wave of corporate leaders.

Elaine Eisenman PhD

Jill Griffin has written a superb playbook for those seeking to understand and ultimately to join a corporate board….Although it is clear that Griffin is passionate about the criticality of decreasing the the gender gap in the boardroom, her thoughtful and insightful recommendations can be easily utilized by men and women alike

Networking rules for securing a board seat

Fish where the fish are’ and other tips for landing that board opportunity.

Jeffrey Hayzlett

This book gives you the game plan to serve in one of the most elite business roles in the world, a corporate board member. Learn how to earn a coveted spot.

Loyalty Lessons From Austin City Limits

Austin City Limits (ACL) knows a thing or two about building customer loyalty.  

Making Customer Value a Boardroom Priority

By Jill Griffin and Marilyn R. Seymann

Luby’s Incorporated: Brand Turnaround

How do you know whether a brand can be saved? How do you bring it back?

John Berra

All the best advice—all in one place.

William C. Hubbard

Jill has given us a most practical and to the point primer on not just how to position oneself for board membership, but also how to advance in any organization or association, whether for profit or not-for-profit. This book will assist not only women as we seek greater diversity on boards, but also will help prepare any motivated person who wants to advance her or his career in a sustainable way.

Crafting your board search strategy

Now that you are determined you are ready, willing and able, there are more questions to be asked and answered.

Ralph Hasson

Jill answers the question every aspiring director asks: “How do I get my first board seat?” The first practical, hands-on, nuts-and bolts guide on the subject, and bound to be the best.

Betty Sue Flowers

Anyone who wants to serve on a corporate board should read Griffin’s book – but so should anyone else who works in business. Entertaining, inspiring, and, above all, useful.

Mary Scott Nabers

Want to join a corporate board? Don’t start the process before reading Jill Griffin’s new book, Earn Your Seat on a Corporate Board. Jill shares advice on strategy, interviewing, positioning, selection criteria and making memorable impressions. Insight from someone who knows the ropes. I highly recommend her most recent publication.

Melanie Barstad

Earning a seat on a corporate board takes work…hard work…and the process is very competitive. Jill’s book outlines planning your approach with key critical steps to not only consider but also prepare and master as you seek your board seat. The book is clear, precise, well written and easy to follow. A must read.

Hildy J Teegen

Jill Griffin’s newest work serves as a compelling guide for those seeking positions of high service on corporate boards. She carefully highlights important nuances of the role and identifies how leaders of various stripes can effectively deploy their talents in this arena. As one who has seen the good and the not-so-good of corporate board service, I strongly recommend this work for all aspiring directors seeking clear insights to facilitate successful appointment to and engagement with a corporate board.

Why I wrote “Earn Your Seat on a Corporate Board” book for you.

My whip-smart friend and colleague, Bob Gutermuth, who consults with senior leaders in Fortune 100 firms, puts it this way: “If you think about a corporate board seat, it’s the “I made it” badge. It’s a seat at the top.”

Q & A with Author Jill Griffin

Why did you decide to write this book? A single event, actually. I was sitting in the Paris Airport and while I had a few minutes alone to think, I asked myself “What brings you the most joy in your professional life? And, the answer came in a heartbeat: my board work, and particularly my board work with Luby’s/Fuddrucker’s Restaurants. I knew right then and there that I needed to write a book.  Earn Your Seat on a Corporate Board is filled with wisdom that could work in so many different parts of the business world. How did you learn all of this? Well, first of all I spent three years researching this book and doing what you do when you want to gain wisdom and insight: you ask wise and insightful people for advice. I asked these folks how they got their board seats and then what advice they would give to others out there seeking board seats. I have to tell you: I learned a great deal, met the most amazing people, and it was fun! I’ve also lived a lot of what you see in the book. My experience as an author, executive, and consultant came in very handy. The result is what I hope is a very helpful and encouraging book for business leaders of all kinds. What do you hope to accomplish with this book and your work? I would like for people to have a clear vision about whether they are board material or not. I’d like to tell people what boards do, so that they can see if they have any interest in serving on boards. Then secondly, I want them to step out and use every resource they have to become board worthy and to put themselves in front of sponsors and influencers that can help them.  


On why now is a great time to seek board membership: So, female and male readers, listen up. While corporate board seats are scarce, competition is fierce, and director turnover is low, here’s something to celebrate: Unlike the past when boards often interviewed just one person who they knew, many boards are now interviewing several candidates. This means, according to the Spencer Stuart U.S. Board Index 2014, more first-time directors—39 percent of newly seated directors are serving for the first time—and people with different experience, are being invited to the process. And the 2014 National Association of Public Company Governance Survey confirms that 23 percent of all new directors are division/subsidiary presidents and other line and functional leaders. This is almost double their representation a decade ago. So you don’t have to sit passively just wishing and hoping. You can take action. In fact, the “right” initiatives can immeasurably increase your odds of landing a seat. (This book is full of examples of folks who have done just that!) The Formula: In interviewing sitting board directors for this book, I invariably asked each of them, “How did you get your first corporate board seat?” In tallying their answers, this common formula emerged: Passionate Expertise + Fearless Work + Visibility + Recognition = Opportunity Many directors identified their passions—that is, what energized them—early in their careers and what they were really, really good at doing. Then they persisted in fearlessly doing their work in visible places over many years, even decades. In time, they became branded by their skills and were recognized for their achievements. On why preparation and knowledge are critical: When you receive an invitation to interview for a seat on a corporate board, it’s a significant milestone. It means you’ve made it to the candidate “short list” and the board wants to know more about you. You’ll also want to know more about them, and I’ll show you ways to prepare for the interview. But first things first. Ask yourself whether you even want to be interviewed. Some of the deeper research you’ll do to prepare is not something to undertake unless you accept the invitation because it could be time wasted. This is where the rubber meets the road so to speak. To ace these conversations, it’s important that you bring your “director” persona to these interviews. That’s far different from speaking in the capacity of your more familiar persona as a senior executive or subject matter expert. Instead, this conversation is an exchange about your abilities to work as a member of a team that oversees the workings of the corporation at its highest levels. And remember to empower yourself with this knowledge: As the board members are evaluating you, you are vetting them too! This is a two-way street.

Ten Reasons Why I Relish My Corporate Board Seat

Serving on a corporate board has made me a better business person and matured me as a human being. I want the same for you!

Win Back the Customers You Have Lost

In the erratic economy of these past years, you probably have customers who have left you. Many had no choice.  It was about the economy — not about you.

Harvard Business Update

Five Questions about Customer Loyalty with Jill Griffin

Trust Tools for Tough Times

Trust. It’s in short supply these days and for good reason.