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Private Directors Association on the Board Search Process And Readiness for Board Service

MWi hosted four exceptional members of the Private Directors Association at their September 18th Steering Committee meeting. Guests speakers covered how to prepare yourself for Board service, how to improve your visibility, and how to be an exceptional Board member.

The Private Directors Association provides a national network where executives and professionals interested in board and advisory services can find and meet with those interested in securing exceptional board members.

Moderator: David Spitulnik, Managing Partner, Spitulnik Advisors LLC & author, “Becoming an Insightful Leader.”

Panelists: Venita Fields. Partner, Pelham S2K Managers LLC, independent corporate board director in both public and private companies: Shep Pryor, Managing Director, Board Resources, SG Pryor IV Management Consulting, and experienced board member and board chair: and Sally Washlow CEO, Lee Hecht Harrison, board member, public company board member

The guests shared their knowledge and experience.

How to prepare yourself for board service

  • Be a leader, identify a situation where you can show yourself as a leader
  • Acquire financial literacy
  • Be a life long learner
  • Have an innate sense of curiosity
  • Be an expert in your field
  • Develop strategic thinking skills
  • Be patient and persistent, a board position takes time; it is a marathon
  • Serve on not-for-profit boards as they are the best experience you can ever have
  • Make yourself visible; raise your hand to serve when no one else does
  • Today more boards are looking at a skill matrix

How to improve your visibility

  • It is who knows you. Not necessarily who you know.
  • Hone your message
  • Broadcast your message to all your contacts; your contacts will share with others
  • Become known for excellence
  • Use LinkedIn to get information out, you still need to get out there

How to be an effective board member

  • Listen more than talk; 80% listening, 20% voicing your opinion
  • Prep time is key
  • Be collaborative
  • Be sincere, genuinely care about the company
  • Ask the right questions
  • Practice diplomacy
  • Concentrate on short and long term strategy
  • Recognize day-to-day issues are management’s responsibilities
  • Have the courage to speak up
  • Challenge management when needed
  • Compute the value of the business

Public vs. Private vs. Advisory Boards

  • Public company – management responsibility vs board responsibility is well defined
  • Private company – runs from well-defined to not at all
  • Advisory board – does not necessarily have fiduciary duties, no voting power

To learn more about Private Directors Association: https://www.privatedirectorsassociation.org/

Private Directors Association membership benefits:  https://www.privatedirectorsassociation.org/membership/member-benefits/


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