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24 Dec

Jean Silvestre

Admin Assistant

This post originally appeared on Position Ignition


Once you become a board member, get ready for your professional life to change in all kinds of ways. Here are some thoughts on just how being on the board is different to anything you’ve ever done before.


1.       More Responsibility

 The further up the organisation you get, the higher your level of responsibility.


2.        Macro View Required

Once you reach this level, you’ll need the ability to see the bigger picture and take a longer term view.


3.       The Future Lasts Longer

Arguably the biggest difference between board-level and operational roles is how far you have to look ahead when planning for your organisation and assessing the market. In this new job on the board you have got to look at least 20 years ahead.


4.       Minutiae is No Longer Your Concern

To be able to focus on the overall view, you’ve got to get away from day-to-day operations. Unshackle yourself from day-to -day activity.


5.       Branding is More Important

You’ll need to be more aware of the company’s brand and how you help the business to present that brand.


6.       You Need to Think and Read More

You really do need to have good quality reading time. You can’t just skim-read documents when it comes to important board matters. You have to invest time in reading about and understanding the issues of the day.


7.       Presentations are Better Quality

Your presentation skills will have to be sharper. It’s important to not only learn these types of skills but to learn why they’re important. Once you learn the power of a very short slide presentation, you’ll have a good basis on which to learn how to craft such a presentation.


8.       Different Accountabilities

What you are accountable for as a director is different to what you were accountable for before. For example, you’re going to have to start looking at corporate governance from a fiduciary point of view.


9.       How You Use Your Time

Your time will be spent not necessarily doing more, but doing things more in depth. For instance, you may have fewer meetings but the meetings may last longer as you have more profound discussions on each agenda item.


10.   You Give Back More

Once you’ve made it as a board member, you want to be seen to be giving back as much as possible. You want to allow others to also make it in the organisation by engaging in helpful activities such as mentoring.


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