Who’s on Your Personal Board of Directors?


I was recently asked who sits on my personal board of directors; a concept framed by Jim Collins, the author of ‘Good to Great’. This seemed like an appropriate question to ask someone who works in a corporation but it is equally pertinent to all of us? As it turns out, it is.

Establishing your personal board of directors

A personal board of directors“… is a group of people with diverse skills who all contribute to your career, growth and development in different ways’.

Diversity matters, just as it does with any board of directors established. Most of us have a network of people we connect with when making major decisions, but are we connecting with the right ones? Ensuring you have the right people surrounding you can often mean the difference between ‘good’ and ‘great’.

6 positions to fill on your personal board of directors

I have been fortunate to have been guided by some exceptional people. There are 6 positions I fill on my personal board of directors; you should consider who you will ask to sit at your table.

6 positions to fill on your personal board:

1.     Trusted Advisor
The person you go to when you really have a problem. The person who would never betray your confidence and you can unload all your thoughts and feelings and get trustworthy advice from.

2.     Teacher / Coach
The person you go to when you need to learn to get better at something.

3.     Cheerleader
The person you reach out to when you need a pep talk; to be reassured of your contribution and value.

4.     Elder / Guide
An experienced mentor who shares with you their life experience, knowledge and insight.

5.     Creative / Innovator
The person who sparks your ideas, challenge yourself and creativity.

6.     Insight
The person who understands the lay of the land inside the organisation and provides you with tacit knowledge. They hold the insight into ‘How things work around here’.

Forget mentors: Employ a personal board of directors

Whilst mentors are still invaluable, what you really need is a personal board of directors to catapult you to success. A group of people you consult with regularly gaining advice and wisdom. All should bring with them a different contribution to your way of thinking and know more than you on the area you are seeking advice in.

So get out there and fill your board; what have you got to lose?!

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Maria-Jane Satterthwaite

After being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at 29, MJ knew her journey was going to be unique! 

No way was she going to waste any of her years working 9-5 under poor leadership! She seized the opportunity to become an independent worker; starting her own Registered Training Organisation, Scope Vision.

MJ’s curiosity into what drives people, and businesses, to achieve success has been the passion recognised in her award-winning business. The drive to continue to train and embrace lifelong learning has been her key to success, and she wants to see this happen for others.

20 years on, the passion and curiosity she’s used to shape the businesses she works with, and her longevity in these relationships have inspired her to think about the future of work; what this will mean for workers in general and indeed her own business. Find out more about MJ