Who’s On Your Board of Directors?

Guest post from
regular contributor S. Chris Edmonds:

Many companies have a board of directors, but we often don’t
think about having a personal board
to invest in our professional (and even personal) life.

I ask you–do you have a group of people around you that are
committed to your success, who push you to keep learning, and who hold you
accountable to your values and purpose?

Few of us do, yet having a personal “board of directors” or “board of advisors”
can be a huge help in our lives.

was a non-profit executive for 15 years. From my
best boss, I learned how important
a strong board is to the success of an
executive’s organization – and, personally, to that executive‘s success.

times, board members are volunteers. (In large
corporations, some are paid.) Your
personal board would be willing volunteers who are interested in helping you
grow. In a “best case” scenario, your own
board will be a type of support team and accountability group. They will help
you stay true to your values, and encourage you to stay on track with being
your best.

a “worst case” scenario, board members will look out for their personal needs, perhaps using you to advance their agendas.

you decide to gather a personal board of directors, you need to
formalize your personal
purpose and values
, which includes defining your values in measurable and
behavioral terms.   This exercise will
chart your course, giving you an outline of how you want to act and who you
want to be in your work and personal life.

your personal purpose and values statement is clear, then you can consider 3-4
people in your network that you may want to ask to be part of your personal board. These people should
consistently demonstrate characteristics such as:

1. Honesty. These people do not hide the truth. They are willing to
share from their perspective, even things that may be hard to hear.

2.Service. These people are inspired by helping others.  They would receive joy by being part of such
a group, without looking to gain something for themselves.

3.Success. These people have
modeled success in their teams, businesses, and even personal life. They
demonstrate getting the right things done the right way.

you identify some possible candidates, request 30 minutes of their time so you
can explain why you would like them to be part of your personal board. Share
your purpose and values statement and that you want their help to stay on

they are interested, go further with establishing parameters. For example, “I
would need…”

 – An hour a month of your tie for a one-on-one conversation by
phone or face-to-face.

You to hold me accountable for living out my values/purpose.

Direct feedback on your perception on how I am interacting with others.

Coaching on opportunities that may help me improve as a servant

You may want to start with just two board members. As you have
conversations with them, share your hits-and-misses.  Ask questions. Moreover, perhaps most importantly, listen intently. (After all, you have identified them as people who can add
value and inspire you to grow.)

meetings can be one-on-one, or sometimes as a group. Either way, you will find benefit if you listen and apply
guidance and suggestions from others who care about your success.

S. Chris Edmonds is a sought-after speaker, author,
and executive consultant. After a 15-year career leading successful teams,
Chris founded his consulting company,
The Purposeful Culture Group,
in 1990. Chris has also served as a senior consultant with The Ken Blanchard
Companies since 1995. He is the author or co-author of seven books, including
Amazon best sellers
Culture Engine
and Leading at a Higher Level with Ken Blanchard. Learn from
his blog posts, podcasts, assessments, research, and videos at
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