Build This And Power Your Career

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I’ve served on the Board of Directors of a few organizations with some truly talented and visionary people. And I’ve also been on some Boards that were clueless, cheap and full of themselves. Their meetings were so long and ineffective that they seemed more like a hostage situation.

When you serve on a Board, you don’t get to select who’s on it and you don’t have control over it. There is one form of a though that you can totally control, pick who is on it and it’s well worth the investment of your time for your career. I’m talking about your own Personal Board of Directors. There’s no need to even hold joint meetings or even inform each person of his or her status as a Board member — but you do need to select the right people and leverage how they can assist you.

But why would you need a Board for yourself?

Just like any CEO or even the President of the United States, your work, career and life can benefit greatly from a cadre of people from various facets of life who you can reflect with, plan with, bounce ideas off of and maybe most importantly, have them give straight talk to you and tell you the way it is.

The people you choose for your Board should have different contributions to make to your thinking. They should know more than you about something, be better than you are at something and offer different points of view. Putting only your best friends on your Board won’t help you grow and develop.

Who is on your Board, since you pick it, can and should vary as your career and life progresses. You’ll want to add people who fit the issues and paths your confronting and pondering.

So who might you think about including? Here’s some suggestions:

*Your Doctor – Let’s face it, without your health, none of the rest of this discussion is worth having.

*A Financial Advisor – A financially savvy person who can help you fund your career and life as well as plan your retirement years.

*A Former Boss You Admire And Respect – Having someone you used to report to on your Board brings the perspective of knowing how you work, your strengths as well as areas for improvement.

*A Former Colleague You Admire And/Trust – This would be a peer level person who you trust, has your best interest at heart and always shoots straight. Preferably someone who also likes beer.

*Your Pastor, Priest or Spiritual Advisor – If you are a religious or spiritual person, having someone who can speak into your life’s path in that way can be extremely valuable.

*An Expert On Your Industry – Whatever industry you’re in, it pays to have an avenue to someone who knows it inside out and can help you interpret, understand and predict.

*Someone Who Is Doing What You Ultimately Want To Do – If “point b” for you is a significantly higher level job or a job in a completely different industry, having the advice from someone who already got there and knows the ropes will help define your path.

*A Guide Within Your Own Company – Not necessarily your own boss, this is someone you trust implicitly, has been with your company for some time and knows its people at all levels well.

*A Networker – We all know one of those people who knows a million people. You want this person on your Board not only for their Rolodex, but to mentor you on the ways of building your own personal network.

*A Wise Elder – There’s nothing like the wealth of astute knowledge that someone in their 70’s, 80’s or beyond brings to understanding life. They’ve been there and done that, maybe in a different way and in a different era, but they will be a well of advice that comes from a lifetime of living.

So here’s the net, net. We all need help, counsel, advice and truth as we travel the career and life path we’re on. Having a team, a personal and hand-selected Board of Directors will pay dividends now and for the rest of your life.

Make it your goal to name and meet with one “director” a month this year. By the end of the year your team will be built and you’ll have new perspectives on your career and life!

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