Most people are familiar with the concept of an organizational Board of Directors. A company’s Board of Directors is a group of individuals responsible for providing the organization with strategic direction and governance. A company's Board of Directors is a vital component to its sustainability, but as entrepreneurs and professionals it is also important for each of you to have your own Personal Board of Directors!
What is a Personal Board of Directors?
Your personal board is a network of people who have your growth, development, and success in mind. Your Personal Board does not have to be a formalized group, it could simply be a few individuals that you go to for advice on life or business. These are the people that you run your ideas by, and whose advice you trust. Your Personal Board can consist of mentors, friends, your significant other, colleagues, or parents. What’s most important is that they are knowledgeable in the domain in which you seek their counsel, and that they truly have your success in mind.
How to Form a Personal Board of Directors
To form your personal board of directors, you should first look at the people you trust the most. Do they have any knowledge, skills, abilities, or relationships that would add value to your endeavor? After looking at those you trust, search within your professional network. Maybe you already have a mentor, or maybe you have a co-worker or fellow entrepreneur you trust.
If you are not having any luck with your current professional circle, try going out to networking events to meet and develop relationships with people who have the knowledge, skills, abilities, and relationships you need. If you’re in Chicago, try attending a Personality Powered Networking event, as it is an extremely effective way of meeting people that can add value to your ambitions. Plus you’ll know the personality types of the people you meet, so it’ll be easier to identify people you’d work best with. I’ve actually met half of my Personal Board at this event! (see upcoming Personality Powered Networking events here)
How Often Should You Meet with Your Personal Board?
Individually, I would recommend meeting with each of your board members on an as needed basis. You may have some members of your board that you talk to daily. However, you may only talk to other board members occasionally, or when you have an issue that their expertise can resolve. I would suggest getting them together as a group at least twice a year. You can do this by having a mastermind session, a focus group, or a dinner where you share what you share your goals and current progress. Be sure to be sensitive to their schedules, and try to foot the bill for any food or drinks as you have been getting free consulting all year!