News Analysis

Why do you want to join a board?

by Jo Ellis on May 31, 2022

Why do you want to join a board? As we advance in our careers, especially as we grow older, we may develop an interest in serving on boards of other companies. Before making such a commitment, there are a few of things to keep in mind and a few questions you need to ask yourself.

Why are you doing it?

Serving on a board will require you to invest time, emotional energy, and mental effort and potentially miss out on other opportunities.

Finding a role on a board should be like finding a great job that you want. It would help if you liked the organisation and were inspired by its leaders and ambition. In other words, you want to make sure your interest in the commitment is genuine. Then perhaps it can be a great long-term fit.

Where do your skills and experience fit best?

Depending on the board’s composition, a board member can be a financial expert, an industry expert, a digital expert, or even a successor to the chairperson.

How do you see yourself fitting into this board? If you have profound experiences in a particular industry like HR or manufacturing, you might serve best as a domain expert.

Don’t try to join a board just for the sake of a role. You need to enter a board where your skills will be put to meaningful use.

Who do you know on a board?

Board seats are typically filled by recommendation. Consequently, board members who are currently on the board look for replacements through their social networks. You’ll likely be appointed to the board by someone you know or someone they know.

The same applies in reverse. You can express your desire for a board seat during conversations with peers and on social media sites like LinkedIn.

It would help if you were as detailed as possible. Patience is also required. Many board positions become available only occasionally. You are more likely to find one through one of your existing connections.

Are you certified to join a board?

Finally, consider getting certified if you hope to get a board seat. Some countries, such as Canada, have made board certification a requirement for joining a board. A similar requirement is also being pushed in the U.S. It makes sense to get certified now, as there will likely be a shortage of certified board members when the new laws emerge.

Top tips – how to join a board

  • If you’re interested in serving on a board, be methodical and patient as you look for the right fit.
  • Look for an organisation that would be a good fit for your skills and experience, and if you know someone who has served on a board that meets your criteria.
  • To put yourself ahead of your competitors, you should also consider becoming a certified board member.

Become a great board director with the right skills and knowledge. Click on the link below to find out more.

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