As a board candidate, you need to let the business world know you are seeking a board seat. No matter how excellent your qualifications if you do not let everyone know you are available you will never be invited to join a board.
The 5 proven steps to gain a corporate board seat are:
- Develop the right materials to let people know you are available.
• Develop a board resume – list articles, speeches, boards and committees
• Create a 1-page board bio or cv – include a picture, list non-profit and for-profit boards and committees
• Draft cover letters
• Develop a board elevator pitch
• Fine tune your LinkedIn profile, social media and web page
• Find a mentor – someone you trust who can advise, listen, refer and be a sounding board
- Develop your PR Campaign
• Whenever possible be a resource for others – make introductions and open doors
• Leverage social media – join LinkedIn groups on boards or sectors that interest you, make comments on posts, connect with other directors and CEOs, on LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media
• Get your name known by giving speeches, serving on panels, writing articles and blog posts
- Join board associations, become educated, attend conferences and network – some of the organizations, conferences, publications I recommend are:
• American College of Corporate Directors – ACCD
• National Association of Corporate Directors – NACD
• BoardProspects.com – an online board directors’ group
• Boards and Directors, Family Business and Private Company Magazine – David Shaw and his team run excellent webinars and The Private Company Governance Summit for private company directors
• Attorneys for Family-Held Enterprises and The Family Firm Institute – for family boards and businesses.
- One of the best ways to get on a for-profit board is to volunteer on the board of a non-profit or give your time to worthwhile causes.
• It gives you visibility and showcases your abilities – your follow board members may also be on for-profit boards and when a board position opens may ask you to join
• Attend fundraisers or charity events – gives you visibility as a person that cares
• Volunteer and donate your time and money
- Contact people that you know, ask for introductions and be active on your social media channels. Some of the individuals and organizations are:
• Attorneys, accountants, and bankers
• Venture Capital and Private Equity Firms
• Search Firms
• Customers and Suppliers
• Other board members – Ask them how they got their board position?
• Companies that interest you – check who you know at these firms using LinkedIn and other social media channels
• Mentors, influencers etc.
Which step or steps do you believe are the most important steps to gain a corporate board seat?
For more on boards, read my article: 6 Reasons Why Every Board Needs “Fresh Eyes”
P.S. – Do you need an independent Director, Advisory Board Member, Trusted Advisor, or Interim CEO? Someone who can help you see your business and your goals through “Fresh Eyes.” Contact me and I will work with you to look at where you want to go and help you find the best way to get there. Sometimes all it takes is someone with a fresh viewpoint, unencumbered by company politics or culture to help find the right solution.