It is quite common for a company to have a board of directors who act as representatives to stock holders.I have written a lot about the importance of mentorship and these type of relationships to help you grow as a practitioner in your career, and there is no reason you should limit yourself to just one. As in other forms of relationships, you will find that you gravitate around certain people for specific things.Assembling your own Board of Directors (BoD) for you as a person can be beneficial in getting the hard questions answered. Though family members and friends have good intentions when giving you advice, they can often be too affirming and support you in what you want to hear, and not necessarily what you need to hear. With your personal Board of Directors, these are (or should be) constructed with people who will give you a dose of reality in each of their respective practices.An example of some people who sit in my personal BoD:
(This is not everyone but a sampling of the range of conversations)After reading that you may think, “Wow, that’s a litany of mentors.” It definitely is, and each person voluntarily shares so much value with me.[caption id="attachment_4338" align="alignnone" width="2880"]
A Google Hangout with Lesli.[/caption]
This is simpler than you may think. Design the structure around your BoD and it will take form. You can formally ask each person for their time, but I’ve often found these relationships form naturally. If they cannot commit to it, they will tell you or it will be very apparent. The cadence in which I meet each person varies on who they are, what they do, and what their schedule can be like.Put it on the calendar: Treat your Personal BoD like a real board and make time for it other on the calendar. Otherwise it is at risk of getting pushed back or becomes secondary. The BoD provides value for you and your future so you must carve time to do it.A conventional BoD typically meet synchronously, but it is not necessary in this instance. In fact, I do not think anyone in my Personal BoD has ever met one-another. Just know what information you want to tell them.How you should meet with your BoD:
If you have a BoD, make sure they get a return on their investment. In this case, it is not financial (though it possibly could be), but the return is on you as a person. There is no gratification a seasoned vet in the industry gets more than seeing someone they coach and mentor grow exponentially.Set the expectation for yourself, not that you’re afraid of letting them down, but strive to make them proud.Who is on your Board of Directors? Is it time for you to reach out to people who you trust that will push you to get the best ROI on yourself?