Becoming a Board Member: A Roadmap for the Emerging Director Part 3 By: Tracy Houston
Step Two: Find Leadership Roles that Will Develop Your Career for Board Service
In your current position, look for and develop opportunities to advance your career. Take on the lead role in major projects to develop your team-building skills. Seek out engagements to make presentations and professional writing projects that position you as “the” expert in your field. Gain board experience by sitting on a non-profit board. This experience provides exposure to board dynamics as well as potential leadership roles on committees. To avoid languishing in this role as a non-profit board member, provide a letter stating the length of time you will commit to the organization. Generally, a term of around three years will allow for the onboarding learning curve and any leadership position you may acquire. Keep in mind a financial commitment is often a part of serving on a non-profit board. You may also consider serving on an advisory board to gain experience in advising. Both non-profit and advisory boards offer ways to meet and work with other leaders. You become a “known quantity” when working side-by-side with other board members. In the future, you can share your board aspirations and ask them for introductions or endorsements.
Key Point: To maximize your potential takes purposeful boundary spanning
and key leadership traits for corporate growth.