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:

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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
    • – 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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Larry Putterman
Board Director | Advisory Board Member

Avoid painful lessons learned. Let me help solve your business problems. A fresh set of eyes can show you a different set of possibilities. Use my experience to save time and money. I have been there and done that. What makes me highly effective is my fresh viewpoint, unencumbered by company politics or culture.


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