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Expand Your Network with a Board Seat

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We hear a lot about giving back and making a difference. One way is by taking a board seat at the helm of a company, non-profit or an association that is important to you.

In a recent article entitled Preparing for a Board Seat, that appeared in Smart Business, I talk in detail about how to effectively prepare for your board seat and how to make the most of your experience.

There are a variety of benefits to serving on a board, not the least of which is the opportunity to network and increase your own personal brand as a subject matter expert in your field. However, every board seat comes with an implied commitment.

board seat

Board Seat Commitments

Board seats rely upon commitments critical to the company that you serve. Companies look to you for your expertise, investment, and perspective. If you offer your services as a board or committee member, you need to follow through with active participation, since many depend on you. If you are limited in time, but still want to help, schedule time with the executive director or president to identify mutually beneficial roles. A common rule of thumb: It’s better to under promise and over deliver.

This is true for all types of business networking opportunities. You’ll gain far more from your participation in a local chamber if you do more than just attend the monthly lunch. Actively participating in an event, on a committee or on the board provides a number of benefits, too.

Benefits of joining a board:

  • Exposure to new people and ideas
  • Opportunities to build deeper business connections
  • Education – learning first hand, a different set of skills from your regular work
  • Demonstrating your knowledge to others
  • Gaining trust within the other board members

For more information about the benefits of having a board seat on a non-profit, check out my interview with Elizabeth Hosler Voudouris, Executive Vice President of BVU, who offers seven key focus areas for board members.

My award-winning book, Accelerate Your Impact: Action-Based Strategies to Pave Your Professional Path, includes a chapter on gaining leadership experience as a director or committee member. Through my research, I learned valuable considerations from local professionals when approaching these additional opportunities. Consider serving in a board seat for an organization through which you’ll learn and also be given the opportunity to share your knowledge and expertise to make a difference.

Many professional women aspire to advance their career, but most encounter common obstacles because they don’t have “The Professional Playbook” to navigate corporate cultures. Download three chapters of the professional playbook for women that includes initiatives to accelerate your professional growth.

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